Here’s a novel with great instructional value! The 1931 Newbery Medal Winner, The Cat Who Went to Heaven (1000L, 6.6 Grade Level Equivalent) by Elizabeth Coatsworth, provides excellent opportunities for close reading, comparing characters, making inferences, analyzing similes and metaphors, summarizing, finding theme, and more! Students can also analyze poetry found at the end of each chapter and become more culturally literate by learning historical information about Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.
This comprehensive novel study addresses multiple Common Core State Standards. It is recommended for high ability (gifted and talented) fourth and fifth graders and all sixth and seventh graders.
Part One: Similes and Metaphors (CCSS RL.5.4, RL.6.4, RL.7.4) – Students locate and analyze similes and metaphors found throughout the text.
Part Two: Structure of Poetry (CCSS RL.4.5, RL.5.5, RL.6.5, RL.7.5) – After reading the “Song of the Housekeeper” at the end of each chapter, students determine the number of verses and stanzas, rhythm and meter, and rhyme scheme.
Part Three: Chapter Assignments
• Chapter 1 – Comparing Characters (CCSS RL.4.3, RL.5.3, RL.6.3)
• Chapter 2 – Answering Questions (CCSS RL.4.1, RL.5.1, RL.6.1, RL.7.1)
• Chapter 3 – Summarizing (CCSS RL.4.2, RL.5.2, RL.6.2, RL.7.2)
• Chapters 4 & 5 – Analyzing the Details (CCSS RL.4.1, RL.5.1, RL.6.1, RL.7.1)
• Chapters 6 & 7 – Answering Questions (CCSS RL.4.1, RL.5.1, RL.6.1, RL.7.1)
• Chapter 8 – Predicting (CCSS RL.4.1, RL.5.1, RL.6.1, RL.7.1)
Part Four: Summarizing and Finding a Theme (CCSS RL.4.2, RL.5.2, RL.6.2, RL.7.2) – Students summarize the story and locate a theme that is supported by connected details.
Part Five: Comparing Cats (CCSS RL.5.3, RL.6.3, RL.7.3) – After reading and/or watching video clips about famous literary cats (such as Macavity from T.S. Elliot’s poetry, the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, the Cat in the Hat, and Garfield), students organize similarities and differences on a table then write a compare and contrast essay.
Bonus: Chapter Vocabulary (CCSS RL.4.4, RL.5.4, RL.6.4, RL.7.4)
This novel study was designed with depth and complexity to challenge learners.
Additional novel units by Brenda Kovich include Hatchet
, Ella Enchanted
, The Black Stallion
, and Little House in the Big Woods