Fourth Grade - Literature - Overview - April

Sayings and Phrases
This month students hear the meanings of Break the ice, Through thick and thin and Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and weep alone. They also hear of two associations to the name Timbuktu.
Students participate in group and independent activities by participating in an icebreaker activity, completing a list of antonyms, substituting other terms for Timbuktu, and identifying techniques to make people laugh.
The saying and phrases may be introduced in any order, but Timbuktu should be used after World History Lessons 36-38.

Stories
The Ethiopian story The Fire on the Mountain" is read this month. Students are invited to make predictions based on the title and one quote from the story. They also discuss the power of dreams and dreamers.
The reading of Treasure Island continues and a variety of activities are provided, some related to the story and some to an investigation of pirates. Opportunities for group and independent work are provided.

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Break the ice

Objectives
Participate in an icebreaker activity.
Brainstorm actions that would help break the ice in a variety of situations.

Materials
Copy of the saying Break the ice on sentence strip or chart paper
Classroom-size world map
Worksheets for icebreaker activities (optional)

Suggested Books
Cole, Joanna and Stephanie Calmenson. Rain or Shine Activity Book. New York: Morrow, 1997.
Contains a number of games and activities that may be used with the entire class -- Buzz, Fizz Buzz, and Simon Says would be good choices.
Hirsch, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
An explanation and scenario can be found on page 80.
Teacher Reference
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. An explanation of the saying is included on page 7, as well as a reference to ice breaking ships.
Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. An explanation of the phrase is included on page 150.

Teacher Note
Use this lesson as an opportunity to play several games that require teams or pairs of students to work together. You may wish to try an icebreaker activity with the whole class -- directions and supporting worksheets for two are included. The activity entitled Partners uses one sheet for the entire class, while Sign-In requires each student to have a copy.

Procedure
Tell the students to imagine that you have just arrived in town and are a new student who doesn't know anyone at the school. (Exaggerate your expression and actions to indicate that you feel uncomfortable.) Ask: How do you think I feel? (awkward, scared, nervous) What am I thinking about? (Will I like this school? Will these students like me? Will I have any friends? I wish I could go home.) What can you do to make me feel comfortable? (Answers will vary.) List suggestions that the students make and point out that they all involve some kind of personal interaction.
Ask students to recall a time when they felt unsure or awkward because they didn't know anyone. This might have happened on the first day of school, or on some other first time occasion (joining a club, moving to a new neighborhood, etc.). Have them recall what happened to make them feel at ease. Ask: Did someone speak to you? Did you have to introduce yourself to another person? Did someone ask for your help or invite you to join a game?
Explain that people sometimes describe feeling welcome as a warm feeling and feeling uncomfortable as a cold feeling. Sometimes the feeling of discomfort is so strong that it is described as icy. Tell students that when people are in a situation like that they are looking for some way or someone to break the ice. Display the saying Break the ice. Tell the students that introductions, invitations to join a game or do a job, a joke, or a group activity are all ways to break the ice.
Have students recall times that they may have heard a speaker or performer start off by telling a joke, or saying or doing something funny. Explain that he or she did this to get things started and to put the audience at ease and make them feel comfortable. The joke that is told or the game that people might play are called icebreakers. (Write this word on the board.)
Tell the students that the saying break the ice and the word icebreaker have a practical origin. Point to the Arctic region on the world map and ask students to describe the winter climate of the area (very cold year round, extremely cold in the winter). Tell the students that ice forms on the water and special ships designed to break the ice are needed to keep the waterway open. These ships called icebreakers make it easier for the other ships to travel, just as an icebreaker such as a joke or game brings about conversation and a feeling of comfort.
Have the students participate in an icebreaker activity. Explain that such activities are usually easy to do or a lot of fun and are designed to get people talking with each other. Use the example of people in a group being asked to solve a problem together, or being asked to identify things that they have in common. Select an activity that would be appropriate for your students and have them participate. Directions for two activities are included below and the pages that follow contain the necessary worksheets.

Partners
Reproduce the page and cut the slips apart. Give each student one of the slips of paper. Explain that each of them is responsible for finding the person who has their partner slip. Tell the students that the partner words will be words that we usually think of together. Each pair will be joined by the word "and." For example: The student with the slip marked "cup" would be looking for the student with the slip marked "saucer," so they would make cup and saucer. Explain that if they have an asterisk (draw one) with their word that means that it is the first part of the pair. (Cup would have an asterisk.)
Tell the students that when they find their match they should sit down together and wait for the rest of the group. (The activity may be done silently and after all students make their matches, they can be given a minute to ask each other a question and share the response with the group. Students could ask their partner's name and favorite color, then introduce them to the class that way -- This is Evan and his favorite color is black.)

Sign in
Tell the students that when you give the signal they should move around the room trying to find other students to sign their sheets. Explain that no student may sign someone else's sheet more than once. Tell them that they may continue until you give the signal to stop. (This activity may be done in silence, although it is more fun when talking is allowed.) When time is up those with completed pages may read off the names on their sheets and have those students mentioned stand and take a bow.

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Break the ice
 

* PEANUT BUTTER

JELLY 

* SALT

PEPPER

* SNOW WHITE

THE SEVEN DWARFS

* JACK

BEANSTALK

* GREEN EGGS

HAM

* BEAUTY

BEAST

* SOCKS 

SHOES

* BREAD

BUTTER

* LOST

FOUND

* BATMAN

ROBIN

* CHIPS

DIP

* FRENCH FRIES

KETCHUP

* CAKE

ICE CREAM

* SOAP

WATER

* DAY

NIGHT


 

SIGN-IN
This sheet belongs to _____________________________________________

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone

Objectives
Recall characters who drew people to them because of their sunny dispositions.
Identify five techniques people use to make an audience laugh.

Materials
Copy of the saying, Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone, on sentence strip or chart paper

Suggested Books
Hirsch, E. D., Jr., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
Contains the meaning of the saying and a scenario that incorporates the saying.
Teacher Reference books containing the meaning of the saying
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
Pickering, David, compiled by. Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. London: Cassell, 1997.

Procedure
Begin the lesson by asking students to think about the qualities of a person they would choose to have for a friend. List the qualities on the board as they are suggested. (The qualities will most likely include some comment about enjoying the other person's company or having fun with that person.) Ask: Would you choose for a friend someone who was always grouchy and complained a lot? How about someone who whined and cried and was unhappy? Ask students to explain why these are not favorable qualities for a person with whom you would be spending a lot of time.
Display the saying Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone. Invite a volunteer to read the saying aloud and make sure that students realize that weep means the same as cry. Ask if anyone could relate the saying to the qualities identified by the class as those they would choose to have in a friend. (Students should recognize that a person with a happy disposition draws more people than does someone who is always gloomy and grouchy.)
Tell students to think about times they have heard someone include a joke in a speech or introduction they are making. Point out that humor puts people at ease and encourages their attention while boring, gloomy talk usually makes people tune out.
Invite students to think of literary characters they have met who have had a sunny disposition. Emphasize that people who are happy and positive seem to influence others to join their state of mind. If students have forgotten, be sure to mention Pollyanna. After a discussion of literary characters, extend the consideration to television, radio and film stars as well.
Divide the class into teams of four. Tell them that they are responsible for planning a program that includes humor. Ask them to think of five different ways that they would get people in their audience to laugh. After allowing sufficient time for teams to work, ask students to share their responses and list these on the board. Encourage teams who have the same responses as those already mentioned, to tell them again anyway and tally the additional responses. Possible responses are funny story, joke, pie in the face, funny faces, funny voice, humorous costume, silly conversation between two people, misuse of words, falling down, a funny video or out take, an animal that performs funny tricks, etc.
After all teams have shared their ideas, have the students identify the top five responses given by the class (there may be ties). All students could then vote for the three they believe are most funny. Have students graph the results.

Additional Activity
Have the students create a recipe for a happy person. They could again work in teams and several recipes could result. The recipe might say 1 cup of smiles, 1 cup of jokes and funny stories, 1 cup of kindness. Have each team copy and illustrate its recipe on standard size paper to be put with the others in a recipe book.

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Through thick and thin

Objectives
Name the opposites for a list of words and suggest other examples of opposites/extremes.
Identify characters whose friendships have survived through good and bad times.

Materials
Copy of the saying, Through thick and thin, on sentence strip or chart paper
Copy of the worksheet (attached) for each pair of students

Suggested Books
Hirsch, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
An explanation of the saying and a scenario are included on page 84.
Teacher Reference
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
An explanation of the saying and an example of its use are included on page 11.
Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. An explanation of the saying is included on page 1072.

Teacher Note
You may wish to tailor this lesson to a particular selection your students have read. Also you may choose to show pictures or objects to better illustrate the concept of opposites.

Procedure
Divide the class into teams of two and give each team a worksheet. Tell the students that they are to write the opposite for each of the words given and challenge them, if they have additional time, to come up their own pairs of opposites. Be sure that all students know what the word opposite means before you have them begin (you may wish to talk about antonyms).
After students have had time to complete the list, read the first column, calling on students to fill in the second column. When checking the words supplied by the students, you may wish to have pairs read their first word and invite volunteers to respond with the opposite. Write the word "thick" on the board and ask students to give the opposite (thin). Explain that thick and thin can be used to describe stew and broth, or syrup and water, or heavy cardboard and tissue paper. Tell the students that these words can mean something else as well. Display the saying Through thick and thin and say to the students:

Janet and Jane have been friends for years. They have always looked out for each other and have been together through thick and thin.

Ask students to explain what thick and thin mean in this context. Students should recognize that this means that the two girls have been friends in good times and in bad. Ask for examples of when times could be considered good and bad. Point out that as opposites these words indicate two extremes and therefore take in all other times as well.
Tell students to refer to their lists and find another pair of opposites that could be used instead of thick and thin to indicate the times through which their friendship has lasted (good, bad; happy, sad; full, empty; top, bottom; win, loss; empty, full). Use each pair that they suggest in a meaningful phrase:
through good times and bad times
through happy times and sad times
through full times and empty times
through times when they were on top and times they were on the bottom
through wins and losses
through empty times and full times

Tell students that there is a song about friendship that says "through thick or through thin, all out or all in...." Explain also that as part of a marriage ceremony husbands and wives promise to stand by each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, meaning all the times that will come up in their life together. Take a few minutes to discuss why this promise is made and why it is important for people who plan to stay together to think about.
Invite students to think of literary characters whose friendship has withstood good and bad times. They may recall the characters in Charlotte's Web (White), Winnie-the-Pooh (Milne), The Wind in the Willows (Grahame), Soup (Peck), Frog and Toad are Friends (Lobel) or George and Martha (Marshall). Students may also recognize stories about families who have managed through good and bad times like Sarah, Plain and Tall.
Close the lesson by asking the students to stretch their minds and think about unusual ways to describe good times and bad times. For example, ask them to think about how they might they describe good and bad when referring to:
weather (sunshine and rain)
flavoring (sweet and sour)
seasons (summer and winter)
reactions (laughter and tears)
foods (steak and beans)

Additional Activity
Have students illustrate the saying through thick and through thin (or one of the others) in a very literal fashion. Have them also write a paragraph (or two) with the figurative interpretation. Help students brainstorm before beginning this activity so they realize that thick and thin, for example, could be illustrated as syrup and water, forest and desert, very crowded place and deserted island, etc.

In the second column write a word that is opposite in meaning to the word in the first column.
 

up

in 

right

left

happy

tall

young

hot

loud

wet

lost

good

first

narrow

top

win

high

buy

no

empty

minor

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Timbuktu

Objectives
Recognize that Timbuktu means a distant or unbelievable place.
Identify terms that people use today instead of Timbuktu.

Materials
The word Timbuktu on sentence strip or chart paper
Classroom-size map of the world

Suggested Books
Hirsch, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
An explanation and a scenario are included on page 84.
Teacher Reference
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
An explanation of the saying and an example of its use are included on page 11.
Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. An explanation of Timbuktu is included on page 1077.

Teacher Background
This lesson should be done after the World History lessons on Ancient Civilizations in Africa (Lessons 36-38).

Procedure
Write (or display) the word Timbuktu on the board. Pronounce the name and ask the students to recall where this city is located (in the western part of Africa in the country of Mali). Invite a student to locate the city on the map. Remind students that Mali is also the name of one of the kingdoms that long ago existed in this area. Ask them if they can recall the other two kingdoms that were once in this part of Africa (Ghana and Songhai).
Tell students that long ago this part of the world seemed exotic and unbelievable to the people who lived in Europe. It was hard for them to imagine what Timbuktu was like. They had to depend on the stories and items brought back by the Muslim traders to know anything about Timbuktu. People used their imaginations to fill in the facts they did not know. Timbuktu became a city of gold in some stories, in others it was a place of great riches and easy living. Because so many fantastic stories were told about Timbuktu, it became almost imaginary.
Explain that over the years people also began to use the name Timbuktu whenever they meant somewhere far away. Pioneers who were traveling from the east coast of America to the west coast might as well be Agoing to Timbuktu" as far as their families and friends were concerned and people who considered something as nearly impossible referred to it as "almost as easy as a trip to Timbuktu." Sometimes people said that someone's mind must be "in Timbuktu" if that person wasn't paying attention. Tell the students that today we might say that we parked our car in Timbuktu if we wanted to indicate that we had to park a long distance away. Ask students if they have ever heard an expression using Timbuktu or some other location (Oshkosh, Kalamazoo, etc.).
Point out that because we are now able to travel all over the world rather quickly and have photographs, film and videos to let us see just about any place we can't visit, we have begun to use outer space in the way that people long ago used to talk about Timbuktu. For example, we
say that people are lost in space when they aren't paying attention. We may ask if a person is from Mars if he or she doesn't seem to understand something that is very obvious or we say that a particular place is as close as the moon to indicate that it is actually very far away. Remind students of all the television programs and movies that deal with trips to the moon and other planets.

Additional Activity
Tell the students that the unusual name Timbuktu was probably responsible for some of the people's imaginings. Explain that words that are very different to us may activate our imaginations. List the following names of places (do not include locations) on the board and ask students to choose one and think about the kind of place they associate with it. Tell the students to write about the place describing its climate and what might be found there.
Zaragoza (a city in northeast Spain)
Trondheim (a city in Norway)
Whangarei (a city in New Zealand on the northern island)
Aracaju (a city on the east coast of Brazil)
Liaoyuan (a city in China in the northeast)
Bodaybo (a city in Russia, north of eastern Mongolia)
After the students have completed their descriptions, tell them that these are real places in the world. Have a student read his or her description of one of the cities while you point out the map location. Have the students use their geography knowledge to discuss whether the description could possibly be accurate.

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - The Fire on the Mountain

NOTE: Do not display the book until you are ready to read it to the class, or put a cover on it so that no illustrations or information are available.

Objectives
Make predictions about the story based on the title and one line from the story.
Describe what it means to be called a dreamer and identify characters and people who are described this way.
Identify character traits for Alemayu, his sister and the rich man.

Materials
Copy of the story AFire on the Mountain" (see Suggested Books)
Copy of the worksheet (attached) for each student
Classroom-size map of Africa or the world

Suggested Books
Kurtz, Jane. Fire on the Mountain. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Related Books
Alexander, Lloyd. The Fortune-Tellers. New York: Dutton, 1992.
Wonderful story of wisdom and humor set in the country of Cameroon.
Polacco, Patricia. Applemando's Dreams. New York: Philomel, 1991.
People in Applemando's village do not think that he will amount to much because he is a dreamer.

Procedure
Write the title AFire on the Mountain" on the board. Tell the students that it is the title of the story you will soon be reading to them. Ask them to tell what they think the story might be about based on the title alone. Note their suggestions on the board under the title without giving any indication as to whether their ideas are correct or incorrect.
Next, tell the students that the story's main character is a dreamer. Write the word "dreamer" on the board also. Ask the students if they have ever read or heard about any other dreamers. Tell the students to think of actual people and not only fictional characters. Ask students to identify the dream of the person or character as well. List their responses on the board under the word dreamer. (They may recall that Cinderella dreamed of going to the ball, that Martin Luther King dreamed of equality and peace between all races, etc.) Discuss each of their suggestions and ask students to think about whether these dreams came true. Ask whether the person or character did something to make his or her dream come true.
Distribute the worksheets and ask a volunteer to read the directions. Be sure that students understand what to do by asking another student to explain the directions in his or her own words. Direct the students to begin and allow several minutes for them to fill in their responses.

Invite students to share their responses to the first two questions by incorporating them into a sentence: I think the story takes place in South America and Alemayu is a girl or I think the story takes place in Mexico and Alemayu is burro. Ask for a show of hands for responses to the second two questions: How many people think it helps Alemayu to be a dreamer? How many people think it hurts? and How many people think Alemayu's dream comes true? How many think it doesn't? You may wish to have students share their ideas about what happens in the story now, or go ahead and read the story to the class. Tell the students to fill in the second part of their worksheets as they listen.
After you have read the story, have the students respond to the questions again. Congratulate those who were able to correctly identify Alemayu or predict the outcome. Point out that just as Alemayu was able to use his imagination, so were they able to use theirs. If you did not take time to listen to the students' story ideas before, allow several students to share theirs now.
Ask students to identify the setting of the story (the home of a rich man in Ethiopia) and the main characters: Alemayu (shepherd boy), the rich man, and Alemayu's sister. (Write the names in three columns on the board.) Ask students why they think Alemayu is the only character who is given a name. Then ask the students to give character traits for all three people. Have the students support their answers with examples from the story. Ask students if they think that the rich man is "as strong and as brave as a lion" as he describes himself.
Ask the students what the rich man meant when he told Alemayu, "Do not bite unless you are prepared to swallow." Ask: Was Alemayu prepared to do this? How did Alemayu show that he was different from the rich man?

Additional Activities

The Language of the Story
In the story, a shemma is described as a thin cloak, but no clear descriptions are given for injera, wat, mesob and krar; ask the students to think of definitions or synonyms for each as you read the story again. Ask the students if not knowing the definitions of the words when they first heard the story made it difficult to understand, or if the author told enough about each that it was possible for the reader to fill in an idea. Try reading the story again, this time inserting the synonyms that the students have suggested. Have the students decide which of the two they preferred.

Dreamer
Read Patricia Polacco's book Applemando's Dreams to the class. Like Alemayu, Applemando was a little boy who had wonderful dreams. After reading the book, discuss with the following with the students:
Why could only the children see Applemando's dreams?
How did the author let us know that she believes dreams are powerful?
How did the way people treated Applemando change during the story?
Are Applemando and Alemayu alike?

Wisdom
Students will enjoy hearing Lloyd Alexander's story The Fortune-Tellers and will delight in Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations set in Cameroon. After reading the book, ask the students to think about the ways dreams and fortunes are alike. Then ask: How did the fortune tellers and Alemayu's sister each show that they were wise?
Point out to the students that The Fortune-Tellers is a humorous story and have them tell if they think there is any humor in Fire on the Mountain.

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - The Fire on the Mountain

Name ____________________________________________

Directions: The following quote is from the story AFire on the Mountain." Based on the title of the story and the quote alone, answer the following questions. Later, as you listen to the story and fill in the correct answers, you'll be able to see how accurate your predictions were.

Alemayu, who is described as a dreamer, says at the beginning of the story, "Someday, I will have a bag of money and I will visit the faraway city of Gondar with its fine stone castles."

Where does the story take place?
 

Your idea

 


The story

Who is Alemayu?
 

Your idea
 

 


The story

 

Does being a dreamer help or hurt Alemayu?
 

Your idea

The story
 

 

Does Alemayu's dream come true?
 

Your idea

 


The story

On the back of this page tell what you think happens to Alemayu in the story.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Stories - Treasure Island

Objectives (according to the activity selected)
Design a pirate flag.
Identify which people and items captured by pirates would be most useful to them.
Recognize foreshadowing and unexplained connections.
Write a sequel to Treasure Island.
Create a treasure map.
Write a description of a scene from the book.
Determine why the West Indies provided a perfect pirate haven.
Research sailing vessels of the 1700s.
Design a book jacket for Treasure Island.
Analyze the ingredients in Salamagundi (pirate stew).
Make and fill a treasure chest.

Materials (see individual activities)
Copy of the Treasure Island excerpt for each student from March lesson
Treasure Island (optional)

Suggested Books (see March lesson)
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. Charlottesville: Core Knowledge Classics, 1997.
This abridgment by Rebecca Beall Barns, is an excellent selection for independent reading by students. Difficult words are highlighted and defined so the reading is not interrupted.
________. Treasure Island. New York: Penguin, 1992.
This oversize edition contains full and two-page illustrations by Robert Ingpen. The art is haunting and ample -- sure to encourage discussion and speculation.

Student Titles about Pirates
Lincoln, Margarette. The Pirate's Handbook: How to Become a Rogue of the High Seas. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1995.
Directions for making a pirate flag, ship's biscuits, a treasure map, and a pirate sword are included. Students will enjoy the chapter on "Piratical Language."
Platt, Richard. Pirate. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1994.
A Dorling Kindersley Book, a part of the Eyewitness series contains photographs, drawings and text related to pirates. Chapters on pirate flags and treasure may be especially useful.
Ross, Stewart. Pirates: Fact or Fiction. Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech Books, 1995.
This colorful, inviting book is divided into The Spanish Main, The Mediterranean, The Indian Ocean and The Eastern Seas. Diagrams and cut-aways make it quite informative.
Steedman, Scott. Pirates. New York: Franklin Watts, 1996. This Worldwise Book includes chapters on pirate flags, treasure, and pirate tales. Several references to Treasure Island are included.

Web site
http://www.star.net/People/~mikeb/educ~1.htm
This site links you to The New England Pirate Museum which provides a historical perspective and a variety of activities related to piracy.

Teacher Note
If you began reading the novel to students last month, continue to do so through the month of April. Use activities suggested last month (character web or diorama) or one of the activities listed below.

Activities and Procedure

Foreshadowing and Unusual Connections
Tell the students to be on the lookout for interesting connections that are mentioned in the story. Have them indicate when they hear a name, place or person strangely connected to something else. For example, "The Spyglass" is the name of Silver's inn and also the name of a place on Skeleton Island (Treasure Island); Black Dog just happens to be at Silver's inn and Silver is conveniently unable to catch him when he runs away; the crew of the Hispaniola knows more about its destination than does Captain Smollett; Ben Gunn knows Long John Silver; Silver's parrot is named Captain Flint; etc.

You Are There
Have the students write a description of one of the scenes in the book. Tell them to imagine that they have been magically transported and are really there, writing down just what they see. They might be sitting in the "Admiral Benbow" (inn) when Dr. Livesey speaks out at the captain (Bill); they might be hiding on deck when Jim is in the apple barrel overhearing Long John Silver's conversation with the sailor named Dick; they might be on the island when Jim meets Ben Gunn, etc. Have them write a description that includes the time of day and the people present, and also tells the sounds (the water sloshing against the boat), smells (apples from the barrel where Jim hid; or grog, polished wood and logs burning in the fireplace at the Admiral Benbow), tastes (throat dry and mouth salty as they listen to Ben Gunn), and sensations (cold chills running down their backs as they hear Long John Silver speak to Dick) of the moment.
The descriptions could be partnered with dioramas or displayed by themselves. A student might also read his or her description aloud while classmates provide the appropriate sound effects.

Hispaniola (the island)
Hispaniola is the name of the ship Jim Hawkins and the others sail on, but it is also the name of an island in the West Indies (the Caribbean) that is today made up of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Have students use a variety of sources to investigate the West Indies and the part of South America that was known as the Spanish Main.
Have students consider why this part of the world provided a perfect haven for pirates (climate, access, number of islands, natural resources, etc.).

Hispaniola (the ship)
Have students investigate the types of sailing vessels that were used for piracy in the 1700s. Have them compare the ships of the time to see why one was a better choice than another (see Suggested Books this month and The Whole Story version of Treasure Island).
Students may wish to make illustrations or models of the ships, or they may wish to investigate the origins of some of the names given to pirate ships.

Then What Happened (a sequel to the story)
Have students recall that Long John Silver escapes at the end of Treasure Island. Have them write about what they think happens to him. Advise them that they may choose to keep him in the same time period or magically move him to any other time. Have students consider what a pirate would be doing today. Ask: How could Long John Silver blend into life in Baltimore? What treasure would he be looking for today?
For another variation, you could reread the final paragraph of the book and have the students recall Jim's nightmares about his experience. Suppose he was out walking one day and heard a voice say "pieces of eight." How would he feel? What would he do? What is his worst nightmare regarding Silver and the treasure?

Book Jacket
Have students make a book jacket for Treasure Island. Be sure to demonstrate how to fold the paper so that the jacket has flaps where a summary of the story and notes on the author can be written. On the back cover of the jacket have them write comments (reviews) from others who have read the book ("Bone chilling!" -- Blackbeard the Pirate, AMore exciting than a chest full of pieces of eight!" -- crew of the Bloody Sword)
Have students put the title of the book on the cover along with an illustration of an exciting scene.

For further study of pirates:

The Jolly Roger - The Pirate Flag

Materials
Construction paper in a variety of colors
White construction paper, white chalk
Scissors, glue

Tell the students that ships display the flag of the country in whose service they sail, but pirate ships did not sail under the flag of any nation and pirates usually made up their own flags. Pirate captains tried to design flags that would strike fear in the hearts of others. Pictures that indicated death (skull and cross bones) or violence (swords and daggers) were frequently used.
Jolly Roger was the name usually given to the pirates' flags. Write this term on the board. Explain that this term may have come from the French words joli rouge which means "pretty red." This refers to the blood-red banners that pirates flew to indicate that they would not give quarter (bring on board) any crew members of a captured ship. (Have the students guess what happened to these crew members.)
Tell the students to imagine that they are pirate captains and each one must devise a flag for his or her pirate ship. Remind them that the picture on the flag is supposed to frighten all who see it. Because the flags are often sighted from quite a distance, it was important for the picture on the flag to be large. Tell students to think about the colors they use for their flags and remind them that bold colors are best.
The pictures may be drawn on white construction paper and then colored or may be outlined on white paper, cut out and glued to another color paper. Using white chalk on color paper is another alternative.

Valuable Prisoners
Remind the students that pirates were primarily interested in robbing other ships. Men became pirates to get rich quick, not to learn a trade. Because of this, the men on a pirate ship usually knew about sailing and robbing, but they didn't know about much else. Sometimes when they captured another ship, they took crew members from that ship who had particular talents and forced them to become pirates. Have students think about life on board a ship and then ask: Which talents do you think pirates would consider to be useful? (doctoring, ship repairing and woodworking, cooking) Discuss how each of these jobs could prove to be quite important. Ask: Which of the men from the Hispaniola would have been useful to Long John Silver and the other pirates? Why?

Choice Cargo
Explain that pirates were interested in capturing merchant ships that carried a large cargo. They took the cargo and used it themselves. If they captured a ship carrying gold (used for making purchases, paying salaries) all the better.
Everything that was taken -- "booty" as it was called -- was shared between the crew members. The captain received a double share as did the man who spotted the ship that was attacked. (Sometimes, the surgeon received more, as did the boatswain and gunner.)
Have students consider that pirates would need more than gold in order to live. Have them brainstorm a list of everyday items they might capture that would prove useful (clothing, sails, thread, rope, food, gunpowder, swords, tools, medicine, maps and charts, etc.)

Pirate Stew
Ask the students if they have ever eaten soup or stew made from leftovers. Remind them that people often combine a variety of foods to make such a dish and explain that pirates did, too. Pirate stew or Salamagundi as it was called, was made up of many different foods combined in a large pot and cooked for hours. This was an easy way to have a meal for a lot of people without a lot of work.
Remind the students that pirates traveled by ship. Ask: What foods do you think pirates ate a lot of? What would you expect to find in a pot of Salamagundi? (fish, crabs, octopus, anchovies) What do you think they added to make it tasty? (salt, pepper, garlic, spices, wine, onions, etc.)
Tell the students that hard-boiled eggs were often put in the stew as well. Ask: Where do you think the pirates got eggs from? (Birds may have been kept on board, or birds' nests were robbed when the pirates came ashore.)

Pirate Map
Have the students create a map that discloses where a treasure is hidden. They might imagine it hidden in the classroom and provide clues as to its location. Teams could work together to create the maps, then exchange them and try to follow the clues to uncover the treasure. Damp tea bags can be gently wiped over the paper to "age" the maps and make them look more authentic. Tearing the edges of the paper to make the map look weathered would also add to making it look more realistic.

Pirate Chest

Materials
Brown or black construction paper and manila paper (one sheet each per student)
Strips of yellow or gray construction paper (metal bands to fit around the chest)
Scissors, glue
Magazines, catalogs for cutting out pictures

Remind the students that a pirate's chest held all the things that he considered valuable. Have them recall the captain (Bill) who stayed at the Admiral Benbow had a quadrant, a suit of clothes that he had never worn, pistols, tobacco, a bar of silver, compasses, a Spanish watch and some West Indian shells in his chest as well as the coins and the map.
Have students draw or cut out pictures of the items that they would keep in their chests. Have them make a chest out of construction paper (see below) and paste the items inside. If you wish, have them write an explanation of why these items were important, or attach a key that explains the contents. The legend could be decorated with a picture of a key intended to fit the chest's lock.

Directions for making chest
1. Mark the center of a piece of brown or black construction paper held vertically.
2. Fold the top and bottom ends to the center.
3. Insert the piece of manila paper.
4. Decorate the outside of the chest (when closed) with strips of yellow or gray construction paper to resemble bands. Add a keyhole.
5. Draw or paste pictures on the manila paper of things that would be kept in the chest.

Bibliography

Alexander, Lloyd. The Fortune-Tellers. New York: Dutton, 1992. (0-525-44849-7)
Cole, Joanna and Stephanie Calmenson. Rain or Shine Activity Book. New York: Morrow, 1997. (0-688-12131-4)
Hirsch, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31260-1)
Kurtz, Jane. Fire on the Mountain. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994. (0-671-88268-6)
Lincoln, Margarette. The Pirate's Handbook: How to Become a Rogue of the High Seas. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1995. (0-525-65209-4)
Platt, Richard. Pirate. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1994. (0-679-97255-2)
Polacco, Patricia. Applemando's Dreams. New York: Philomel, 1991. (0-399-21800-9)
Ross, Stewart. Pirates: Fact or Fiction. Brookfield, CT: Copper Beech Books, 1995.(1-56294-619-6)
Steedman, Scott. Pirates. New York: Franklin Watts, 1996. (0-531-14403-8)
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. New York: Penguin, 1992. (0-670-84685-6)
________. Treasure Island. Charlottesville: Core Knowledge Classics, 1997.(1-890517-04-6)

Teacher Reference
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993. (0-395-65597-8)
Hirsch, Jr., E. D., ed. A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Our Children Need to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989. (0-395-59901-6)
Pickering, David, compiled by. Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. London: Cassell, 1997.(0-304-34911-9)
Room, Adrian, revised by. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. New York: HarperCollins, 1959, 1995. (0-06-270133-9)
Spears, Richard A. NTC's Super-Mini American Idioms Dictionary. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publishing Group, 1996. (0-8442-0916-3)