Sploosh, Onions, and God's Thumb while teaching Holes by Louis Sachar

I recently posted about my Harry Potter unit and realized I never shared all the fun stuff I did with my class, when we did our Holes unit.
 My teaching partner introduced me to Literacy Studio with elements of the Socratic Seminar, and I have truly fallen in love with the whole model. All of my reading instruction is now done using 5th and 6th grade novels. Right away, I knew I wanted to do Holes. Besides Harry Potter, it is probably my favorite children's book of all time. 

When I make my units, I am very intentional in creating units that are aligned to the Common Core reading and writing standards, and that are also very rigorous every day. 
You can lick the image below to check out my Holes unit. 

After reading the Hope King's ebook all about student engagement, I knew I wanted to try and go all out for each reading unit we did. 

With that in mind, I set out to hook my students right away and keep the engaged the entire time. I want them to think reading is the coolest thing in the whole world, because I believe it is!

I always start by decorating the outside of my classroom, so they can wonder right away. This is what it looked like from the outside. 

At the end of the unit, we HAD to watch the movies (p.s. watching movies based on books are great for the common core RL.7 standard). We always talk about the mood, tones, beauty, and themes of the movie and books and how they are conveyed differently. We then write reading responses about this, making sure to make inferences about why they may have to make these changes for the movies :). 

When we watched the movie, we of course had to have onions and sploosh (spiced peaches). For the "onions" we just ate funyons and of for the spiced peaches, I just mixed peaches with cinnamon and cloves. They were begging for more of this weird combination :).

None of these activities took a lot of time or planning on my part, and my students still talk about it at the end of the year.

Who knows, next year, I might try to find some yellow spotted lizards :). 


1 comment

  1. For the peaches, what was your ratio of peaches to cinnamon?