Sunday, January 1, 2012


BY Carolyn Coman and Rob Shepperson
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-545-21066-9

FROM THE FLAP: The Clean Slate Gang and The World Wide Memory Bank Are At War.

Lollipops have been found clogging the great machines that take in and store all the memories being formed in the world. Bonfires have been set. Practical jokes are gumming up the works. And the mischief is getting more serious.

Caught in the middle is Hope Scroggins, who’s been summoned to the bank for failing to record New Memories. And THAT’S because her hideously awful parents told her to FORGET her beloved little sister, Honey, who is out there somewhere, needing her.

Somehow Hope figures out that the World Wide Memory Bank holds the key to finding Honey, and maybe even a chance at happiness! But can she find it in time, before the Clean Slate Gang takes away her last, best shot at finding her sister?

KATE’S TAKE: A Roald Dahl-like fantasy that will make you cry, laugh, and yearn for more.

DREAM JOURNALS Visual/Spatial, Verbal/Linguistic, Intrapersonal

Have students fold an 11 by 18 sheet of white paper in half and fill it with seven sheets of lined paper. Ask them to decorate the cover. Then, have them take it home and record their dreams for a week. Next, ask students to use of of their dreams as a story starter in writers’ workshop.

GRAPHIC STORIES Visual/Spatial, Verbal/Linguistic, Interpersonal

Ask students to take a story they have written and depict the five plot points: the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution graphically. Then, pair students up. Ask one student to hold up his or her graphic story, and ask the partner to verbally retell the story based on the pictures.

LOLLIPOP FRACTIONS Visual/Spatial, Logical/Mathematical, Interpersonal

Divide students into groups of three, and give each student an eight-by-eight inch circle. Some groups of three will work with 1/8, ¼, and ½ while the other groups of three will work with 1/6, 1/3 and ½. Each student decorates their lollipop. After they decorate their lollipop, they must cut it into one of the above mentioned fractions. Each person in each group is assigned a different fraction. Then, each student must trade lollipop sections with each person in his or her threesome to create a whole lollipop with three different designs.

MEMIE BOXES Visual/Spatial, Verbal/Linguistic, Intrapersonal

Ask each student to write down his or her first memory, a memie. Then, show students how to fold origami boxes, and have him place his or her memory inside the box. You can find an origami diagram for a box here: These make great parent gifts. Thanks to Carolyn Coman for this activity.

SUCROSE MOLECULES Visual/Spatial, Interpersonal, Naturalistic

Working in groups of three, have students create a 3-D model of a sucrose molecule. Give one student twenty-two small Styrofoam balls, give another student eleven medium-sized Styrofoam balls, and the third student twelve medium-sized Styrofoam balls. The student with the eleven medium-sized balls should paint them pink, while the student with the twelve medium-sized balls paints his purple. The third student can help the other two students paint their Styrofoam balls. Then, using toothpicks and the diagram at each student should assemble a 3-D diagram of a sucrose molecule.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Writing Stories: Ideas, Exercises, and Encouragement for Teachers and Writers of All Ages by Carolyn Coman

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