Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus BUNDLE | Print + Digital

Grade Levels
5th - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
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  • Google Apps™
100 pages
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This bundle contains one or more resources with Google apps (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

Products in this Bundle (2)


    Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus is such a great novel for kids. This book explores the realistic fiction genre while teaching kids about the power of kindness and love. You'll meet Aven, a girl with a disability, who defies the odds to find out more about a secret in her life. This guide will help your students process through this novel in a way that also meets your Reading Standards!

    Teaching is time consuming, so I have created this NO PREP resource to make your planning easier! This unit is truly print-and-go ready!!!

    This BUNDLE includes both the Novel and the Vocabulary Study. By purchasing this bundle, you'll save 30%!!!

    This unit was designed with you, the teacher, in mind. This unit will allow your students to access this novel in a deep and meaningful way. At the same time, this resource will save you time and energy. You’ll be able to spend more time connecting with this story along with your students!

    In addition, the questions and activities posed to the students are not fluffy; instead, they challenge the thinking of your students and engage your class in Reading Standards.


    Comprehension questions for students. Each chapter has three or four questions, all of which are short answer. The questions range in difficulty from DOK 1 to DOK 4. If you are following my unit plan, this novel study will take place in 30 days. Each student will have their own “Aven’s Journal”, and the copying and set-up could not be easier! Simply follow the printing instructions included with this product. There are also answer keys!

    Read-aloud questions for you! While I still encourage you to read the novel ahead of your students, I’ve also taken the work out of this novel and created read-aloud questions to guide each day’s read-aloud. These questions (3-5 per chapter are included) range from DOK 2-4.

    Journal entries for your students. I’ve included one entry after every third chapter, plus an end-of-novel reflection. All seven journal entries will allow your students to think critically about the novel and process what they are reading.

    Colorful posters. I have included one poster for each of the main characters in the novel.

    ➠ ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES! I've included directions for five enrichment projects that will extend the learning even farther for your students!


    ★ Semantic Maps

    ★ Greek/Latin Word Maps

    ★ Act it Out! Strategy

    ★ Defining Vocabulary Using Context Clues

    ★ Critical Thinking Questions About New Vocabulary Words

    I have also included an end-of-the-novel reflection on phocomelia. It is recommended that your students keep a journal of Aven's successes and difficulties with phocomelia as they read Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus.

    Enjoy this journey with your kids – they will absolutely become invested in Aven, Connor, Zion, and the rest of the characters in this book!

    Make sure to click the green button above to check out the preview for a look inside this product!

    Check Out My Other Novel Studies! ⭐

    Fish in a Tree Novel Study

    The One and Only Ivan Novel Study

    Bud Not Buddy Novel Study

    Author Study Activities - Make Your Own Book!

    Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus is a registered trademark of Dusti Bowling and Sterling Children's Books.

    I'd love to connect with you! You can find me at the following locations:

    Blog * Instagram * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest

    Total Pages
    100 pages
    Answer Key
    Teaching Duration
    1 month
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    to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
    Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
    Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
    Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
    Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
    Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.


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