Amazing Grace
by Mary Hoffman, Illustrated by Caroline Binch. Dial, 1991
Activities 2003 Nancy Polette

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Grace was a little girl who loved the stories her grandmother told her. In fact, she loved them so much that she would act out all the parts. When her teacher announced that the class was to present Peter Pan as a play, Grace knew she would make a wonderful Peter Pan. Her classmates told her that she could not play the part because Peter Pan was a boy and he wasn't black. But when time for try-outs came, Grace was by far the best Peter Pan and after the evening performance she felt as if she could "fly all the way home." Her mother had told her all along that she could achieve anything she wanted if she tried hard enough... even "fly all the way home!"
Make cards to learn more about the new words you will meet in the book, Amazing Grace . Divide into two teams. The first player selects a card and then draws the word on the board. His or her team has one minute to guess the word. If the guess is correct, the team receives two points. If the word is not guessed, the other team has the chance to make a guess to earn a point. Now, one person from the second team selects a new word and the game continues.
Grace story book Nana
horse gate cat street
teacher hand sad ballet
theatre island ticket flying
school mother scarf gold
boy girl desk pencil
Can You Tell Why?
Can you tell why these things might happen? Try to think of at least one reason. Then read Amazing Grace to support or deny your guesses.
Nana told stories. Why? _________________________________________________________
Grace acted out stories. Why? ____________________________________________________
Grace was told she could not be Peter Pan in the class play. Why? __________________________
Nana took Grace to the theatre. Why? ______________________________________________
Grace was chosen to play Peter Pan. Why? ___________________________________________
The play was an amazing success. Why? ______________________________________________
Choose one of the sentence starters below to complete. Add two or three more sentences about the topic. When the writing is completed, read aloud what you have written to a small group of classmates.
1. A dream can come true if...
2. Stories are fun to hear because...
3. Wanting something others say you can't have...
4. Going to a ballet would be...
5. An audition is...
6. Someone is called "amazing" if...
7. Acting out a part can be...
8. People get discouraged when...
Divide into groups of four. Each group will receive one question to discuss for five minutes. Each group should choose a secretary to record the main points of the discussion. The secretary will then report to the class.

1. Explain the reason that fairy tales have lasted hundreds of years.
2. In what ways did Nana help Grace's dream come true?
3. Why did her classmates believe that Grace could not be Peter Pan? Do you agree with them? Why or why not?
4. How did going to the ballet help Grace to be a better Peter Pan?
5. Suppose Grace had not tried out for the part. How would the story change?
6. List all the words you can to describe Grace. Which one word in your list best describes her?
7. Which is more important in a play, appearance or ability? Why?
8. How many ways is the story Amazing Grace like the story of The Little Engine that Could ?
Fill in the missing words. Then sing the song to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."
Grace was a girl who loved (1) s___________ .
It mattered not if short or (2) l ____________
She acted the part of (3) A _______________
And often would burst into (4) s ___________
Grace loved acting
She wanted to fly just like (5) P_____ P ____
Mother told her
You'll do it if you think you (6) c ___________
So (7) N __________ took Grace to the theatre
To see dancers leap, bow and (8) s___________
So Grace practiced leaping and dancing
To make sure the part she would (9) w___________
Repeat chorus
After reading Amazing Grace, finish at least three or more of these sentence starters. Compare your endings with others in your group. Were any of the sentence endings alike? Which were different?
1. Amazing Grace made me wish that ____________________________________
2. Amazing Grace made me decide that ____________________________________
3. Amazing Grace made wonder about ____________________________________________
4. Amazing Grace made me feel that _____________________________________________
5. Amazing Grace made me believe that _______________________________
6. Amazing Grace made me hope that ___________________________________