Novel Ideas for Classroom
Using What the Moon Said with 4th and 5th grade classes
- Letter-writing plays an important role in What the Moon Said. Write a letter that Esther might have written from the farm to her friend Shirley if she'd known Shirley's new address.
- Esther loved being part of a play at school. Take one scene from What the Moon Said and write it as a scene from a play.
- Esther loved to imagine and pretend. Describe something you imagined and wish were true.
- When Esther imagined leaving the farm it made her terribly sad. Describe something you can imagine that would make you sad.
- Esther was a great speller and loved spelling bees. Ask your teacher to have a spelling bee in your class with the boys on one team and the girls on the other.
- Superstitions are woven all though What the Moon Said. List five of them.
- Make up a superstition of your own.
- Esther's Ma brought her superstitions from what country? See if you can discover a superstition that comes from a country that isn't in What the Moon Said.
- Can you find a similar superstition that came from another country?
- Why do you think some people believe in superstitions?
- What the Moon Said was inspired by family stories about the author's mother's girlhood. Imagine you are grown up and want to write a story about your life now. What are the most important things you think you should include to give children of the future a sense of what it's like to grow up at this particular time in history?
Go to the website for What the Moon Said.
- List 3 facts about the author's life from the biography on the site.
- Select a book title that you think you'd like to read from the list of books that Esther might have read and explain why you chose it. If you have already read one of the books shown, tell whether or not you liked it and why you think Esther would have liked it. Why or why not?
- Name two recently published books that you especially like and think Esther would have liked, too. Explain why.
- Follow the link to see the part of Rin Tin Tin, The Lone Defender, that Esther saw in Chapter One of the book. Describe something about the film that surprised you.
Art & Music
- Create a diorama of your favorite scene from the book.
- Esther had to make her Halloween costume from things she had on hand at home. If you had to make a costume from just the things you had in your house what would it be? Draw a picture and label each household item.
- Build a model of the Vogel's farmhouse out of popsicle sticks.
- Along with some classmates, act out the scene that you changed to a play script format.
- Learn a song from this time period.
Learn and play some games that were popular when Esther was a girl.
- Jump rope games like Chase and Buster Brown; Double Dutch; Dodge Ball; Hopscotch; Tag (It), Red Rover; Keep Away; Tug of War; Leap Frog; Hide 'n' Seek; Statues (Red Light, Green Light); Crack the Whip; etc.
Create story problems based on the events and the number of pages and chapters in the book as well as the math level of the class. For example:
- There are 224 pages in What the Moon Said. What page would you be on if you were halfway through the book?
- How many pages would you have left to read if you were on page 75? What fraction of the book is this?
- There are 16 chapters in the What the Moon Said. What is the average number of pages in a chapter?
- Esther sold nuts to earn money for the family. How many bags of nuts would she have had to sell if she sold them for 5 cents a bag and earned $6.40?