I hope that the following resources and ideas are helpful to you in teaching and
discussing my books:
- Random House Teacher's Guide for Jump Into The Sky (PDF)
- Teacher's Guide for All Shook Up (PDF)
- Random House Teacher's Guide for Trouble Don't Last (PDF)
- Teacher's Guide for Crooked River (PDF)
- NEW: Teacher's Guide for All of the Above (PDF)
- Common Core English/Language Arts standards correlations
for Shelley's books (PDF)
- Ideas for using Trouble Don't Last in the classroom
- Ideas for using Crooked River in the classroom
- Ideas for using All of the Above in the classroom
- Ideas for using All Shook Up in the classroom
- Reader's Gallery of artwork and writing
- Print Your Own Shelley Pearsall Bookmark (PDF)
|Interested in Author Visits or Presentations for your school? Click here.|
(4th grade and up)
The short chapters and their "cliffhanger" endings will keep your students wanting to hear more!
Create a figurative language display
Trouble Don't Last is filled with many examples of figurative language. Have students select and illustrate their favorite figurative language phrases from the story in a poster format or join their illustrations together to form a large "figurative language quilt!"
Explore the characters
(5th grade and up)
The major and minor characters in Trouble Don't Last are complex--with positive and negative qualities. Use characters such as the River Man, Widow Taylor, or Reverend Pry as models for discussion or writing activities. Chapter 16, The Widow Taylor, is a chapter with many possibilities for discussion questions and dialogue.
Or divide students into small groups. Have groups prepare a 3 - 5 minute debate with note cards, defending or refuting the abandonment of runaway slave, Hetty Scott, in Chapter 13.
Feature Trouble Don't Last in an Underground Railroad unit of study
(3rd grade and up)
An on-line collection of Underground Railroad-related artifacts and documents to share with your students can be found on the Ohio Memory site. Click on the following link and it will take you to a wonderful collection of Underground Railroad historical materials: http://worlddmc.ohiolink.edu/OMP/YourScrapbook?user=UGRR.
Give your students a glimpse at what "freedom (manumission) papers" really look like, by checking out the freedom papers for America and Sam Barnett on this site.
Explore myths and truths about the Underground Railroad
(4th grade and up)
Before reading the book, explore your students' beliefs and knowledge about the Underground Railroad. List what they know or believe about the Underground Railroad. After reading the book, review their initial beliefs--and discuss what they've learned. The Author's Note and bibliography can provide additional information and resources if needed.
Many more ideas and internet resources are available in the
Trouble Don't Last teacher's guide (PDF)!
Webquest guide can be found at: http://www.zunal.com/webquest.php?w=58167.
Use Reader's Theater script available in paperback editions or have your students write their own scripts using Chapters 22 to 28. Follow up Reader's Theater presentations with a discussion or writing activity reflecting on the language, attitudes, and prejudices demonstrated by the characters in the trial scenes.
Crooked River has a story structure which is intended to resemble weaving--intertwining two voices, poetry and prose, an oral story and a written one. After reading Crooked River, create a visual interpretation of the novel's structure by having students complete their own weaving using cloth, yarn, paper or other materials.
Before reading Crooked River, ask students to share what they know about Native American cultures. While reading Crooked River, create a classroom list of Chippewa/Ojibwe cultural traditions learned from John Amik's passages--vocabulary, food, stories, games, art, spiritual beliefs, and other details.
Compare and contrast the different views of justice expressed in Crooked River using pages 100-101, 106-107. Read about other trials in history. Discuss: What makes a fair trial?
After completing the novel, have students write a poetic response to the characters or events. Or have them add John Amik's perspective to a particular chapter or scene--where it is missing--by adding a new poem in his voice. For instance, what might he have said about the visitors on page 58-61? Write a poem giving his perspective on the visitors. Or write additional poems about his family or life before/after the trial.
Many more ideas and internet resources are available in the
Crooked River teacher's guide (PDF)!
Provide six toothpicks and four mini-marshmallows to your students. Challenge them to make four equilateral triangles (exactly the same size) with the supplies. Tell them they cannot break or bend any toothpicks. The winner is the first to figure out the puzzle. Hint: They must think in three dimensions and use the marshmallows as connectors to make a free-standing tetrahedron pyramid.
Ask your students to imagine: What if you were in Mr. Collins' classroom? Or what if you were part of the project? Pick a place in the story and write a short chapter in your own voice, giving your own observations about what is happening. Or create an entirely new character for the story. See some creative examples here. - Idea from All Saints School
Build your own tetrahedron
Purchase an Ellison die-cut shape if your school has an Ellison machine at www.ellisoneducation.com (Product 17489-LG). Or copy and cut-out your own patterns. Remember that tetrahedrons quadruple in size as they grow. Four tetrahedrons make a Stage 1. Four Stage 1s make a Stage 2 (16 tetrahedrons). Four Stage 2s are connected together to make a Stage 3 (64 tetrahedrons)...and so on. Scotch tape works best for assembling tetrahedrons made of lightweight paper. Craft glue guns can be used for heavier paper -- just be careful not to burn your fingers!
What could your school do to set a record? Read a thousand books in a week? Fill a bus with soup cans and donate them to a soup kitchen or food pantry? After reading about the inspirational kids of Washington Boulevard, discuss what your school or classroom could try to do.
Make a tetrahedron kite with your students using the following website: http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?ID=L639.
More great tetrahedron-building ideas and photos can found at www.homespun4homeschoolers.com.
Many more ideas and internet resources are available in the All of the Above teacher's guide (PDF)!
Reading Week theme
Get your students "all shook up" about books by using All Shook Up and Elvis as your next reading week theme. Include Elvis trivia contests, music, vintage clothing day, and maybe even a special visit by "Elvis" over the lunch hour during your school's reading week. A "whole lotta" reading fun!
- Idea from Ben Logan MS, Ohio
All Shook Up uses Elvis song titles and lyrics to shape its main story line, so have your students choose their own Elvis song title or line of lyrics, and use their choice as the inspiration for a creative short story, poem, or journal entry.
Elvis was a Hollywood star as well as a music legend. Have your students create a movie poster for a current actor/actress who could star in a movie version of All Shook Up.
- Idea from Greenwood MS, Indiana.
Coffee Cup Wisdom
On page 14 of All Shook Up, Josh says you can tell a lot about a person from their coffee mugs. Have students choose a slogan for themselves and decorate coffee mugs (paper cut-outs) to reflect their own unique interests and personalities.
- Idea from Center Grove MS, Indiana
Four Words for You
What four words would describe you best? Have students choose four descriptive words for themselves and design their own honorary "bronze" plaques like the Charles W. Lister plaque described on pages 54-55.
- Idea from Boardman-Glenwood MS, OH