The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman

Recommended Grades: 3-5

A little girl visiting her great-grandfather is encouraged to find something in his shop and he’ll tell her a story.  She chooses a cigar box that turns out to hold a host of matchboxes.  Inside each is a memento attached to a story.  Through the mementos, the little girl learns about her great-grandfather’s youth in Italy and subsequent immigration to the United States. 

Lesson Idea:


Mentor Text: Memoir Writing:  Read aloud The Matchbox Diary and discuss the characteristics of memoir writing.  This particular book is not an actual memoir, but is memoir-like.  Use this as a model/mentor text for writing about objects that evoke memories. Pair this with The Keeping Quilt,  Ma Dear’s Aprons and Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later).  How do the authors use objects to write autobiographically?

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