SCHOOLED, by Gordon Korman, is a fun novel to read as a class. Kids are sure to enjoy learning about ideas that might be new to them like living on a commune and fun stuff like tie-dying. This novel is easy to read, around fourth to fifth grade level, and provides plenty of opportunities for fun research and projects.
The origin of the peace sign, often associated with the sixties, would be one interesting topic to research. Kids will find a variety of symbols for peace that have been used through the ages, and they be surprised to learn that the V hand sign, the commonly recognized sixties peace sign, was first used to mean “victory” in World War II. In the sixties, it became a symbol for “peace” used by the anti-war movement that opposed the Vietnam War.
For a fun project, how about tie-dying. If you can stand the mess, your kids are sure to love this project. (And there are ways to do “tie-dye”projects without all the mess, too.) It is always fun to see the unique designs that show up in each piece of tie-dye. Kids can bring in a cotton T-shirt or a plain canvas bag, usually available in craft stores, for the project. Or you can just buy a length of inexpensive muslin fabric and cut it into pieces. The traditional method uses dye, but there are also tutorials available that show how to “tie-dye” using sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol.
To make this novel unit more fun (less work) for teachers, here are a few sources that I found helpful:
Bookrags – Follow this link for a detailed summary and discussion of the novel. Good site for teachers or kids.
About (Entertainment) – Another good summary, this one is aimed at teachers and includes recommendations and links to resources on bullying, one of the themes in SCHOOLED.
If you would like to check out a novel study for SCHOOLED complete with before-reading activities, chapter questions, main idea and detail activities, vocabulary activities, and inferencing activities, you can see it in my TPT store, along with a quick, fun game of I Have . . .Who Has . . ? that consists of review questions about the novel. Just click on either of the images below.
Later I’ll follow up with a post about discussion topics that go with this fun novel.
Linked with Reading Toward the Stars for Book Talk Thursday, Comprehension Connection for Thematic Thursday, and The Literary Maven for On My Bookshelf :