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Study Guides and Lesson Plans for "Holes"

About Holes by Louis Sachar: Review of Holes — "If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy." Such is the reigning philosophy at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility where there is no lake, and there are no happy campers. In place of what used to be "the largest lake in Texas" is now a dry, flat, sunburned wasteland, pocked with countless identical holes dug by boys improving their character. Stanley Yelnats, of palindromic name and ill-fated pedigree, has landed at Camp Green Lake because it seemed a better option than jail. No matter that his conviction was all a case of mistaken identity, the Yelnats family has become accustomed to a long history of bad luck, thanks to their "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather!"

Despite his innocence, Stanley is quickly enmeshed in the Camp Green Lake routine: rising before dawn to dig a hole five feet deep and five feet in diameter; learning how to get along with the Lord of the Flies-styled pack of boys in Group D; and fearing the warden, who paints her fingernails with rattlesnake venom. But when Stanley realizes that the boys may not just be digging to build character--that in fact the warden is seeking something specific--the plot gets as thick as the irony. It's a strange story, but strangely compelling and lovely too. Louis Sachar uses poker-faced understatement to create a bizarre but believable landscape [...] we can't help but cheer for the good guys, and all the Yelnats everywhere. (Ages 10 and older) --Brangien Davis

Reading level: Ages 9-12

A Guide to Using HOLES in the Classroom...

This resource is directly related to its literature equivalent and filled with a variety of cross-curricular lessons to do before, during, and after reading the book. This reproducible book presents an exciting approach to teaching well-known literature! It includes sample plans, author information, vocabulary building ideas, cross-curriculum activities, sectional activities and quizzes, unit tests, and many ideas for culminating and extending the novel. 48 pages.


Holes Literature Circle Guide

Everything You Need for Successful Literature Circles That Get Kids Thinking, Talking, Writing‹and Loving Literature This one-of-a-kind guide to running literature circles, based on Louis Sachar's Holes, shows teachers how to organize small discussion groups that work. Includes stimulating questions and writing prompts that motivate students to think and respond thoughtfully. As students dive into lively discussions, they learn to identify themes, analyze vocabulary, recognize the author's craft, and respond meaningfully to the text. 32 pages. ISBN: 0439355389


A Cross-Curricular Guide to Holes
Are Yellow Spotted Lizards real? Is there a real rock formation called God's Thumb? Is there even a desert in Texas? Use this Cross-Curricular Guide for Holes to drive your students across the curriculum solving questions about the book as you go. The fuel for the trip is student enthusiasm. Natural student curiosity about the book compels students to learn more about everything related to it.
     Cross-curricular lessons are better than literature guides alone, since kids will see the interrelatedness of things and learn to build connections like that on their own. 
     This manual was written by two teachers and is simple to use. Materials are classroom-tested, kid approved, and fun! Clear instructions are given for hands-on projects, centers, Internet research, teambuilding, core subject lessons and art. Standard and alternative methods of assessment included. All lessons are teacher and substitute friendly.

Holes Study Guide by Andrew Clausen
Looking for more than activity sheets or a who-did-what series of questions? Want to dig into the essence of the novel? This study guide provides easy-to-use, reproducible lessons on literary terms, comprehension and analysis, critical thinking, related scriptural principles, vocabulary, and activities, plus a complete answer key. Examines issues from a Christian perspective. Excellent for private schools and home study. Also an excellent reference for public school teachers, but biblical references may have to be removed.
Holes Study Guide also available in CD-ROM



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