Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

I recently completed my 30th Novel Unit for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  With this milestone, I’ve been trying to think up new ways to promote my products.  One change I made in hopes of gaining more followers (follow me on TPT here) is that new products are 20% off for the first 48 hours they’re posted.  However, that’s left me thinking about how the first 29 novel units never got their moment in the spotlight.  So, I’ve decided to highlight a novel unit every so often and put it on sale (20% off) for a few days following…

Introducing my first Novel Unit Spotlight: Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.  It’s an odd choice perhaps because I’ve never even used this particular novel unit in my classroom, but I’m planning to use it next quarter, and I’m excited about it.  There’s always something fun about teaching a novel that I read as a child…this book was written in 1978!  It’s pretty silly and strange, but kids love the offbeat humor and unpredictability.

I chose this novel to support my unit on summarizing.  The short chapters will be perfect for practicing this skill, and I’m not the only person who thought so.  One of my favorite TPT authors, Deb Hanson, uses the novel in her SummarizingPowerPoint.  On my Final Test for the book, the constructed response question asks students to choose one chapter and change it to a short play in order to test both summarizing skills and knowledge of drama.  And of course, every page of my Comprehension Packets requires students to summarize the pages they read that day.

An added bonus is that Scholastic Book Clubs has this novel on sale for only $1 in this month’s 4th Graders flyer!

In my opinion, the best part about reading children’s literature is finding new favorite quotations…lines that make me think, make me laugh, warm my heart, or stop me in my tracks so that I can read them again.  There are treasures like this in every quality children’s book, even the silly ones where you may not expect it.  My favorite quote from Louis Sachar in Sideways Stories from Wayside School comes in Chapter 16: “You need a reason to be sad.  You don’t need a reason to be happy.” (p. 73)  If you give this book a try, hope it gives you a reason to be happy, even though you don’t really need one!

Here’s a preview of my Sideways Stories from Wayside School Novel Unit... All my products from this novel will be on sale (20% off) now through Saturday.  (Link to my TPT store at top of home page.) Happy reading!

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