Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Wednesday Wars

Student versus Teacher, is it war?

Holling Hoodhood is the only Presbyterian in the whole seventh grade class and that means he is the only student left in class when all the Catholic students go to Catechism and the Jewish students go to Hebrew school on Wednesday afternoon, creating The Wednesday Wars. He is convinced his teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him and is even more certain of this when she makes him start reading Shakespeare outside of class. In 1967, everyone is worried about Vietnam, and at his house, his dad is also concerned with the family architect business which Holling will take over when he is older. Holling has to be sure he is always on his best behavior lest he sacrifice an opportunity for Hoodhood and Associates. Will Holling enjoy Shakespeare, will he and Mrs. Baker ever get along and, will the escaped rats ever be found? Gary D. Schmidt keeps us guessing and hoping Holling doesn't disappoint Mrs. Baker, his father and everyone else.

Teachers: Here are some resources and ideas to help you teach this novel...

 Web Resources
  • Activities: This website offers various activities to use in conjunction with The Wednesday Wars including many extension activities. 
  • Graphic Organizer: This site provides a calendar graphic organizer for the purpose of finding all the most important events of the story to get the "big picture." Directions are included on how to use/introduce this calendar.
Vocabulary: Here are some words that may need to be pretaught: parishioners, intransitive, architect, Vietnam, emporium, ally, nefarious, asbestos, paranoid, hippie, plague, coagulated, cheapskate, reconnaissance, ample, dictator, vengeance, savee, begrudge, telegram, unalloyed, unseathed, ominous, yarmulka.

Before Reading: Make a prediction of what The Wednesday Wars will be about, such as what type of "war" this will be for the main characters.

During Reading/Writing: Have students keep a journal writing responses to chapters. In this journal students will write a brief 1-2 paragraph in which they will either make a prediction of what they think will happen next or pretend they are Holling and say how they (as Holling) feel about whatever happened in the previous chapter.

After Reading/Writing: Write a new ending to this novel or write an epilogue to this novel. Students may choose to write about what happens when Mrs. Baker and Mr. Baker are reunited or what is in store for Holling next year in eighth grade, etc.

Across the Curriculum:
Social Studies: Use this book as an extension when teaching about the Vietnam War.

Schmidt, G. D. (2007). The Wednesday wars . New York: Clarion Books.
Newbery Honor Book

Happy Reading (& Running) =) 

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