From Unit Plan: Teaching Imagery With Gary Paulsen

This list includes books authored by Gary Paulsen that are content-appropriate for middle school readers. You will also find books that could be used to teach an author study on Gary Paulsen and resources for narrative writing lessons.

Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen

This is the original story of Brian Robeson and how he survived a plane crash during a Canadian summer.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

The River
by Gary Paulsen

Brian is asked to relive his survival story from Hatchet, but this time he takes Derek along to study how he survived.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Brian's Winter
by Gary Paulsen

A parallel story to Hatchet, this story leaves Brian in the woods during the wintertime to expose his survival skills in this unique setting.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books
by Gary Paulsen

This is the true story of Hatchet as Gary Paulsen reveals his real-life experiences that molded the fictional story that has become a staple of young-adult literature.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Nightjohn
by Gary Paulsen

As told through the eyes of an enslaved young girl named Sarny, this beautiful tale explains how learning to read can be empowering for all people.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Sarny
by Gary Paulsen

This sequel to Nightjohn follows Sarny as she searches for her children after the end of the Civil War.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

The Foxman
by Gary Paulsen

A classic story using the theme that beauty is not everything, Foxman weaves a tale of a unique friendship between a troubled boy and a disfigured older man.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Dancing Carl
by Gary Paulsen

Most people think Carl is insane, but a couple of young boys figure out how precious he truly is.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Dogsong
by Gary Paulsen

Russell, a fourteen-year-old Eskimo boy, longs for the old ways and traditions of his forefathers, and begins a journey of self-discovery across the tundra.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Dogsong: Teaching Guide

This is a resource specifically for Paulsen's novel Dogsong.

Classroom Tip: If you prefer to conduct literature circles with every student reading just one specific book by Paulsen, this would be a super resource.

Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered
by Gary Paulsen

Harris is a trouble-maker, but any student will love reading the humor in this novel.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Woodsong
by Gary Paulsen

This story is autobiographical as Paulsen shares his love of dog sledding.

Classroom Tip: Provide this novel as suggested reading for students.

Teaching the Novels of Gary Paulsen: Reading Comprehension and Discussion Questions; Graphic Organizers; Vocabulary Activities
by Howard Gutner

Looking for resources for teaching Brian's Winter, Dogsong, Woodsong, Hatchet, or The River? This book has reproducibles to practice identifying story elements like sequence, plot, mood, character, and theme.

Classroom Tip: After students select books to read, each is given a skill practice activity based on each individual's area of need.

High-Interest Literature Units: Survival: Teacher-Created Lessons and Activities That Use Favorite Novels to Motivate Kids to Read, Write, and Discuss
by Susan Van Zile, Joan Van Kanavy

Are you thinking of using literature circles and teaching novels based on a particular theme? This is a great book to help you start planning! It is centered around popular novels and includes many motivating activities.

Classroom Tip: As many of Paulsen's books incorporate the theme of survival, several activities included in this book can be adapted for a unit on his works.

Reading Response Trifolds for 40 Favorite Novels: Reproducible Independent Reading Management Tools That Guide Students to Use Essential Reading Strategies and Respond Meaningfully to Literature
by Jennifer Cerra-Johansson

Forty of your favorite novels are included in the resources provided by this book. A simple copy of the front and back page that creates a brochure of comprehension chronicles the student's development to higher-order thinking for the chosen book.

Classroom Tip: When conducting literature circles where students choose different books to read, it is difficult to find resources for the choices. This book includes most of the popular language arts selections by providing an assessment that can hold students accountable for reading.

Narrative Writing: Mini-Lessons, Strategies, Activities
by Tara McCarthy

Everything you need to teach how to tell a story effectively is in this book.

Classroom Tip: By giving students a purpose for revising their writing, the revising session becomes more productive. Use the checklists and evaluation forms to allow students to complete peer evaluations of their narrative pieces, and watch their interest peak!

25 Quick Mini-Lessons to Teach Narrative Writing: Classroom-Tested Lessons With Reproducibles That Sharpen Key Writing Skills and Help Kids Write With Clarity and Confidence
by Dave Leochko

These engaging mini-lessons are perfect for the middle school group that has some experience with narrative writing. By differentiating your instruction with mini-lessons, you will be able to focus on what the students need, therefore improving student attentiveness as each lesson is personally relevant.

Classroom Tip: When I identify a universal need, I pick the mini-lesson that fits the need. Upon executing the mini-lesson, writing improves as the instruction is more relevant to the group.