Flora and Ulysses: Close Reading this Text

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 12 reviews
12 Ratings
LisaTeachR's Classroom
Grade Levels
4th - 7th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
75 pages
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LisaTeachR's Classroom


Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures! This middle grade novel won the Newbery medal for 2014.

The story is about Flora, a self-described cynic, who witnesses a tragedy/miracle in her neighbor’s backyard. She is able to revive the squirrel and names him Ulysses. The book is very funny but also tackles some serious issues such as divorce, abandonment issues and more. The book is written as part narrative and part graphic novel.

I formatted the unit as follows. It begins with an explanation of close reading and how to format a lesson. I also included sentence stems aligned to Webb's Depth of Knowledge. Then, there is a summary, themes listed and character descriptions. I created focus questions for each and every chapter. Along with the focus questions, I culled out vocabulary you might need to review and creative writing activities, research activities or discussion points. There are explicit gradual release formatted lessons throughout for pivotal moments in the story. I included a close reading sheet for each of the explicit lessons. You could use the focus questions to create more close reading lessons using the blank templates or for class discussions. At the end, there is a blank sheet for planning and to use with close reading of different chapters. Finally, I added my version of Cornell Notes, which I use for homework reading. I added a sheet for using with the idea of a capacious heart and a printable for creating comic strips. There is also a rubric for grading the close reading sheets. I hope your students enjoy it as much as my students did.

Awards for Flora and Ulysses:

The John Newbery Medal Winner 2014, National Book Award Longlist, Texas Bluebonnet Award 2014-15

I have more close reading guides in my store:

Inside Out and back Again


The Cay

The Fourteenth Goldfish

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Flora and Ulysses

Rain Reign

The One and Only Ivan

A Daimond in the Desert

Fish in a Tree

and more!

Follow my store! I have sales frequently so it pays to follow me!

Make sure to leave feedback so that you get credits towards future purchases!

#CloseReading #ThinkingCritically #Reading #AmazingLit

Total Pages
75 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.


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