Category Archives: Historical Fiction



imagesThis week, we begin reading Dragonwings, an award-winning historical fiction novel by Laurence Yep.

Here are resources to increase your comprehension and enjoyment of this historical fiction novel.

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Discover the major milestones in aviation with this aviation timeline.

See footage of San Francisco after the earthquake of 1906.

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Just for fun, here are instructions on how to make your own kite.

About This Book

Moon Shadow is eight when he sails from China to join his father, Windrider, in America. Windrider lives in San Francisco’s Chinatown and works in a laundry. Moon Shadow has never seen him.

Moon Shadow soon loves and respects this father, a man of genius, a man with a fabulous dream. With Moon Shadow’s help, Windrider is willing to endure the mockery of the other Chinese, the poverty, and longing for his own country to make his dream come true.

Inspired by the account of a Chinese immigrant who made a flying machine in 1909, Laurence Yep’s historical novel beautifully portrays the rich traditions of the Chinese community as it made its way in a hostile new world.

Praise for Dragonwings

“[A]n unusual historical novel, unique in its perspective of the Chinese in America and its portrayal of early 20th century San Francisco, including the Earthquake, from an immigrant’s viewpoint.” — School Library Journal

1976 Newbery Honor Book
ALA Notable Children’s Books of 1971-1975
1976 Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Honor Book
The New York Times
 Outstanding Children’s Books 1975
School Library Journal Best of the Best 1966-1978

Interest Level  Grades 6 – 8

Reading Level  Grade level Equivalent: 6.1

Type of Book  Chapter Book

Genre  Historical Fiction

Themes/Subjects  1) Changes and New Experiences, 2) Immigration, 3) Chinese and Chinese American



More WWII and Holocaust Literature


Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, a gripping novel set in Denmark during World War II, has captured our hearts and imagination, stirred our spirits, and piqued our interest in literature about the Holocaust.

For those of you who wish to dig deeper still, here are a few more recommendations.

Diary of Anne Frank519HKX9M69L

Interactive Site: The Secret Annex Online

The Book Thief Unknown

Movie Trailer: The Book Thief

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit553384

Resources for “Skylark”


This week, we are reading Skylark in our Houghton Mifflin reading anthology.  Here are some resources to increase your comprehension and enjoyment of this reading selection.

Click on “Meet the Author” to learn about the author.  Click on Meet the Illustrator to learn about the illustrator.

Click on Prairie Days to take a web field trip and learn more about the American prairie, its settlers, and the challenges they faced.

Click on Flashcards to study our vocabulary words.  Click on Concentration to play a concentration game with our vocabulary words.  Click on Matching Game to play a matching game with our vocabulary words.

Click on e-Word Game to practice the vocabulary words.

Book-Club Project ~ Writing a Resume


resume-sampleThis week in our Book Clubs, you will write a resume for one of the characters in your book.  Be thoughtful about which book you choose this week.  You may certainly select a fiction book and write a resume for your fictional character.  Historical fiction is a great genre for this project.  However, you may also consider a nonfiction book.  A biography is a nice genre to pick for this project, as well.

Learn more about writing resumes for this project here:

To create your resume go to

Career Kids ~ My First Resume

Resources for “Happy Birthday, Dr. King!”


This week, we are reading Happy Birthday, Dr. King! in our Houghton Mifflin reading anthology.  We will use this POWERPOINT to guide our introduction of the story.  In addition, here are some resources to increase your comprehension and enjoyment of this reading selection.


Comprehension and Analysis Skills:

Vocabulary Skills:

  • Download this PowerPoint to help you learn this week’s vocabulary.
  • Play our e-Word Game to practice the vocabulary words.
Fluency Skills:

Spelling Skills:

Writing/Language Skills:


  1. Why is Jamal’s grandfather so unhappy that Jamal fought to sit at the back of the bus?
  2. What does Jamal learn from talking with his grandfather?  How is he different after the talk?
  3. Jamal says that he did something “really stupid that turned out to be stupendous instead.”  What do you think he means?
  4. What would you like to do for a school celebration of Dr. King’s birthday?
  5. Who do you think are the heroes in this story?  What makes them heroic?


Click on Good Books for Kids List to find 6 recommended books on Martin Luther King, Jr.

TAKE THE AR TEST (by Friday):

Happy Birthday, Dr. King! (HM Edition)
Jones, Kathryn
AR Quiz No. 902063 EN Fiction
BL: 3.3 – AR Pts: N/A

Resources for “A Very Important Day”


This week, we are reading “A Very Important Day“in our Houghton Mifflin reading anthology.  Here are some resources to increase your understanding and enjoyment of the story.

Click on “Meet the Author” to learn about the author.

Click on “Meet the Illustrator” to learn about the illustrator.

Click on “A Very Important Day ” PowerPoint to prepare to read the story.

Click on Vocabulary Powerpoint to learn the vocabulary words.  Then, click on e-Word Game to practice the vocabulary words.

Click on Spelling Words to access this week’s spelling list.

Click on Quiz to take a 25-question quiz that tests your comprehension of the story, the vocabulary, and the grammar.

Click on “An Interactive Tour of Ellis Island” to tour Ellis Island, enjoy photos, listen to audio, and watch videos.

Resources for “Grandfather’s Journey”


This week, we are reading Grandfather’s Journey” in our Houghton Mifflin reading anthology.  Here are some resources to increase your comprehension and enjoyment of this reading selection.

Click on “Meet the Author” to learn about the author and illustrator.

Comprehension:  Click on Comprehension Quiz to test your understanding of the story and prepare for Friday’s Reading Test.

Vocabulary:  Click on e-Word Game to play a game while practicing this week’s vocabulary words.  Click on Flashcards to practice the vocabulary words with flashcards.  Click on Matching Game or Concentration Game or Wordsearch to play games that practice the vocabulary words.

Grammar:  Click on Subject/Predicate Practice to practice the grammar topic for this week.  Click on Subject/Predicate Video to watch a music video on subjects and predicates.

Test your ability to identify subjects and predicates with this quiz!

Writing:  Learn about haiku.  Write your own haiku on the Haiku Hero game!