“Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” Complete Novel Study Guide | 3rd-5th

Rated 4.74 out of 5, based on 288 reviews
288 Ratings
Amy Mezni - Teaching Ideas 4u
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
60 + 40 Google Slides
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Amy Mezni - Teaching Ideas 4u


The perfect novel study for the book “Sadako & the Thousand Paper Cranes”! Activities contain higher level thinking comprehension questions. Complete answer key is included.

About Sadako & the Thousand Paper Cranes

This is the biography of Sadako Sasaki, who developed leukemia after the bombing of Hiroshima. The crane was believed to bring good luck. If a sick person folded 1000 paper cranes, then the Gods would grant him or her a wish. Sadly, Sadako died from leukemia when she was 12. Thousands of people have been inspired by her story.

What’s Included

  • 60 pages + 40 Google Slides 
  • Higher level thinking comprehension questions 
  • Integrated topics including World War II, Hiroshima, Japanese culture and geography

Activities Include: 

I wrote this novel study with vocabulary and comprehension activities, as well as integrated enrichment lessons. Those topics include:

  • Japan's geography
  • Japanese language and culture
  • World War II
  • Hiroshima

This novel unit includes the following:

  • 38 student pages (in both PDF & Google Slides formats)
  • Reading comprehension questions
  • Vocabulary lists & activities
  • Vocabulary flash cards
  • Vocabulary quiz
  • 2 choices of final projects, plus student checklist, project templates, & rubric
  • Integrated activities on history activities on WWII and Japan’s culture and geography
  • Complete Answer Key

Teachers Love It!

  • I used this resource while teaching summer school. The students loved reading the book and the activities in this packet helped dig deeper into the text.” – saramholt (TPT Seller) 
  • This resource had many different things to use! I really loved all the background and social studies cross curricular activities it had! The comprehension questions were great too!” – Marlana S. 

How is the Novel Study Organized?

When creating these guides, the activities are written so that they could be used as individual activities or as a packet that could be given to an independent reading group. The activities are a mix of close reading questions, vocabulary, and background/schema-building reading activities. Vocabulary is emphasized heavily, and words are spiraled in the activities to reinforce previously learned words.

This guide is broken down into chapters plus after the book activities. Two chapters are covered in one "day," although the classroom teacher could provide more than one class period for the activities to be completed.

If using this book as an independent work packet, copy the activities for each student and place the copies in a binder or stapled as a packet. During class, students can take the binder and easily see what they need to complete as a checklist is provided for each day. Students could be required to turn in certain activities, or the teacher could grade the activities in the binder/packet.

If using this as a whole class activity, the teacher should simply select which activities to use and copy the desired pages.

On a side note, I had the honor of participating in the Fulbright Memorial Fund, which selected teachers to travel to Japan to learn about its culture. My group spent a week in Hiroshima. Visiting the Peace Memorial Park and Museum was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I recommend that everyone visit Hiroshima if they have the opportunity.


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Total Pages
60 + 40 Google Slides
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


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