Literature 2019/20

Session 2:

The Seahorses will be reading Frindle

by Andrew Clements.



Seahorses - Literature Session One 

Required Book - 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass

Amanda and Leo were born on the same day in the same town.  Since then, they have always celebrated every birthday together - except this year.  Their 11th Birthday tests their friendship and ultimately requires them to solve their problems by being true to themselves.

Wendy Mass writes realistic fiction with a twist of fantasy.  This book feels a little like the movie Groundhog’s Day, where characters must repeat a significant day until they “get it right”.    We will create Character Outlines for the main characters, and see how they grow as people during the story.  

The main characters of 11 Birthdays have a different party theme every year.  As a side project, we will read about and discuss how different cultures celebrate (or don’t celebrate) birthdays. 

Also, if there is an interest and time allows, we may do a short author study on Wendy Mass.  The younger Literature classes are reading a book by the same author, and it may be fun to research and gather information to create an author display with contributions from all four classes.



The Session outline below is very basic, as each lesson will be planned based on class discussions from the previous week.   I’m looking forward to exploring this book with the Seahorses!

Week 1 (9/6/19)

Introductions - When is your birthday?

Read Chapter 1 together in class.   Discuss and create Character Outlines for  Angelina D’Angelo, Amanda Ellerby & Leo Fitzpatrick.  

Cooperative Game

Homework:  Read Chapter 2


Week 2 (9/13/19)

Discuss Chapter 2.   Amanda and Leo’s 1st  Birthday.   Add additional traits to Character Outlines and briefly discuss Setting.

Homework:  Read Chapters 3, 4, 5 & 6


Week 3 (9/20/19)

Discuss Chapters 3 - 6.   Amanda and Leo’s 11th Birthday.   How is their 11th Birthday different from all their other birthdays so far?  What is the Conflict?

Homework:  Read Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11


Week 4 (9/27/19)

Discuss Chapters 7 - 11.   Amanda and Leo’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th  11th Birthday.   Create a “birthday balloon” for each repeat birthday, detailing what happened each day.

Homework:  Read Chapters 12, 13, 14, & 15


Week 5 (10/4/19)

Discuss Chapters 12 - 15.   Amanda and Leo’s 5th and 6th  11th Birthday.   How are the days different, now that Amanda and Leo know they are “in it together”?

Create birthday balloons 5 & 6

Research Activity (can be extended to home) - How do different cultures and religions celebrate (or not celebrate) birthdays?

Homework:  Read Chapters 16, 17, 18, 19 & 20


Week 6 (10/11/19)

Discuss Chapters 16 - 20.   Amanda and Leo’s 7th, 8th & 9th  11th Birthday.   How is their friendship changing?  How are they changing as individuals?

Create balloons 7, 8 & 9.   Present any completed research on Birthday History

Homework:  Read Chapters 21, 22, 23 & 24


Week 7 (10/18/19)

Discuss Chapters 21 - 24.    Amanda and Leo’s 10th and 11th  11th Birthday, and the day after!.   Create balloons 10 & 11

Small Group Activity:  Create a Party Game (rules of play, supplies needed, etc)


Week 8 (10/25/19)

Complete any group or individual activities from this session.   Play student-led and created Party Games

Other book-related activities or games 



Course Description

We will read one chapter book per Session.  We will use the theme of the book to inspire class discussion, projects, storytelling, writing and art work. We will also use the text to develop comprehension, identify character, setting & plot, and define vocabulary words using context clues.  Our main goal will be to connect with each story in a way that is fun, imaginative and meaningful to the class.
Books will be chosen keeping in mind that our students have varied interests and reading levels.
Each week, students will be asked to read an assigned number of chapters at home so that they will be able to participate fully in class discussions and activities.
While it is always nice to have an actual copy of a book, ebooks and audiobooks are fine as well.

Teacher: Allison Andrews

Allison has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Cornell College.  She has taught First Grade in both parochial and public schools.  For the past sixteen years she has been a stay-at-home parent to her two children.  Before coming to ODE, Allison spent many hours volunteering at her children's schools, being a Girl Scout mom, and teaching Sunday School classes.

This will be Allison's third year at ODE, where she started as a teaching assistant, and gradually began teaching Elementary Literature classes.  She enjoys creating Literature lessons that interact with a story's theme in many different ways, drawing from her experience as a classroom teacher and her love for good books.  Allison looks forward to  spending each Friday exploring great stories with the enthusiastic and creative kids at ODE.  She is spending the summer reading lots of books in preparation for a great year!


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