About This Book
Welcome to America, Champ!
by Stier, Catherine (Sleeping Bear Press, 2013
Ettlinger, Doris (Illustrator)
Series: Tales of the world
Summary: In 1945, when young Thomas, his mother, and his new baby brother leave war-torn England to join his stepfather, an American soldier named Jack, in Chicago, Thomas finds a way to give courage to a fellow traveler on the Queen Mary.
The reader can begin to understand the immigrant experience for children from England after World War II. The illustrations strongly support this work with extreme attention to the historical details.
The luxurious Queen Mary ocean liner once sailed with diapers drying on clotheslines suspended over the ship’s emptied swimming pool. Why? This was part of an unusual cargo transported by luxury liners in 1946: tens of thousands of “soldier brides” and their children who immigrated at the end of WWII to reunite with the U.S. servicemen they had married overseas. This entry into the Tales of the World series shines a vivid light on war’s upheavals by focusing on fictional Thomas, a nine-year-old boy who faces leaving home, friends, grandparents, and his beloved cricket for the U.S., a new father, a new school, and the strange sport of baseball. A wedding cake made by friends’ saving up sugar and powdered eggs for weeks and a view from the train into London of the Blitz’s devastation bring home war’s everyday hardship and trauma. At the same time, Thomas is moving into a hopeful future. Heartfelt watercolor illustrations bring to life the anxiety and tentative joys of this unique historical situation. Grades K-3. --Connie Fletcher
These activities can be used for individual, small group, or whole class. Small groups could be working on different activities at the same time. The book can be read aloud and selected activities done in class. They could be useful laminated and in a literacy center. Depending on grade level, they could be used for remediation or enrichment.
Students can travel around the classroom to 3 or 4 answering questions about the book. Each station should have enough square for all of the class to record their answer. The questions or activities can be posted on the paper or on the wall. Students must support their answers with proof from their story.
Vocabulary activities can be expanded in one of two ways.
Students can take post-its and trace the squares on paper. In each square on the paper, they write the meanings of the word. Then they give it to another student who writes the word and sticks it to the correct definition.
A word can be placed on the students back. The student walk around and others give him/her clues so that the word can be guessed.
Twenty-six Activities include:
Alphabet Search through the Book
Missing vowels with answer key
Missing consonants with answer keys
Word Parts with answer key
Word Shapes with answer key
Vocabulary Match with answer key
Correct Word Spelling with answer key
Close passage with answer key
Alphabetize words with answer key
Sorting Words by syllables
Draw and describe the most exciting part
Write a sentence for the beginning, middle, and end
Story Map with answer key
Using Your Five Senses with answer key
Cause and effect with answer key
Looking at the title page with answer key
Thinking About Reading (two pages0 with answer key – examining written text
Comprehension Questions with answer key
Scrambled Sentences with answer key
Thoughts and Feelings of People Sailing on the Queen Mary
Find specific sentences in the text
Fiction/nonfiction, point-of-view, test-to-self
Draw a summary snow globe
Choose an activity
Change is hard
Emigration and immigration – Fiction, World War II – Fiction,
Great Britain – History – 1936-1952 – George VI -- Fiction, Ocean travel – Fiction, Remarriage – Fiction, World War -- 1939-1945 – England – Fiction, War Brides – Fiction, Queen Mary (ship) – Fiction, Life Changes – Fiction, Historical Fiction
Book Unit, Novel Study, Book Study, Picture Book Study, Picture Book Activity, Literacy Centers