THE HUMMING ROOM by Ellen Potter. A Spin-off to The Secret Garden!

Grade Levels
4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
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Roo Fanshaw had a garden unlike any you have ever seen before. Her garden glistened in the frozen earth in her secret place beneath the trailer house. Tiger lily earrings, daisies, a bouquet of pink roses, marigolds, and glowing red poppies, each carefully planted in the frozen earth, her stolen treasures in her world as bleak as the darkest nightmare. They were her escape from the sounds above her, the footsteps, the voices, the gunshots.

Roo was a wild thing, "half way to becoming a savage." Those who stood on the stairs could expect their legs to be spat upon. Those who reached under the trailer could expect to be bitten.

Roo was a stray cat. Where would such a child go with no parents, though her drug-dealer father was hardly ever a fit parent? One possibility. Her father's rich brother who knew nothing of her and whose nightmare rivaled her own.

This child whose only happiness was discovering nature and listening to the sounds of life in the earth was sent to live with this uncle whose home had once been an children's tuberculosis sanitarium ages back, a stark rock mansion on Cough Rock Island in the St. Lawrence River, only accessible by a boat. So isolated and bare that there was hardly a place to hide anywhere from those in charge of caring for her. Upon arriving, Roo was plagued by the eerie sounds. Screaming, crying, laughter, humming. She didn't believe in ghosts, so where could they be coming from? Where would her explorations lead her? How will her discovery of a dying garden and her penchant for nature bring new life to the abused girl and others in the Cough Rock mansion whose lives were in trouble?

The Humming Room revivesThe Secret Garden as a novel that weaves the story from shreds of a old lives and a from a once-dying garden that offers hope for recovery. It become the cornerstone for helping your students develop the foundational character trait, empathy or compassion, the trait upon which all other character traits are built. The Kids Wings literature guide and Jeopardy-type game provide beautifully planned curriculum that leads to the development of character, academic skills, teambuilding, and guarantees thoughtful social and exciting academic growth for every classroom.

The Activities for this Secret Garden Spin-off were written by Kids Wings Associate, Abby Moore and comes to you in both PowerPoint and PDF formats for ease in projection and printing. The Activities include:

he Activity Guide/Lesson Plans Contain:
Pre-reading Discussion Cards
2-Page Readers' Theater Script
Powerful Prediction Paragraphs
A Vocabulary List, 2 pages
Our Secret Garden, Science Exploration, 3 pages
Characteristics: Major Characters, 2 pages
The Legend of Liana, Free Write
Quick Writes-Read-Predict Confirm Chapter Questions
Chapter Check-ups with Multiple Choice and Short Answer Questions
Picturing Personification
Parts of a Plant,
Plant Research
She Said, She Said--Connecting to The Secret Garden, 3 pages
Novel Comparisons
Map Attack! South America
Perfect Projects, Research
Humming Room Arithmetic
Writing Prompts
Answer Pages;

Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game in PowerPoint format!


PLEASE NOTE: Kids Wings materials are written by highly experienced master teachers. We hire professional proof readers who are also master educators. We do our best to be sure each of our literature guides is top quality and error free, and classroom tested, but if you think we can do better, we welcome your input. If you find an error in our materials, please email us at so we can make corrections. After it is revised, we will invite you to download a newly polished copy and will probably attach a surprise to our reply as a thank-you!

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Months

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THE HUMMING ROOM by Ellen Potter.  A Spin-off to The Secre
THE HUMMING ROOM by Ellen Potter.  A Spin-off to The Secre
THE HUMMING ROOM by Ellen Potter.  A Spin-off to The Secre
THE HUMMING ROOM by Ellen Potter.  A Spin-off to The Secre
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