Monday, July 6, 2015

Teaching Frindle {beginning of 5th grade}

Happy Monday! I hope y'all had a great 4th of July weekend (if it was 4th of July where you're from. If not, I hope you had a great regular weekend!). Today, I'm busy working on my more of my 1st grading period lessons/ideas. I'll be sharing some of those later this week, but be sure and read about my 1st grading period pacing guide details here

I always like to start the year by teaching our first novel study: Frindle. I love starting the year with this book for several reasons:

{1} It's relatively short and not as complex as some of our other novel studies, therefore making it an easy one to start off with.
{2} The first two chapters are devoted entirely to describing the protagonist and antagonist, which is great because we start the year off with characterization. Also, I LOVE teaching characterization. You can read about one of my favorite lessons here and one of my favorite TpT resources here
{3} It gets the kids excited about words...and if you read my first post in my Word Nerds Book Study, you know that's a big goal in my classroom this year.  

Having ready made resources helps so much when trying to prepare for the school year, so I'm spending a lot of time during the summer trying to get ready for those stressful school days by prepping ahead of time. I'm sure nothing will come up if I prepare right?! ;) ;) 

Funny story: I sat down at my computer early last week and started working on my Frindle unit. I was looking through some of my [unorganized] files when I discovered I had already started making a unit on this two summers ago. I had big plans of organizing during the summer even back then, but somehow the Frindle unit fell by the wayside! What's even better was the fact that I had already created 13 pages! #score

I didn't plan on the unit being 80+ pages, but I'm really happy with the end result! I went ahead and included the central questions for this one. I *promise* I will add the central questions to my Tuck Everlasting Novel Guide this week! You can find the central questions for The Westing Game here (a full unit will be coming later this year!)
Here's what you'll get in this novel guide. 

I LOVE to use comprehension quizzes at the beginning of each day after reading the day before. This provides a check for understanding throughout the novel study and makes the students accountable for what they are reading. Last year, I actually had some students ask if we could do comprehension quizzes like we did with Frindle when we started our second novel. They are sort of like a fun little review game. The questions are straightforward, level one of Bloom's Taxonomy, but that doesn't mean they aren't important, right? Answer keys are also provided in this unit. 
An end of novel assessment was a request in my Tuck Everlasting unit. I'll be creating and adding one to that novel guide this week. Answer key is also included.

Character Maps for the protagonist and antagonist are included, as well as posters for teaching these literary terms. 

You'll also get the printables you need (including vocabulary cards!) to make your own Frindle board
Central Questions ARE included in this unit. You actually get several different options on how to use these.

You can read more about how I use central questions here.

7 Discussion Questions are included. I love using discussion questions to practice providing evidence and getting in some writing!

There are 9 graphic organizers in the novel guide!

You can grab your copy here! :) 

Be sure and check out the products I've used up and which I loved {and hated!} on my life+style blog Southern Belle Inspired.


  1. I have been basically looking over your blog for days and can I just say you are friggin AWESOME. I taught 5th grade for the first time last year and I want to be better at it. It was my first time teaching ELA combined at first I was only teaching reading to 6th graders for 2 years. Anywho I had a couple of questions for you if you don't mind.

    1. What is your schedule like within your classroom? Time limits for mini lesson, independent activities, and center work.
    2. What novels have you read in the past and what are your plans for this year? I will be reading Tuck Everlasting as I finally read the book the past year and I would like to read The westing game (I saw this in one of your earlier pics) with my fifth graders. I read it with my 6th graders but now that 5th grade encompasses this lexile range Im thinking of doing it this year as well.

    Those are all of the questions I can think of right now ...Thanks so much

  2. I love hearing your ideas and thought processes for units/lessons. I have taught for 14 years and it's great to get different ideas and perspectives. I would also love to know what novels you have taught in the past and what you are thinking for this coming year. I've done Frindle before (not in a few years - and your stuff looks AWESOME!). I've never done Tuck Everlasting with 5th grade. I did it with 6th graders, but that was many years ago. I've never thought of doing The Westing Game with 5th. Funny thing is I love both of those books and would love to teach them!

  3. My day is set up like yours, three classes of ELA. Do you teach the same novel to all three classes? If so, do the students take the books home for reading or is all of their reading done in the classroom. I am curious because I only have one class set of most of my novels. I usually teach three different novels and it is very hard to keep up with. I would like to concentrate on one novel, but am unsure of what to do about the limited number of novels. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!