Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bridge to Terabithia

A secret world all of their own, a forest full of fantasy...

 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is a great fantasy story that any student with an imagination will enjoy. Jesse Aarons only cares about being the best runner of the fifth grade when Leslie Burke moves in and embarrasses him by beating him in a race at recess. Despite his embarrassment, the two become great friends, as she lives right next door to him. They find a secret area of the woods near their houses and build a world of their own where he is the king and she is the queen. She changes his life in many ways especially with a tragedy occurs forcing Jesse to grow up and invite his sister to keep the secret world going when he is too old to pretend.

Teachers: here are some resources & ideas to help you teach this novel...

Web Resources:
  • Extension Activities: This website includes extension activities from The activities involve various writing prompts to further students' comprehension of the novel. 
  • Comprehension & Vocabulary: This website offers comprehension questions, additional vocab from each chapter as well as a few extension questions. This website is very basic but it does half the work for you, especially if your students are seperated into different reading groups and only part of the class is reading this book. With the help of this website you are saved the time of coming up with most of the comprehension questions for this group.
  • Study Guide: This study/reading guide is a 22 page PDF file with worksheets and ideas for pre, during and after reading activities. There is way more than you would ever need to teach this book, I would suggest finding the BEST pre, during and after reading activities to suite your students.
Key Vocabulary: While reading I made note of some words that may need to be pre-taught.
grit, shebang, cud, peculiar, nauseatingly, muddled, hippie, autoharp, bongs, suburbs, pandemonium, hypocritical, proverbial, rumpus, ominously, bosomy, gully, enchanted, regally, siege, tyrants, dictators, tacky, moony, parapets, crimson, beige, dregs, realm, bureau,


Before Reading/Writing: Have you ever had a secret place of your own for just you, or for you and a friend? Write a journal entry about it. If you never have had a secret place of your own, write a journal entry telling the audience what it would look like, where it would be, etc.

During Reading: Go to the Study Guide link above and scroll down to page 10. I think this during reading activity is the most helpful for students. It is a compare and contrast of the 2 settings of the book: Lark Creek and Terebithia. Making these comparisons while reading will help students to better understand the secret world Jesse and Leslie create.

After Reading/Extension Activity: Leslie gives Jesse the Narnia series to read. Read one of the books and write a compare/contrast explaining the similarities and differences between the fantasy world of Narnia and the fantasy world of Terabithia.

If you haven't already, check out the movie version of this book! I thought the movie was fantastic, and you get to see even more of the secret world than your imagination could have cooked up (but of course, read the book first!!!)

Paterson, K. (2005). Bridge to Terabithia. New York: HarperTrophy. (Original work published 1977)
1978 Newbery Medal winner

Happy Reading (& Running) =)

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