Novel Ideas for the Classroom
Using Cold War on Maplewood Street with 5th - 7th grade classes
- Letter-writing plays an important role in Cold War on Maplewood Street. Write a letter to Joanna telling her how your life is different from hers and also in what ways it's nearly the same.
- Take one scene from Cold War on Maplewood Street and write it as if it were a scene from a play. Choose some co-stars and act it out for the class.
- Joanna's vivid imagination sometimes frightens her. Describe a time when you allowed your imagination to "run away with you" with scary results.
- Do you think Joanna was a brave person? Why or why not?
- Joanna loved to read, especially mysteries and stories about horses. List 3 books that weren't written until after 1962 that you enjoyed and think she would have too. At least one must be a mystery and one must have horses in it. Write a few sentences of recommendation for each book, stating why you think Joanna would like it.
Cold War on Maplewood Street was inspired by an historic event in the author's girlhood. Imagine you are grown up and want to write a story about your life now. Is there one event you would like to single out and set your story around? What are the most important details you think you should include to give young readers of the future a sense of what it's like to grow up at this particular time in history?
Go to the website for Cold War on Maplewood Street.
- List 3 facts about the author's life from the biography on the site, and write one question about something you would be interested to know that was not covered in the biography.
- Select a title from the books Joanna might have read that you think you'd like to read and explain why you chose it. Do you think Joanna would have liked it too? Why or why not?
- Follow the link to "The Missile Crisis" page and listen to President Kennedy's speech--the same one that Joanna heard in Chapter One of the book. How do you think you would have felt if, all alone like Joanna, you watched a president deliver such a speech on television? What's the first thing you would do?
Art & Music
- Listen to music from this time period. Choose a favorite artist or group and give a report to your class on them, sharing samples of their music.
- Create a play-list for Joanna with music only from 1950 through 1962.
- Imagine that Cold War on Maplewood Street was made into a movie. Create a poster for it. For extra credit, create a movie "trailer" for it.
- Design an alternate cover for Cold War on Maplewood Street.
- Learn three dances from the early sixties including the jitterbug and the twist
*To teachers: Create story problems appropriate to the math level of the class, utilizing
the events, number of pages and number of chapters in Cold War on Maplewood Street.