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Book Club! Holes by Louis Sachar

Grades: 6-8 Description:

Join us for our exciting new Book Club series! We will feature the popular book turned movie Holes by Louis Sachar. Our session will discuss author, character, setting, and summary as well as various cross-curricular connections. Everyone is welcome to participate in this session whether you've read this book, seen the movie, or plan on enjoying it sometime this school year!

Lesson Outcomes: The student will:

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Be able to use, understand and apply new vocabulary related to the story Be able to understand character development Be able to understand and use the literary elements of cause & effect Be able to understand the desert biome, its topography, animal and plant life

Activity # 1: Vocabulary Development While reading the novel Holes, students will work on developing an understanding of specific vocabulary words by defining each word and writing down the passage in which the word is used in the novel. After completion of the novel, students will complete the Holes Crossword Puzzle activity. Activity # 2: Character Sketch: "Most Wanted" Poster A character sketch highlights several important characteristics or personality traits of a person whether it is a real person, a person in literature, or an imagined person. A good character sketch provides supporting details for each identified trait. Step 1: After reading the novel Holes, have students begin to understand the significance of the characters and their nicknames by listing descriptions of the character's personality traits, actions, physical description, and strengths/weaknesses. Step 2: Once the students have completed a character sketch, have them choose one character to create a "Most Wanted" poster about the character. They will draw a picture of their character, include the character's nickname, and give a written description as to why their character is "Most Wanted."

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Activity # 3: Parallel Lives and Cause & Effect Louis Sachar weaves two stories together in his novel Holes. One story tells of Stanley's time at Camp Green Lake, his friendship with Zero, and what he "digs up" while at the camp. The second story is a flashback of his great-great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats, Elya's relationship with Madam Zeroni, his time in the Wild West and his fateful encounter with Kissing Kate Barlow. Step 1: Discuss how the events in Stanley's and Zero's lives parallel those of Stanley's great-great-grandfather and Madame Zeroni. Students can complete a "T" chart showing how Stanley's and Elya's lives are very similar. Step 2: After students understand the similarities between Stanley and Elya, have them look at the chain of events (cause & effect) that led them both to Green Lake, Texas. Students should be able to see that one event can lead to (cause) another event, and so on.

Activity # 4: Biomes--The Desert: Camp Green Lake Travel Brochure Camp Green Lake is located in a barren region of Texas, one hundred miles from the nearest water source; however, it is still a "camp". Students will create a Camp Green Lake travel brochure for potential campers. They will recommend what the campers should pack in their suitcase (clothes & other camping items), as well as what activities they would be able to do while camping in the desert region. They will also inform the campers about the plants and animal life that inhabit the desert region.

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Challenge Questions: 1. Can you summarize the book Holes? 2. What are some of the issues that our main character struggles with? 3. What do you think inspired the author to write this story? Responses: 1. Sixteen-year-old Stanley Yelnats is sent to a detention center, Camp Green Lake, because he is accused of stealing shoes. He and the other campers are to "build character" by spending all day, every day digging holes. Stanley soon realizes, however, that the Warden is looking for something and using the campers to help in the search. Stanley eventually uncovers the truth as well as learns about himself, friendship and his family in the process. 2. Stanley struggles with "the family curse", courage, friendship, perseverance, survival skills, poverty, weight/body image, crime and punishment. 3. Answers may vary. Sachar lives in Texas and is familiar with the summer heat. Having the setting in a dry, barren area of Texas makes the characters struggle with the basic necessities of life (water, shade, heat). Sachar also enjoys writing about the "underdog" where the main character is not usually considered a hero. Therefore, Stanley, who looks as though he is this pathetic kid with no friends and no place to belong, becomes the hero in the end and rises up past all of the adversity he faces.

Writing Prompts: 1. Lifelines: Louis Sachar writes about each of the characters having a "lifeline" in each of their camping crates. This lifeline is something that connects each boy to life back at home. Caveman kept a photograph of his parents, Armpit had a catcher's mitt, Squid kept a rubber octopus, and ZigZag kept a TV Guide dated March 22, 1998. Why do you think these lifelines were important to the boys and what would your lifeline be if you had to go away to Camp Green Lake? 2. Camp letter home to parents: You are one of the campers in Camp D at Camp Green Lake. Write a letter home to your parents about how you are doing there. What do you have to endure everyday? Who is your friend? Who do you need to look out for and why?

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

3. Stanley begins the story overweight and unpopular at school. How does he change during the course of the book in order to fit in with a group? When he goes back to school in the fall, how do you think his classmates will view him? 4. Nicknames: Each camper at Camp Green Lake has a nickname. Discuss how the nicknames reflect on the boys' personalities; for example, why is Stanley called "Caveman"? (Examples: Caveman is large; X-Ray claims to have x-ray vision although he wears thick glasses; Magnet is a chronic thief; Armpit smells; Zero, part of his name and they think he is slow). How can a person's name change the way others see them and the way they see themselves? 5. Was there a "hole" in Stanley's life before he went to Camp Green Lake? Was it still there when he left? Why or why not? Vocabulary Words: 1. perseverance - steady persistence, insistence, determination, dedication, commitment 2. desolate - devoid of inhabitants; deserted, abandoned, bare, empty 3. preposterous - absurd, silly, stupid, extreme, far out, foolish, outrageous, ridiculous 4. intensity - exceptionally great concentration, earnestness, emphasis, intenseness 5. engraved - carved, cut out, or etched into a material, blocked out, depicted, etched 6. paranoid - exhibiting extreme & irrational fear or distrust of others, unsettled, schizophrenic 7. evict - To put out (a tenant, for example) by legal process; expel, throw out, remove 8. callused -To form or develop hardened tissue, coarse, rough 9. refuge - A place providing protection or shelter, retreat, sanctuary, security, resting place 10. drenched -wet through and through; soaked, saturated, soaked to the skin, dripping wet 11. delirious -having a delirium; wandering in mind, light-headed, insane, hallucinating 12. ventilation - To admit fresh air into (a mine, for example) to replace stale or noxious air 13. inexplicable - not explainable; incapable of being explained or interpreted, puzzling 14. authenticated - To establish the authenticity, prove genuine, authentic, real, valid 15. incarcerated - put into jail, locked up, confined, caged

--Vocabulary definitions taken from www.dictonary.com

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Web Resources: Puzzlemaker www.puzzlemaker.com Many types of puzzles can be made here such as the crossword puzzle activity below along with a variety of others. Holes by Louis Sachar - An Ask Eric Lesson Plan

http://askeric.org/cgibin/printlessons.cgi/Virtual/Lessons/Language_Arts/Reading/RDG0048.html

This site includes chapter questions, character development, themes, handouts, activities and tests related to Holes. The Hole Truth (and Nothing But the Truth): http://library.thinkquest.org/J0113061/ Check out this site for a unit study based on Louis Sachar's book. "Dig" in to find several cross-curricular activities and questions for your class! Novelinks about the book:

http://english.byu.edu/Novelinks/reading%20strategies/Holes%20Novel%20Strategies/Holes%20Index-Lawrence.htm

Reading strategies by Jonathan M. Lawrence that incorporate Bloom's Taxonomy and other rationales/activities with the novel Holes. Wild West Most Wanted Posters: http://www.wildwestweb.net/reward.html For Activity 2 (Character Sketch), use this link to look at examples of good ole' fashion, Wild West Most Wanted posters! Biomes of the World: The Desert: http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/desert/index.htm Learn about the desert biome by using the above link created by the Missouri Botanical Garden. Students will get an overview of the desert region, understand its climate, topography, and plant and animal community. Other Books by Louis Sachar: · Stanley Yelnats' Survival Guide to Camp Green Lake (a Holes companion book) · Small Steps (Featuring Armpit from Holes) · The Marvin Redpost Series · The Wayside School Series

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Holes Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle

Created by Puzzlemaker at DiscoverySchool.com

Across 2. exhibiting extreme irrational fear 4. to form or develop hardened tissue, rough, course 8. completely contrary to nature 9. wet through and through, soaked 11. to prove genuine, real, valid 12. carved, cut out, etched 13. to imprison, lock up, confine 14. to put out by legal process, remove 15. steady persistence, determination

Down 1. deprived of inhabitants, deserted 3. not explainable, puzzling 5. a place providing protection, shelter 6. great concentration, emphasis 7. to admit fresh air into something 10. having a delirium, insane

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Character Sketch: "Most Wanted Poster"

After you have had the opportunity to discuss the characters of Holes and list some of their personality traits, actions, physical descriptions, and strengths/weaknesses, you will complete a Most Wanted poster of a chosen character. This can be as creative as you want, but make sure you have your character's name (and nickname if given), a drawing of the character, a quote that the character said, and a summary of what the character is "accused" of doing (even if it's for something good). See below for an example.

Name or Nickname of character

Character quote

Drawing of character Give character's full name, any physical descriptions of him/her, and what he/she is "accused" of doing (even if it's for something good), etc. Example: Alias "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather" Yelnats is wanted for stealing a pig from Madame Zeroni and not carrying her to the top of the mountain before he left for America. Once in America, he is accused of getting rich in the stock market, but losing it all to a Wild West outlaw ("Kissin' Kate Barlow") who robbed him in the Texas plains. He is the main suspect for causing the Yelnats' family curse.

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Parallel Lives and Cause & Effect

Stanley makes some startling discoveries about himself, the true meaning of friendship, and the ancient curse that has haunted his family for generations. In a parallel story about Stanley's "no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-greatgrandfather," the mystery of the curse is unveiled and Stanley, in his efforts to help a friend, suddenly finds himself in control of his own destiny and the fate of his unlucky family. Directions: Using the sample "T" chart below, think about how Elya Yelnats and Stanley's lives are parallel (similar) to each other. Examples (Elya Yelnats) Past Elya climbs up the mountain each day and becomes strong. Madame Zeroni wanted to be carried up the mountain to drink from the spring. (Stanley Yelnats) Present Stanley digs a five foot hole each day and becomes strong. Stanley had to carry Zero up the mountain so they could find water to survive.

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Chain of Events (Cause and Effect)

In the novel Holes, you saw with Stanley "Caveman" Yelnats and his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing great-great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats, that one event can cause another event, which can cause another event! Starting with the event below, fill in each missing blank with something that could be caused by what came before it. But you'll need to think ahead, because the very last event you fill in must cause Stanley to find the hidden treasure and Elya to be robbed by Kissing Kate Barlow!

Stanley Yelnats

Stanley missed the school bus to go home, which caused _______________________________________, which caused

_______________________________________, which caused

_______________________________________, which caused

________________________________________, which caused

_____________________________________________________________ And that's how Stanley ended up with the suitcase full of treasures!

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Elya Yelnats

Elya wanted to marry Myra Menke, which caused

_______________________________________, which caused

_______________________________________, which caused

_______________________________________, which caused

________________________________________, which caused

_____________________________________________________________ And that's how Elya ended up with Kissing Kate Barlow robbing him!

As a bonus, use this chain of events to write a complete story or summary in your journal! Biomes--The Desert

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Camp Green Lake Travel Brochure

After visiting the following website Biomes of the World at http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/desert/index.htm, you will identify characteristics of a desert biome, its plant and animal life, and its topography. On a white sheet of paper, create a travel brochure for potential Camp Green Lake campers. Suggest items that the campers should make sure to pack, as well as offer activities that they could participate in. In addition, the brochure should identify what plants and animal life is in the desert region. (Supplies needed: map, pencils, markers, plain paper)

FRONT · · · Name of Biome and definition Climate (temperature & average rainfall) Draw a picture to depict the desert ·

BACK "Things to pack/bring" o Draw pictures to show what to bring "Things to do" o Draw pictures to show what to do at this camp

·

INSIDE (LEFT) · Some of the animals you will see: o Draw pictures to show what animals you would see ·

INSIDE (RIGHT) Some of the plants you will see: o Draw pictures to show what plants you would see

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Answer Keys for Holes by Louis Sachar

Activity 1: Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle

Across: 2. paranoid 4. callused 8. preposterous 9. drenched 11. authenticated 12. engraved 13. incarcerated 14. evict 15. perseverance Down: 1. desolate 3. inexplicable 5. refuge 6. intensity 7. ventilation 10. delirious

Activity 3: Parallel Lives and Cause & Effect Part I: Parallel Lives

Elya Yelnats Elya climbs up the mountain each day carrying a pig and becomes strong Elya promises to carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain to drink from the spring Elya is accused of stealing a pig from Madame Zeroni Elya doesn't stick to his promise with Madame Zeroni so his family becomes "cursed" with bad luck for generations Elya is robbed by Kissing Kate Barlow (her initials are K.B.) Elya survives the robbery and hot Texas sun by finding refuge at God's Thumb Kate Barlow was famous for her spiced peaches and Sam was famous for his onions Elya's suitcase that Kate stole from him had the name "Yelnats" stamped on it Stanley Yelnats Stanley digs a five foot hole each day and becomes strong Stanley carries Zero (Hector Zeroni) up the mountain so they could find water to survive Stanley is accused of stealing famous tennis shoes from a benefit auction for the homeless Stanley is used to blaming his bad luck on his nogood-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-greatgrandfather Stanley digs up a gold lipstick tube with the initials of K.B. on it After running away, Stanley and Zero survive the Texas heat by finding refuge at God's Thumb Stanley and Zero get their nutrients on spiced peaches ("Sploosh") and onions Stanley and Zero dig up the much-anticipated treasure: a suitcase with the name "Yelnats" on it

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Holes by Louis Sachar for Grades 6-8

Part II: Cause and Effect

Stanley Yelnats: Stanley missed the school bus to go home so he had to walk, which caused Him to get hit on the head with stolen tennis shoes that he later gets accused of stealing, which caused Him to be sent to Camp Green Lake and be forced to dig holes each day to "build character", which caused Him to befriend Zero and realized that the Warden is looking for something that is buried, which caused Him to rescue Zero (Madame Zeroni's great-great-grandson) after Zero ran away, which caused Him to "dig up" the truth about the Warden, Kate Barlow and his great-great-grandfather Elya. And that's how Stanley ended up with the suitcase full of treasures! Elya Yelnats: Elya wanted to marry Myra Menke, which caused Him to visit the gypsy, Madame Zeroni, and ask for her advice with Myra, which caused Him to accept Madame Zeroni's advice by carrying a pig up the mountain each day and to then later promise to carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain, which caused Him to become very strong, but he realized that Myra wasn't the wife for him, which caused Him to leave for America, break his promise to Madame Zeroni, and face the curse she placed on him and his family which caused Him to travel across Texas with a suitcase full of his life's fortune. And that's how Elya ended up with Kissing Kate Barlow robbing him!

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