1. Choose one scene with conversation between the characters in this novel to illustrate in a comic strip or storyboard style, using balloons for the characters' dialogue. Try to draw your characters according to the author's descriptions, and try to capture the mood in the scene with your drawing.
This assignment encourages students to pay close attention to Henkes' realistic dialogue and then re-create a scene in a visual form. Students might also be asked to compare what each character is thinking to what he or she is saying out loud.
2. Take a survey of classmates your age, asking what the ideal number of children in a family is. As you talk to classmates, ask them to give reasons for their answers. Tally your results, and create a pie chart or bar graph to show your survey results. Be ready to share your findings with your class, and also explain how you imagine Adine would answer your survey.
This assignment gives students experience in conducting a survey and creating a graph or chart to display the results. Most students have strong opinions about the ideal number of children in a family and have much to say in response to the survey. The results of this assignment would provide an excellent topic for class discussion in which students could share their own experiences and observations about the topic.
3. For a baby or toddler you know, create a poster-size mural like the ones the Vorlobs made for each of their daughters. Use colorful drawings to make your mural exciting, and share it with the child. What is his or her reaction to your mural? Write about how the child responds to your gift.
This activity gives students the opportunity to connect to the story by participating in creating a mural like the Vorlobs' murals. By sharing their drawing with a small child, students have the opportunity to observe and write descriptively about the child's reaction.