Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Winter Room

Author:  Gary Paulsen                                                           

About the Author:
Gary Paulsen was born in Minnesota.  He did not particularly like school, but had a passion for books and would read for hours.   When he was 14 he left his home and joined the carnival.  During this time he held many jobs, which gave him ideas for writing.  He also joined the Iditarod (dog sled race), but had to give that up, which led him to focus only on his writing.
Genre: Fiction
Grade Level: 4-6

This is a story about a family who worked on farm, and all lived in the same house. Uncle David used to tell stories in the winter around the wood stove and the family would listen to him.  When people live in the same house you think you would know someone, but one day her uncle surprised her. 

Pre Reading Activity:
What kind of work is done on a farm?  Do you like to hear stories from your relatives about things you didn’t know?  Do you like to tell stories?

Have the students write a story that they would tell for entertainment about living on a farm.  Have them share their stories with the class.

Post Reading Activity:
What happened in the story of the Woodcutter?  What happens to Wayne?  Were you surprised by the story Uncle David told?
After reading the story, have the students write a paragraph telling why they were surprised of the story Uncle David told about the Woodcutter.

This is an entertaining book to read as a class.  I think middle school students would like this book because it shows them that stories are told for entertainment, but also stories are for believing in, not for just believing what you are hearing.  I think children who hear stories believe what they hear, but it is hard to get children in middle school to believe in what they hear.

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