With my novel study for Wringer completed, I’d like to share some additional resources for teaching with Wringer in the classroom. Wringer, the middle grades novel by Jerry Spinelli, is an interesting springboard for classroom discussions and lots of other language arts activities, and there are plenty of good resources that can be paired with it to extend the reach of your novel study.
Wringer is for middle school and upper elementary students, and it can easily be paired with non-fiction, opinion pieces, or other fiction for a variety of lessons in your English and reading classes. Here are some ideas, related readings first and then classroom activities:
- This collection of pigeon facts from the Pigeon Control Resource Center uses a question and answer format to provide a variety of pigeon-related information including facts about pigeon air mail, war pigeons, pigeon navigation, and even pigeon poop! It even provides an answer to the question, “Why do pigeons bob their heads?”
- The Palomacy Rescue Site is one place where you can find information about pigeon rescue. It tells students what to do if they find an injured bird and discussed a common pigeon injury called stringfoot.
- Although the pigeon shoot in Palmer’s home town was fiction, students can read information about a real pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania from this NPR site. The article tells about efforts by animal rights people to end a local pigeon shoot there.
Fiction with a Similar Theme
- On Carol Hurst’s Blog you can find a list of novels with themes that are similar to the themes in Wringer. The novels are suitable for an age range that is similar to Wringer’s, and the blog post also included some discussion questions and activities.
More Spinelli Novels
- Here on Scholastic’s Jerry Spinelli Page, students can read an autobiographical essay by Jerry Spinelli, and teachers can check out more titles by this favorite middle grades author, maybe to choose one for a future novel study or maybe to find some excerpts to use in mentor text lessons.
Humane Society Activity
- Here’s an interesting lesson provided by the Humane society. The lesson plan includes activities and links to materials that focuses on the “ethical dilemmas” presented in the novel.
Professor of Pigeonology
- Professor of Pigeonology is a free resource that I put together to go along with my Wringer novel study. This freebie is a research and presentation activity in which students select several types of pigeons to compare and report back on to the class. A chart is provided for students to record their information on.
- Counting Up and Down is a unique writing activity based on the 9-punch “treatment” Palmer gets from Farquar on his 9th birthday.