School's Out Discussion Guide
- Grades: 3–5
About this book
CREATING INTEREST IN THE BOOK
Ask students if they have ever helped care for a younger sibling. Did it seem like a lot of work? Explain that having a family member depend on you is a big responsibility. Point out that in this book, author Johanna Hurwitz describes why Lucas is upset to find that a French girl named Genevieve will be living with his family all summer to help his mother. Invite students to read the book to find out what happens to Lucas during his summer vacation.
- Encourage students to discuss their responsibilities at home or school. What do they like about them? What do they dislike? Is it rewarding to be given responsibilities?
- Discuss what growing up means to students. What importance do responsibility and trust have in growing up? What's the difference between having fun and being irresponsible?
Explain to students that most authors give us clues as to what might happen in a story. Point out that good readers can use these clues together with what they know from their own experiences to figure out what might happen next and how a story might end. As students read each chapter of School's Out, have them make predictions about what might happen in the following chapter.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR INDEPENDENCE
Ask students what it would be like to have a live-in baby-sitter from another country. What kinds of things would such a person be responsible for? Discuss what being responsible means to students. Then give them copies of School's Out. Have them look at the front cover and read the copy on the back cover. Have them predict why Lucas thinks his summer might be "more interesting than he had thought." What kind of boy do they think Lucas is? Tell students that good readers use information in the story to predict what will happen next. Point out that making predictions helps readers focus on both the events of the story and the reasons why characters may act in certain ways. They will not always be right, but guessing can be fun and can help them better understand what is happening n the story. Tell students that as they read about Lucas and his unusual summer, they should try to predict what will happen next. As they read, encourage students to list words and ideas they don't understand on a separate sheet of paper.