“Hoot” by Carl Hiaasen – vocabulary

Currently, I’m teaching the novel, Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen for the tenth time.  I finally think I have mastered the vocabulary instruction portion of the unit.

First, I give the students a master list with 24 words found in the novel.  Then, I work on a word each day.  Words are assessed at four quarters in the unit.  Then, the students complete a poster or PowerPoint presentation.  They need to find a visual representation for each word using a common theme.  I put some examples below.  Click on the photos to see my entire unit:  




A Long Walk to Water – Activities

The book, A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park, is one of the best books I’ve ever taught!  I teach this book to my seventh grade students and each year it gets better. You can check out my complete unit HERE!

foldable tn

I roughly follow the NYS Module for the book, but I have so many wonderful experiences to share.  Here is a BUNDLE of PRINTABLES for the unit.  water center

Here are some ideas to enhance this book and make it completely awesome!

  1.  Teach an author study about Linda Sue Park!  Check out my entire unit HERE!


2.  Take your students on a field trip to meet Linda Sue Park!!


3.  Create a timeline of the events in the novel.  Check out student work here:


4.  Personification!  Explore the figurative language in the book!persontn


5.  Create your own Walk for Water!  Raise money for Salva’s organization Water for South Sudan Inc.





Linda Sue Park

I had the unique experience to take my daughter and niece to meet Ms. Park.  I have some exciting ideas that I will be adding to my bundle this year!!

Linda Sue Park – An Author Study
A two week unit for the middle grades

LSP tn1

My seventh graders had the unique opportunity to meet Linda Sue Park!


This year, I taught a two week author study about Linda Sue Park, author of “A Long Walk to Water”. In this unit, students were exposed to her various genres and study the craft and literary style of the author. This unit was primarily based from an 85 slide PowerPoint presentation that works through the lessons chronologically and the PDF files that correspond with each lesson. There are 16 PDF files and an additional Unit Summary to use as a guide. I completed this mini-unit with my seventh grade students after completing the NYS Common Core Module One; Unit One – “A Long Walk to Water”.


All texts and excerpts will have to be supplied by the teacher. Teacher will need one copy of the following books: “Tap Dancing on the Roof”, “What Does Bunny See?”, “Bee-bim Bop!”, “Xander’s Panda Party”, and “The Third Gift”. The following books I used excerpts from that can be found for use on Linda Sue Park’s website: http://www.lindasuepark.com/books/books.html . However, I kept one hard copy of each of the books for students to view more in depth. These books are: “Seesaw Girl”, Wing & Claw “Forest of Wonder”, “Keeping Score”, “A Single Shard”, “When My Name was Keoko” and “Project Mulberry”. Also, I used a class set of “The 39 Clues; Storm Warning”.

a single shard

Standards addressed:
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

All lessons correspond with the PowerPoint.
Day 1:
Explain author’s craft and literary style as used in the CCLS. Then, I would photocopy enough “charts for identifying literary style and crafts” for any or all of the texts studied. I photocopied them on a different color paper so students could begin to see the common themes as we went through the unit.
Activity: Read “What Does Bunny See?” aloud. This is a basic children’s book. But, it is a perfect book to explain style and craft can be identified in any type of work. There is a two page PDF file to correspond with this book that asks simple questions about style and craft. Then, more difficult questions are answered (typical CCLS type questions) using this whimsical text.
Then, I had students use the same chart for “A Long Walk to Water”, which they had already read. They identified literary crafts and styles and looked for any styles consistent through the two texts. It is a stretch, but lays the foundation for the objectives of the unit.

Day 2:
Introduction Slide: Dr. Seuss comic. Ask students if they can identify the author based on the text structure, style and craft. Explain Dr. Seuss’ unique style.
Activity: Read “Bee-bim Bop!” to the students. Answer the questions in the corresponding 2 page PDF file. Complete the chart for identifying craft and style. Look for similar styles and crafts. For example, same tone as “What Does Bunny See” and a cultural theme as in “A Long Walk to Water”.

Day 3:
Introduction slide: Shel Silverstein poem. Ask students if they can identify the author based on the text structure, style and craft.
Activity: “A Single Shard” – excerpt and poetry comparison. Print the excerpts from the novel, “A Single Shard” and the excerpt from the poem, “Turn, turn my Wheel” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and make comparisons. Question prompts are in the PowerPoint.

Day 4:
Introduction slide: Langston Hughes poetry sample to identify the author based from craft and style.
Activity: Read “Xander’s Panda Party” aloud to the class. Then, the students will follow along in the corresponding PDF file following the same pattern as the children’s books.

Day 5: “Tap Dancing on the Roof” – an introduction to Sijo poetry.
Activity: Begin reading “The 39 Clues; Storm Warning” chapters 1-3. Use the foldable that corresponds with the book and make notes as the story progresses. In addition, the teacher will print out the Day 1 worksheet to use again with this book. Students will continue to note consistencies in Linda Sue Park’s writing styles.

LSP tn2

Day 6:
Introduction slide: Sojo Poem
Activity: “Wing and Claw: Forest of Wonder” – book review; This PDF includes a 2 page article, edited for grade level appropriateness with two pages of questions which correspond with the article. Key is included.
Quiz – Literary Style; 20 multiple choice question quiz based on the literary styles and crafts being studied in the books.
“The 39 Clues” – chapters 4&5

Day 7:
Introduction Slide: Sijo Poem
Activity: “One Question Quiz” – Chapter 5; This is a one page PDF with three recall questions based on the content within chapter 5. I printed these out and let students pick a random question to answer. The key is included
“Keeping Score” – read the excerpt and complete the corresponding worksheet
“The 39 Clues” – Chapters 7 & 8

Day 8:
Introduction Slide: Sijo Poem
Activity: Reading “The 39 Clues” – Chapters 9-12 and adding to “foldable”.

Day 9:
Introduction: “When My Name Was Keoko”. Students will read an excerpt, a book review and an interview with Linda Sue Park about the writing of this book.
Activity: Reading “The 39 Clues” – Chapters 13-15

Day 10:
Introduction: One question quiz from Chapter 15
Activity: “Project Mulberry”- Students will review the craft and literary styles presented in the unit. The worksheet will show the different crafts and styles as they are used in “Project Mulberry”.
Reading “The 39 Clues” – Chapters 16-18
Day 11:
Introduction: “The Third Gift” – Teacher will read the children’s story aloud to the class. Students will take notes on literary craft and styles, as done on previous activities. Teacher will print out the Day 1 worksheet to use again with this book. Students will continue to note consistencies in Linda Sue Park’s writing styles.
Activity: Reading “The 39 Clues” – Chapters 19-21

Day 12:
Introduction: “SeeSaw Girl” – Read scenarios presented in this upper elementary book. Then, the students will read a few brief text excerpts and respond.
Activity: Finish reading “The 39 Clues”. Finish foldables. Discuss writing styles and crafts.

Day 13:
Final test – This is an 8 page test, with key. The test is three sections. The first section is a text excerpt from “Archer’s Choice” with 10 multiple choice questions. Then, there are three multiple choice questions on the Sijo poem, “Frog”. A final short response ends section one. The second section is a text excerpt from “The Kitefighters”. Students need to identify 5 author’s craft from the passage. There is a lengthier short response in this section. The third section is a summary from “Mung Mung” and two short response questions that ask students to compare writing styles with another Linda Sue Park book.

Day 14:
Make a poster activity – based from “The 39 Clues”. Students will study the sentence structure and tone of “The 39 Clues”. Based from this language, they will create a poster that would correspond with a movie based from the book.

This bundle will be getting additional recourses this winter.  But it at today’s price so you will receive the new products at no additional cost.  Buyer will be notified when the bundle is updated.  Thanks for reading.