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Teaching Woodsong

The Woodsong lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles. Inside you'll find 30 Daily Lessons, 20 Fun Activities, 180 Multiple Choice Questions, 60 Short Essay Questions, 20 Essay Questions, Quizzes/Homework Assignments, Tests, and more. The lessons and activities will help students gain an intimate understanding of the text, while the tests and quizzes will help you evaluate how well the students have grasped the material. View a free sample

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Target Grade: 7th-12th (Middle School and High School)

Length of Lesson Plan: Approximately 132 pages. Page count is estimated at 300 words per page. Length will vary depending on format viewed.

Browse The Woodsong Lesson Plan:

Full Lesson Plan Overview

Completely Customizable!

The Woodsong lesson plan is downloadable in PDF and Word. The Word file is viewable with any PC or Mac and can be further adjusted if you want to mix questions around and/or add your own headers for things like 'Name,' 'Period,' and 'Date.' The Word file offers unlimited customizing options so that you can teach in the most efficient manner possible. Once you download the file, it is yours to keep and print for your classroom. View a FREE sample

Lesson Plan Calendars

The Lesson Plan Calendars provide daily suggestions about what to teach. They include detailed descriptions of when to assign reading, homework, in-class work, fun activities, quizzes, tests and more. Use the entire Woodsong calendar, or supplement it with your own curriculum ideas. Calendars cover one, two, four, and eight week units. Determine how long your Woodsong unit will be, then use one of the calendars provided to plan out your entire lesson.

Chapter Abstracts

Chapter abstracts are short descriptions of events that occur in each chapter of Woodsong. They highlight major plot events and detail the important relationships and characteristics of important characters. The Chapter Abstracts can be used to review what the students have read, or to prepare the students for what they will read. Hand the abstracts out in class as a study guide, or use them as a 'key' for a class discussion. They are relatively brief, but can serve to be an excellent refresher of Woodsong for either a student or teacher.

Character and Object Descriptions

Character and Object Descriptions provide descriptions of the significant characters as well as objects and places in Woodsong. These can be printed out and used as an individual study guide for students, a 'key' for leading a class discussion, a summary review prior to exams, or a refresher for an educator. The character and object descriptions are also used in some of the quizzes and tests in this lesson plan. The longest descriptions run about 200 words. They become shorter as the importance of the character or object declines.

Daily Lessons

This section of the lesson plan contains 30 Daily Lessons. Daily Lessons each have a specific objective and offer at least three (often more) ways to teach that objective. Lessons include classroom discussions, group and partner activities, in-class handouts, individual writing assignments, at least one homework assignment, class participation exercises and other ways to teach students about Woodsong in a classroom setting. You can combine daily lessons or use the ideas within them to create your own unique curriculum. They vary greatly from day to day and offer an array of creative ideas that provide many options for an educator.

Fun Classroom Activities

Fun Classroom Activities differ from Daily Lessons because they make 'fun' a priority. The 20 enjoyable, interactive classroom activities that are included will help students understand Woodsong in fun and entertaining ways. Fun Classroom Activities include group projects, games, critical thinking activities, brainstorming sessions, writing poems, drawing or sketching, and countless other creative exercises. Many of the activities encourage students to interact with each other, be creative and think 'outside of the box,' and ultimately grasp key concepts from the text by 'doing' rather than simply studying. Fun activities are a great way to keep students interested and engaged while still providing a deeper understanding of Woodsong and its themes.

Essay Questions/Writing Assignments

These 20 Essay Questions/Writing Assignments can be used as essay questions on a test, or as stand-alone essay topics for a take-home or in-class writing assignment on Woodsong. Students should have a full understanding of the unit material in order to answer these questions. They often include multiple parts of the work and ask for a thorough analysis of the overall text. They nearly always require a substantial response. Essay responses are typically expected to be one (or more) page(s) and consist of multiple paragraphs, although it is possible to write answers more briefly. These essays are designed to challenge a student's understanding of the broad points in a work, interactions among the characters, and main points and themes of the text. But, they also cover many of the other issues specific to the work and to the world today.

Short Essay Questions

The 60 Short Essay Questions listed in this section require a one to two sentence answer. They ask students to demonstrate a deeper understanding of Woodsong by describing what they've read, rather than just recalling it. The short essay questions evaluate not only whether students have read the material, but also how well they understand and can apply it. They require more thought than multiple choice questions, but are shorter than the essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

The 180 Multiple Choice Questions in this lesson plan will test a student's recall and understanding of Woodsong. Use these questions for quizzes, homework assignments or tests. The questions are broken out into sections, so they focus on specific chapters within Woodsong. This allows you to test and review the book as you proceed through the unit. Typically, there are 5-15 questions per chapter, act or section.

Evaluation Forms

Use the Oral Reading Evaluation Form when students are reading aloud in class. Pass the forms out before you assign reading, so students will know what to expect. You can use the forms to provide general feedback on audibility, pronunciation, articulation, expression and rate of speech. You can use this form to grade students, or simply comment on their progress.

Use the Writing Evaluation Form when you're grading student essays. This will help you establish uniform criteria for grading essays even though students may be writing about different aspects of the material. By following this form you will be able to evaluate the thesis, organization, supporting arguments, paragraph transitions, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. of each student's essay.

Quizzes/Homework Assignments

Woodsong

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The Quizzes/Homework Assignments are worksheets that can be used in a variety of ways. They pull questions from the multiple choice and short essay sections, the character and object descriptions, and the chapter abstracts to create worksheets that can be used for pop quizzes, in-class assignments and homework. Periodic homework assignments and quizzes are a great way to encourage students to stay on top of their assigned reading. They can also help you determine which concepts and ideas your class grasps and which they need more guidance on. By pulling from the different sections of the lesson plan, quizzes and homework assignments offer a comprehensive review of Woodsong in manageable increments that are less substantial than a full blown test.

Tests

Use the Test Summary page to determine which pre-made test is most relevant to your students' learning styles. This lesson plan provides both full unit tests and mid-unit tests. You can choose from several tests that include differing combinations of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, short essay questions, full essay questions, character and object matching, etc. Some of the tests are designed to be more difficult than others. Some have essay questions, while others are limited to short-response questions, like multiple choice, matching and short answer questions. If you don't find the combination of questions that best suits your class, you can also create your own test on Woodsong.

Create Your Own Quiz or Test

You have the option to Create Your Own Quiz or Test. If you want to integrate questions you've developed for your curriculum with the questions in this lesson plan, or you simply want to create a unique test or quiz from the questions this lesson plan offers, it's easy to do. Cut and paste the information from the Create Your Own Quiz or Test page into a Word document to get started. Scroll through the sections of the lesson plan that most interest you and cut and paste the exact questions you want to use into your new, personalized Woodsong lesson plan.

BornGary James Paulsen
May 17, 1939 (age 82)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
OccupationAuthor
NationalityAmerican
Period1966–present
GenreYoung adult fiction, adventure novels, nonfiction
SubjectAdventure memoirs, sports
Notable works
Notable awardsMargaret Edwards Award
1997
SpouseRuth Wright Paulsen
RelativesMichael Paulsen, Paulette Paulsen, and Bill Paulsen
Signature
Website
www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/23384/gary-paulsen/

Gary James Paulsen (born May 17, 1939)[1] is an American writer of young adult literature, best known for coming of age stories about the wilderness. He is the author of more than 200 books and has written more than 200 magazine articles and short stories, and several plays, all primarily for teenagers. He won the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 1997 for his lifetime contribution in writing for teens.[2]

Biography[edit]

Gary Paulsen has written some fragmented autobiographical works, such as Eastern Sun, Winter Moon: An Autobiographical Odyssey. The book, which is written in the first person, begins when Paulsen was seven, living in Chicago with his mother. Paulsen described several traumatic occurrences that transpired during the three years that are chronicled by the book. For example, one day while his mother was napping, Gary sneaked outside to play. There a vagrant snatched him and apparently attempted to molest him, but his mother suddenly appeared on the scene and beat the man to death. Paulsen reported his mother's many adulterous affairs in Eastern Sun, suggesting that the man he called 'father' was not really his biological father. He also discussed his mother's alcoholism. He told how she would bring him to a bar and had him sing for his supper, even though she had an income from her work in an ammunition factory, and he felt there was no need for this. When World War II ended, Gary's father sent for him and his mother to come to join him in the Philippines, where he was stationed. A great part of the book is dedicated to the voyage by naval vessels to the Philippines. During the trip, Gary witnessed a plane crash. He, his mother, and the people who were also being transported on this ship (yacht) looked on as many of the airplane's passengers were killed or maimed by the sharks who would follow the ship consuming waste. His mother, the only woman aboard, helped the corpsman care for the surviving victims. After arriving in Hawaii, according to Paulsen, his mother began an affair with the ship's corpsman.[3]

In elementary he was very bad at literacy class and struggled with it. The accounts in Eastern Sun ended when Gary and his mother left Manila. Bits and pieces of Gary's adolescence can be pieced together in Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books. In that book, Paulsen discussed how he survived between the ages of twelve and fourteen back in Minnesota. He barely mentioned his parents except to say that they were too busy being drunk to stock the refrigerator. He worked several jobs during this time, including setting pins at the bowling alley, delivering newspapers, and working as a farmhand. He bought his own school supplies and a .22 single-shot rifle, which he used to hunt for sustenance. Eventually, he gave up the rifle and manufactured his own bow and arrows which he used to hunt deer.[4]

Much of what is known about Paulsen's life is revealed in prologues and epilogues of his own books. In his book The Quilt, one of a series of three books based on summers spent with his grandmother, Paulsen told about what a tremendous influence his grandmother had on him. It is difficult to say how factual an autobiography The Quilt is intended to be, as Paulsen is supposed to have been six years old in this story and yet he made references to events found in Eastern Sun, which is supposed to have been set later. He also refers to himself, in this book, in third person and only as 'the boy'.[5]

Even though Paulsen is now a successful author, he says he chooses to live in relative poverty. He reportedly lives with his wife, Ruth, who illustrates children's literature, in La Luz, New Mexico. (ALA reported Tularosa, New Mexico in 1997.)[2] He also spends some time living on a houseboat on the Pacific Ocean.

In 1983, Paulsen entered the 1,150-mile (1,850 km) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and placed 41st[6] out of 54 finishers, with an official time of 17 days, 12 hours, 38 minutes, and 38 seconds. In 1990, suffering from heart disease, Paulsen decided to give up dog sledding, which he described as the most difficult decision he has ever made. Paulsen would spend more than a decade sailing the Pacific before getting back into dog sledding in 2003. According to his keynote speech on October 13, 2007, at the Sinclair Lewis writing conference in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, he still intended to compete in the Iditarod. He is listed in the 'Withdrawn/Scratched' section of the 1985 and 2006 Iditarod. Paulsen is an outdoorsman (a hunter and trapper), who maintains a 40-acre (160,000 m2) spread north of Willow, Alaska, where he breeds and trains sled dogs for the Iditarod.

Much of Paulsen's work features the outdoors and highlights the importance of nature. He often uses 'coming of age' themes in his novels, where a character masters the art of survival in isolation as a rite of passage to manhood and maturity. He is critical of technology and has been called a Luddite.[7]

The Hatchet series, or Brian's adventures, five novels published from 1987 to 2003, comprises some of Paulsen's best-known work. Dogsong (1985), My Life in Dog Years (1998), The Winter Room (1989), and Harris and Me (1993) are four others of his many popular novels. Woodsong (1990) and Winterdance (1994) are among the most popular books about the Iditarod.

The ALA Margaret Edwards Award recognizes one writer and a particular body of work for a 'significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature'. Paulsen won the annual award in 1997, when the panel cited six books published from 1983 to 1990: Dancing Carl, Hatchet (first in the series), The Crossing, The Winter Room, Canyons, and Woodsong. The citation noted that '[t]he theme of survival is woven throughout, whether it is living through a plane crash or living in an abusive, alcoholic household' and emphasized Hatchet in particular for 'encompassing a survival theme in all its aspects, physical as well as psychological' [2]

Three of Paulsen's books were runners-up for the Newbery Medal, the premier ALA annual book award for children's literature: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room.[8] (The American Library Association distinguishes children's and young adult literature in its awards for lifetime contribution from 1988; in its annual book awards only since the inauguration of the Printz Award in 2000.)

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References[edit]

  1. ^'Gary James Paulsen'. Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002. Retrieved 25 April 2011. Name: Gary James Paulsen Birth Date: 17 May 1939 Birth County: Hennepin Father: Oscar Paulsen Mother: Eunice H Moen File Number: 1939-MN-038786(subscription required)
  2. ^ abc'1997 Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner'. Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). American Library Association (ALA).
    'Edwards Award'. YALSA. ALA. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  3. ^Paulsen, Gary (1993). Eastern Sun, Winter Moon. New York: Harcourt Brace. p. 244. ISBN0-15-600203-5.
  4. ^Paulsen, Gary (2001). Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet And The Brian Books. New York: Random house. ISBN978-0-385-32650-6.
  5. ^Paulsen, Gary (2004). The Quilt. New York: Random House. ISBN0-440-22936-7.
  6. ^http://iditarod.com/race-archives/?raceyear=1983&musherid=2942
  7. ^Anne Goodwin Sides (August 26, 2010). 'On the Road and Between the Pages, an Author Is Restless for Adventure'. The New York Times.
  8. ^'Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present'. ALSC. ALA.
    'The John Newbery Medal'. ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2013-10-13.

External links[edit]

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  • Works by or about Gary Paulsen in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Gary Paulsen at publisher Random House
  • Gary Paulsen at IMDb
  • Gary Paulsen at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Gary Paulsen at Library of Congress Authorities — with 203 catalogue records
  • Gary Paulsen discusses his writing with Sharon Rendack of Hennepin County Library, Northern Lights Minnesota Author Interview TV Series #15 (1988): [https://reflections.mndigital.org/catalog/p16022coll38:7#/kaltura_video]
  • Gary Paulsen was interviewed by Wendy Woodfiill on the All About Kids! TV Series #269 (1999): Watch for a digitized online link soon.

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