The Van Gogh Café Novel Study

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Classroom in the Middle
Grade Levels
4th - 7th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Activity
61 pages
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Classroom in the Middle
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device. Easel by TpT is free to use! Learn more.


This novel study for The Van Gogh Café includes chapter questions, a before reading activity, and activities for key ideas and details, vocabulary, and making inferences, as well as a follow-up performance task, writing prompts, and a card game for review. Questions are text dependent and written specifically for this novel.

There are seven pages of chapter questions for this novel, The Van Gogh Café by Cynthia Rylant. Each page has main idea and detail questions, vocabulary questions, and inferencing questions with space for students' answers. These activity sheets can be used for interactive notebook pages or for chapter assessments of these important reading skills.

The three key idea and details activities include:

- A Character Map

- Describing the Settings

- Sequence of Events

The two vocabulary pages are about finding and using context clues, story vocabulary, and figurative language.

The two inferencing activities include:

- An Inference Chart

- Inferring Themes

The performance task is a project about writing poems using the patterns set by Marc's poems in the book.

There are two prompts - both would work well for either writing or for class discussions.

The I Have . . .Who Has . . ? card game is a fun whole class activity for reviewing details from the novel after reading.

The Easel Activity is ready to use with answer boxes for student responses. It includes all of the chapter questions and activity sheets. The printable card game is located in the PDF file.

This novel study supports a number of the Reading: Literature standards, especially those involving using text-based evidence, determining main ideas and details, using context clues, and making inferences.

You can see more novel study assignments here, and for specific reading skill activities, see Task Cards and Informational Text.

From Classroom in the Middle

Total Pages
61 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
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.


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