More Novel Strategies with the Internet

©2007 Nancy Polette

1. A DAY NO PIGS WOULD DIE by Robert Newton Peck.
The death of a boy’s father, who slaughters pigs for a living, is the day no pigs would die. Have a debate! Should Paul Thompson be allowed to continue playing country music to his pigs or should golfers be free of noise they find annoying?

2.THE MIDWIFE’S APPRENTICE by Karen Cushman, Clarion, 1996.
Brat begins her career as a midwife’s apprentice and makes a place for herself, learning some of the skills the midwife tries to hide. See how well you would do as a physician in the Middle Ages by doing an internet search.

3. STONE FOX by John Gardiner
Little Willie must find $500 to save the farm from the tax man. His only hope is the sled dog race which has always been won by Stone Fox, the Indian. Read About Potatoes online
Using information you find, create a Fact and Fiction book about potatoes.

4. JOHNNY TREMAIN by Esther Forbes. Yearling 1987.
Introduce a handicapped person who has accomplished great things with the mystery person report.

5. HOLES by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats is sent to a boy’s juvenile detention center, Camp Green Lake. As punishment, the boys must each dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the hard earth. Read about animals of the desert at:
Prepare a mystery desert animal report.
Read about this place for troubled youth. Compare Boys Town with Camp Green Lake.

Read, as a concert reading with appropriate background music, pp 205-206 where Stanley and Zero are caught in a hole with dozens of yellow spotted lizards. Predict how the author will get them out of this fix. Visit the net: Read about Gila Monsters online.
Write an acrostic poem describing a Gila Monster.

7. THE SNOW GOOSE by Paul Gallico. Viking, 1997
Here is a tale of World War II and of the friendship between a young girl and a lonely recluse. Read about Dunkirk on the Internet. Recreate history with this pattern: Let’s go to long ago places and see history’s changing faces. List 6-8 sights. But that’s not all. List 6-8 more sights. Where am I?

8. THE MOUSE OF AMHERST by Elizabeth Spires, Farrar, 1999.
Here is the life of Emily Dickinson as seen through the eyes of a small, mouse.
A. Underline new words in a poem Look them up! Now does the poem make more sense? Use the underlined words in a paragraph to describe the life of the poet.
B. Using the poet’s tools: personification: Example from Dickenson Frequently the woods are pink, Frequently are brown. Frequently the hills undress (personification) Behind my native town. Choose something familiar in nature. Follow the pattern of Dickenson’s poem to write about it.

For a creative writing experience read on the internet the tale of Quasimido’s Bell Ringer and write a new ending.

About Your Workshop Leader
Nancy Polette is Professor of Education at Lindenwood University and author of 150+ professional books and five children’s books. She travels the U.S. and Canada weekly, conducting workshops for school districts in Research-Based Strategies for Reading, Writing and Research K-8.