Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Using Google Lit Trip with Number the Stars

I came across a wonderful discovery recently, Google Lit Trips



This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book.  From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?
Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.


It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you'll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip "Getting Started" page explains all you need to do.


One of the available titles for a Google Lit Trip is Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry.




This Google Lit Trip maps the journey Annemarie and her family take between Denmark and Sweden to help their Jewish friends escape the Nazis.






Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.




If you are using my Number the Stars Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.





I can't sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom. 




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Using Google Lit Trips for Bud, Not Buddy

I came across a wonderful discovery recently, Google Lit Trips



This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book.  From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?
Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.


It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you'll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip "Getting Started" page explains all you need to do.





This Google Lit Trip maps Bud's journey to find his father.





Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.



If you are using my Bud, Not Buddy Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.




I can't sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom. 




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Using Google Lit Trips for Esperanza Rising

I came across a wonderful discovery today, Google Lit Trips



This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book.  From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?
Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.


It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you'll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip "Getting Started" page explains all you need to do.



One of the available titles for a Google Lit Trip is Esperanza Rising, by Pam MĂșnoz Ryan



This Google Lit Trip maps Esperanza's trip from her home in Mexico to California.




Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.


If you are using my Esperanza Rising Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.



I can't sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom. 




Monday, February 6, 2017

Using Shiloh in the Classroom

Shiloh, written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or for literature circles in the classroom. Shiloh, was first published in 1991, and among the numerous awards given was the Newbery Medal  in 1992.  Shiloh is an endearing book that will draw the interest of the most reluctant of readers and is relatable to both boys and girls.




Summary of Shiloh:

(from the book jacket)



When 11-year-old Marty Preston finds a young beagle up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia, he is convinced that the poor pup is in trouble. Certain that the dog is being abused by his owner, Judd Travers, Marty names him "Shiloh" and immediately feels that he will do anything to save the dog from further harm.

When the dog runs away from Judd to Marty's house, Marty is faced with a number of ethical dilemmas: Should he tell his parents? Should he return the dog to the abusive Judd? Should he steal food to feed the mistreated pup? Marty finds that there is a fine line between telling the truth and lying by omission. He struggles to stand on the principles he knows are right, even if they go against the law.

As Marty's half-truths begin to pile up, however, the villainous Judd comes closer and closer to finding Shiloh, who Marty has hidden in the woods. Then when Marty discovers that Judd is poaching, he blackmails him and makes a deal to work for Judd to pay for the dog, but this is not what he tells his parents. In the end, readers will rejoice when Marty and Shiloh are allowed to be together.




This is a great novel to accompany a study of:
• Investigate animal abuse laws in your area.
• Explore the role that the animal control department plays in your community.


I offer a complete novel study to accompany Shiloh for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.






Here's a preview sample of my Shiloh Novel Study:



Please go to my TpT store to see this free preview as well as the complete CCSS alignment checklist for grades 4-6 in its entirety. Please email with any questions you may have!



Friday, January 20, 2017

Teachers, Let's Flood the World with Kindness!

Today is Inauguration Day here in the United States. This election and upcoming inauguration incite many different feelings amongst us. No matter who is President of the United States, as teachers we have the power to instill great knowledge and empathy in our students. Let's take this opportunity to channel our power into spreading kindness and truth throughout the world!











Fellow teachers and sellers at Teachers Pay Teachers have come together to flood the site with free resources for you to use in your classroom to promote kindness, empathy, compassion, civic knowledge, critical thinking, equality and respect for all people. 






Please search for the hashtags #kindnessnation and #weholdthesetruths for hundreds of forever freebies to use in your classroom to help encourage and preserve these values that we all hold dear.



Please check out my contribution to the cause, Choose Kind Activities for use with Wonder by R.J. Palacio.
Many of my fellow TpT sellers are participating in the project. Click on the images to get a sampling of some of the resources you can find searching with the hashtags:


Image HTML map generator

Image HTML map generator




Let's work together to make the world a kinder, gentler place for everyone!





Monday, December 12, 2016

Using The Indian in the Cupboard in the Classroom

The Indian in the Cupboard, written by Lynne Reid Banks, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or for literature circles in the classroom. The Indian in the Cupboard, was first published in 1980, and was so popular it was made into a feature film in 1995. A fantasy that both boys and girls can relate to catches the interest of the most reluctant readers.







Summary of The Indian in the Cupboard:

(from the book jacket)

When Omri's big brother has no birthday present for him, he gives Omri an old wooden medicine cabinet he's found. The cabinet doesn't seem like much of a present to nine-year-old Omri, until he deposits inside it another present he receives for his birthday: a miniature plastic Indian. His mother comes up with a key for the cabinet, and the real magic begins. When Omri turns the key once, the Indian, named Little Bear, comes alive; but turn the key a second time and it's an ordinary plastic Indian again.
Author Lynne Reid Banks effectively blends the common elements of everyday life with utterly believable fantasy. The first book in this best-selling series enchants readers, while at the same time, reminding them of the responsibilities that accompany friendship and love. Omri's heart-wrenching decision to send his Indian back to its own world, brings up issues of separation for both parents and children alike.
This is a great novel to accompany a study of:
• Research Native Americans.
• Research the Iroquois Nation.
• Research the different Native American shelters such as teepees and longhouses.
• Research the American West in the 1800’s.
• Explore appropriate methods of conflict resolution.
• Investigate the French/Indian War.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Indian in the Cupboard for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.





Here's a preview sample of my The Indian in the Cupboard Novel Study:



Please go to my TpT store to see this free preview as well as the complete CCSS alignment checklist for grades 4-6 in its entirety. Please email with any questions you may have!



Monday, November 28, 2016

Using Hatchet in the Classroom

Hatchet, written by Gary Paulsen, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or for literature circles in the classroom.  Hatchet, was first published in 1987 and was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1988. Hatchet is a riveting book that will grab the attention of even the most reluctant readers.




Summary of Hatchet:

(from the book jacket)

Brian is on his way to Canada to visit his estranged father when the pilot of his small prop plane suffers a heart attack. Brian is forced to crash-land the plane in a lake and finds himself stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness with only his clothing and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present before his departure. Brian had been distraught over his parents' impending divorce and the secret he carries about his mother, but now he is truly desolate and alone. 

Exhausted, terrified, and hungry, Brian struggles to find food and make a shelter for himself. He has no special knowledge of the woods, and he must find a new kind of awareness and patience as he meets each day's challenges. Is the water safe to drink? Are the berries he finds poisonous? Slowly, Brian learns to turn adversity to his advantage; an invading porcupine unexpectedly shows him how to make fire, a devastating tornado shows him how to retrieve supplies from the submerged airplane. Most of all, Brian leaves behind the self-pity he has felt about his predicament as he summons the courage to stay alive. 

A story of survival and of transformation, this riveting book has sparked many a reader's interest in venturing into the wild.


This is a great novel to accompany a study of:
• Research the Canadian oil fields. 
• Investigate the purpose of flight numbers and flight plans. 
• Research how airplanes work. 
• Study search and rescue practices. 
• Learn about heart attacks and CPR procedures.
• Research dehydration effects. 
• Learn about survival skills such as making fire.


I offer a complete novel study to accompany Hatchet for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.




Here's a preview sample of my Hatchet Novel Study:



Please go to my TpT store to see this free preview as well as the complete CCSS alignment checklist for grades 5-8 in its entirety. Please email with any questions you may have!