Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Giant of Seville by Dan Andreasen

By: Dan Andreasen
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN 13: 978-0-8109-0988-5

FROM THE FLAP: Seville, Ohio is a sleepy town. Nothing exciting ever happens, that is until Captain Martin Van Buren Bates arrives. Standing seven feet eleven and a half inches, Captain Bates is a giant who has toured around the world in the circus. In search of a quiet home for himself and his wife (who is also a giant), Captain Bates decides to get off the train in Seville, although he fears that he will be too big for the little town. But Seville is full of surprises, and the giant is about to learn that the only thing that matters is the size of one’s heart.

A “tall” tale based on the true story of a real-life circus giant, The Giant of Seville is a heartwarming story of acceptance, and also includes an author’s note on the life of Captain Bates and his wife, Anna Bates, Seville’s most famous residents.

CLASS HEIGHTS (Logical/Mathematical)

Pair students and have them measure one another’s heights. Make a graph of the students’ heights. Ask each one of them to estimate approximately how many of them would it take to reach the height of the giants in the book.

GIANT HEARTS (Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and Verbal/Linguistic)

The residents of Seville go out of their way to welcome Captain Bates into their community. Ask the students to tell about a time someone did something nice for them or a time when they did something nice for someone else. Then, have them write their incident on a giant heart.

SQUARE DANCING (Rhythmic/Musical and Bodily-Kinesthetic)

Teach the kids to square dance just as the residents of Seville. Use the free downloads from Ez-tracks and the list of definitions from Dosado to help you out.

TALL TALES (Verbal/Linguistic)

Have the students retell the beginning, middle, and end of The Giant Of Seville. Then, give them a graphic organizer to plan the beginning, middle, and end of their own Tall Tale. After that, have them write their own tall tale.

TOP HATS (Visual/Spatial)

Using construction paper and other art supplies, have kids design their own top hats.


-American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne
-Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart by Pat Mora
-The Foot-Stomping Adventures of Clementine Sweet by Kathy Combs, Kitty Griffin and Mike Wohnoutka
-Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen
-Whoosh Went the Wind! By Sally Derby

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