This 22 page packet of materials was created by Jean Martin to use with students in grades 3-6 who are reading the novel, Loser, by Jerry Spinelli. Included is a 16 page student booklet designed for independent work to reinforce essential reading, writing, and thinking skills. In addition, an answer key is included for use by teacher or aide.
The student booklet divides Loser into five reading assignments of about 40 pages each. Each assignment has about 3 pages of activities to go with it. Skills addressed in the activities include summarizing, visualizing, determining author's purpose, inferring, comprehension, explaining, recognizing character traits, using context, recognizing point-of-view, and defining vocabulary.
In my classroom, students were responsible for completing one reading assignment with the accompanying questions/activities each week. They would be given three or four, 40 minute periods per week to complete one assignment. Typically I would be working with another book group while they were independently working on their assignment. They would then meet once a week with me (or an aide or a parent), along with the other students reading the same book (we called this a "book club" meeting) to discuss the book and the assignments.
Customize the use of this packet as you wish. What worked for me, may not be what works best for you. For example, instead of using this as class work, the packet could also be used as homework. Also, instead of creating a booklet, the pages can be copied and handed out singly as separate assignments.
Loser in a nutshell:
Written by Newbery Award-winning author, Jerry Spinelli, this book introduces us to the world of Donald Zinkoff. Donald is a kind and charming boy who has always marched to the beat of his own drum. In his enthusiasm for life and for learning he is sometimes too busy to notice that he is the brunt of jokes and distain; at other times he becomes painfully aware. But in the end, he shows that he has what it takes to be a hero. Everyone who reads this book is bound to be moved by Zinkoff!
Appropriate for students in grades 3-6. Reading level approximately 4th grade
Novel study, literature guide, assessment, realistic fiction, printables, worksheets, discussion questions, English Language Arts