All the lessons on this page are free!
If you want to see some of my lessons for introducing the Depth and Complexity icons using pictures books, checkout my
Enrichment Ideas for the Character club series
When I was in the classroom full-time, literature based teaching was all the rage. I still believe it is a valuable tool today. I remember on occasion needing to continually reteach a concept. There would always be a few students whose eyes would still glaze over. But if one of them found that same concept in a chapter book, suddenly my teaching was validated and stuck! With that in mind, all of the books in the Character Club series have mini lessons or teachable moments incorporated into them. Here is an index of all the mini lessons and in which book they can be found.
Descriptive Verbs - Jeanie Blair, Author Extraordinaire, Chapter 7
Ecosystems - Liar, Liar, Ethan McWyer, Chapter 4
Nouns - Benjamin Blair and the Case of the Missing Noun Hound
Similes/Metaphors - Jeanie Blair, Author Extraordinaire, Chapter 3
Below are book talk videos to build anticipation for reading each book followed by enrichment activities for the books in the character club series. If you have students who thrive on extra assignments they may choose one or however many you wish! Also a great resource for homeschool parents.
1. Research someone who has received a Purple Heart. Write an essay about their life, or see if you can interview them.
2. Choose a topic below to research. Then write a report or make a Power Point presentation.
The Battle of the Bulge
Clara Barton's life
The life of Susan B Anthony and/or Frederick Douglass to see how compassion played a huge role in their character
Another civil rights activist
Florence Nightingale Syndrome
3. Interview someone currently serving in the US military. Why do you think it is important that we still have people who do this? Write a card thanking them for their service or put together a care package. See guidelines here or here.
4. Write a new verse or two for the Strugglin' song to describe something tough you are going through or have gone through.
References for Jeanie Blair, Author Extraordinaire
1. Read the biography of Johnny Appleseed. Prepare a written report about what you learned or dress up like him for an oral report. Check out this one.
2. Study the ecosystems where you live. Choose one and create a 3D model identifying it's specific features.
3. Research the lives of one of the following to see how Integrity played a role in their character:
Martin Luther King, Jr
4. Interview someone you know personally who you believe shows integrity and find out why it's important to them. Prepare to share what you learned in an essay or digital presentation.
References for Liar, Liar, Ethan McWyer
1. Follow the adventure with your own clues and help Ben and his classmates solve the mystery with this sheet. Cut apart or fold to reveal one clue at a time. Clues
2. Make a noun collection in your own home. Discuss which is easiest to collect: people, places or things.
3. Make a list of things that you can do when you are impatient to help you think about other things. Interview others for help and then take a survey of 10 or more people to see which one they think would help them the most.
4. Chapter 8 refers briefly to puns and homophones. Explore these two topics deeper by looking up their definition and then making lists of both for referencing. Add to the list as you read other books.
5. Print this pdf on two size 5160 label sheets for a self stick activity like the one in Chapter 9! Make a chart like the one on page 61 to stick the matches to after kiddos find them. Irregular nouns are on the first sheet and regular nouns on the second. 30 labels of each for 15 pairs of each. Do separately or together.