Weslandia by Paul Fleischman

Recommended Grades: 2-5

Wesley, a somewhat different child whom nobody will play with at school, decides to make a summer project.  His project consists of creating his own language and backyard civilization.  Will the other kids come around and become friendly, or will they continue to think he’s different?

Lesson idea:  This book has many instructional opportunities.  One way Weslandia can be useful in the classroom is to model asking questions.  The book can be extremely confusing to students and I think monitoring comprehension through questions is one great way to use the book.  This can be done though a classroom chart labeled, Questions Before Reading, Questions During Reading, and Questions After Reading.  As you read aloud the book, ask students to indicate when they have questions.  Write their questions in the appropriate column in the class chart.  Later, go through the questions and determine if they can be answered directly from the text.  If not, re-read the text to the class and determine if the questions may supply an opportunity to model making inferences.  This lesson is extremely multi-layered and could take several days to complete.

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