What is an interactive notebook? Instead of pages and pages of the boring question and answer format, our book studies focus on the most important elements of the story and invite the child to interact with these topics. Children cut out shapes and glue flaps from the studies and write the answers underneath. At times the child is asked to draw or cut out tabs and sort his or her response. These book studies are also designed to inspire deeper, more meaningful discussions surrounding the book that is read. The child is exposed to specific elements in the story and encouraged to look for future examples on their own in the text.
Ahyoka and the Talking Leaves
Historical Fiction (11 pages) Ahyoka’s only desire is to help her father, Sequoyah, with his endeavor to create a system of writing for their tribe. Through a series of trials and missteps, they discover that creating a written language is more difficult than it might seem. This book study provides background information about the Cherokee nation and why Sequoyah worked so hard to write down the language of his people. Several story elements are highlighted, along with vocabulary, and different forms of figurative language. Extension ideas for the story are also provided.
Sarah, Plain and Tall
Historical Fiction (8 pages) After Anna and Caleb’s mother dies, their father eventually desires to get remarried. When he sends a letter, he receives a response from Sarah. Living by the coast in Maine, will Sarah be content to join and stay with the family on the wide, open prairie? This book study examines elements of fiction, figurative language, vocabulary terms, and inferencing skills. Extension ideas are also provided.
26 Fairmount Avenue
Memoir (15 pages) Tomie’s family is moving! They are building a house and it is a very exciting time in the dePaola household. There is much to do before move-in day, however, and things can sometimes get delayed. In the meanwhile, Tomie has adventures in going to school and the movies. This book is a nice introduction to the genre, memoir. The book study examines story elements, invites the child to make connections, and encourages the child to think of his or her own memoir!
Fantasy (16 pages) Wilbur is the runt of his litter. With the help of a friendly spider named Charlotte, she devises a plan to help him stay alive a lot longer. This classic story about unlikely friendship has warmed the hearts of generations of children. The book study examines elements of fiction, figurative language, rich vocabulary, and invites a study research of nonfiction topics as well.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Historical Fiction (15 pages) Hugo has a problem- his uncle has disappeared and he is left to care for all of the clocks at the train station. He is now left alone, and with a mystery. He has also been left with the care of a mechanical man, and he is hopeful that this machine might provide a key to his parents and his past. This book study examines many elements of fiction, including inviting the reader to find foreshadowing and make inferences. The child is also invited to research the real life of one of the main characters in the story. The factual and fictional elements of the story are teased apart.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr- Level Blue
Historical fiction (14 pages) . Sadako loves to run and is excited to run on her school’s team. The problem starts with the dizzy spells. She is then diagnosed with leukemia, the effect of the atomic bomb that fell on Hiroshima when she was a baby. Believing in a ancient Japanese legend, will Sadako be able to fold enough paper cranes that her wish will be granted and she will become well again? The book study includes a pre-reading section that explores the setting of the story, exploration of story elements, and art extensions.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo – Level Blue
Realistic Fiction (15 pages). India Opal lives with her father, the preacher. Her world gets turned around when she meets a very special dog at the local Winn Dixie store. From then on, the two of them set out to make friends and connect the people in their small town. The book study includes elements of fiction such as: figurative language, discussions of theme, motif, character traits, and inference. Creative extension ideas to further the story are also shared.
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor – Level Blue
Realistic Fiction (15 pages). A dog follows Marty home and he discovers a new friend. The problem is that the dog belongs to one of the town’s roughest residents: Judd Travers. Marty knows that Judd does not treat the dog well, so he has to decide whether it is okay to keep the dog hidden and loved, even if it does not belong to him. Everything is put to the test, however, when Shiloh is injured. How will Marty help him now? The book study includes terminology and examples of various elements of fiction including: character traits, protagonist/ antagonist, various types of conflict, and turning point. Creative extension ideas are also shared.
Holes by Louis Sachar – Level Indigo
Realistic Fiction (20 pages). Stanley Yelnats is very unlucky. Through a strange turn of events and through no fault of his own, he gets sent to Camp Green Lake, a reform camp for troubled youth. Forced to dig holes in the hot sun, Stanley uncovers the mystery of the camp warden’s real intentions and what everyone is really trying to uncover. The book study includes examining such literary devices as: personification, foreshadowing, flashback, characterization, and symbolism. Rich vocabulary is also explored. Language and math extensions are also included.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – Level Indigo
Historical Fiction (18 pages). Annemarie’s life has turned upside down when the Nazi soldiers marched into her beloved city, Copenhagen Denmark in 1943. Things get dangerous for her Jewish friend, Ellen. Will Annemarie find the courage she needs to help her friend escape the Nazi regime? The book study includes a pre-reading portion that examines the setting of the story and a little background on World War II. Rich vocabulary is uncovered, along with different elements of fiction including: foreshadowing, cause and effect, inference, theme, and types of conflict. Typical plot progression for fiction is also explored in this book study.
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park – Level Indigo
Historical Fiction (19 pages). Tree-ear lives a simple life under a bridge with Crane-man. This changes when he decides to work for Min, the master potter. When Min creates his greatest masterpiece ever, will Tree-ear be able to deliver it all the way to Songdo intact? The book study includes a pre-reading portion that uncovers the setting of the story and links to look at examples of the types of pottery mentioned in the story. It also includes a study of literary elements such as: various forms of figurative language, theme, archetypes, and foreshadowing. Rich vocabulary is also explored. Art extension activities are also included.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt – Level Indigo
Fantasy (18 pages). Winnie Foster lives a quiet, sheltered, safe life. When she meets the Tuck family, suddenly everything changes. She becomes privy to their family secret- they can never die! Will Winnie find the courage to help her new friends keep their family secret, risking her own safety and security? The book study includes a study of such literary elements as: different forms of figurative language, foreshadowing, characterization, theme, symbolism, and paradox. The study invites students to think deeply about the text and into discussion and inflection about the story.
Word Wall Sets
Frustrated by constantly answering the question- “How do I spell ______?” Our word wall booklets are lists of the most common words used at each level of learning. These words are printed on sturdy card stock and are ready to be cut apart and added to your word wall. Colorful alphabet headings are also included in the booklet. Foster independent writing skills with our handy and helpful word wall words!
Word Wall Set – Level Red
Word Wall Set – Level Orange
Word Wall Set – Level Yellow
Word Wall Set – Level Green
Word Wall Set – Level Blue