Saturday, August 13, 2016

Study Guide for Look To The North: A Wolf Pup Dairy by Jean Craighead George

Why I use Study Guides in my classes. I love reading about animals and I have always had students that love reading books about animals. The Informational Narrative, Look To The North: A Wolf Pup Diary by Jean Craighead George is the sweetest nonfiction book that tells the story of three wolf pups as they grow up in the north. Jean Craighead George loved animals and this love comes through in all of her books. The book is beautifully illustrated by Lucia Washburn. The lexile level is 580L. (

I didn't choose the book because of a certain grade level, I wanted my students to enjoy reading a beautifully illustrated book, with a clear sequence, and one that they could find details in the text to answer questions and new vocabulary words. I don't think anyone is ever too old to read a story with beautiful illustrations. To make sure that my students were receiving the instruction that followed the Common Core, I made a Study Guide. You can download a preview of this study guide at my teacher store on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Student has finished the research section and is now working on connections  to the story.
I made this Study Guide so that my students can get all the information needed, plus work at their own pace. I included some research, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, lots of critical thinking questions and writing. I also included a Science and Social Studies Integration. While students are busy working together or independently, I can pull students in small groups and monitor other student's progress. I always makes sure students have access to a computer, dictionary, pencils and erasers, and always a book and a nice box of crayons.

The Vocabulary section pulls in the vocabulary words that a student might not be familiar with. There is a section at the bottom of this page where students must come up with a word from the text that they think should have been a vocabulary word.

There is a poem with relavent questions to answer and also a section on personification. 

My favorite part of the study guide is the front cover. Students draw a new cover and they must use color and details from the text!

Each student uses a dictionary for the Vocabulary section.

Students reference the text to answer the Comprehension Question. Each question has the Revised Blooms level so students know why this question is important.

Each section has the Common Core alignment. You can also see the Revised Blooms Levels above each Comprehension Question.

The Science Research has the Essential Question and give students a chance to learn more about an Arctic animal. I also post urls and videos on Edmodo so students have a starting point for reference.

Finished cover showing the Alpha pup. 

Finished Cover. This is before I look over the Study Guide. Students will be given a chance to correct handwriting and grammar mistakes before turning the guide in for grading.

Another sweet cover.

All my students wanted their cover on my blog. They did a great job of using details from the story to make their cover. If you have read the book, you know that Talus is smelling the grizzly and alerting his siblings. The blue flowers are Harebells.

Cover showing originality. 

Fast finishers spend time coloring and usually find parts where they might need to erase and start over. Coloring not only gives my students a chance to process the information they learned, it also gives them a chance to check back over their work.

I like the way this student illustrated her vocabulary word. Not only did she draw the harebells she also illustrated that they bloom in July.

I always include a Phonics section. Students in 4th and 5th grade still need phonics instruction, even if it is just reinforcing what they already know.

This is a very creative cover, this student wanted to include the title after drawing so she put it into her moon and clouds.

A lot of pictures I know! My students love seeing their work on my blog. I wish I could show their sweet faces while they are working on these study guides. This guide has 12 pages. This might be daunting if I had given them 12 pages of worksheets. In a nice booklet, they are able to read and study the book without being intimidated by the workload. And I have a product showing their learning and growth.

Study guides can be useful tools teaching the Common Core way. Students are involved, there is a section where they must read a poem to a buddy and then listen while their buddy reads back to them. Students are working independently but can discuss and collaborate as needed. I can monitor, check for understanding and also work individually with a student or with small groups. Students are using the computer and a reference book. They are involved with their learning and delving deeper into the text with the comprehension questions.  This book seems like a nice picture book, but students are learning to infer, evaluate and question the text they are reading.

Let me know if you have any ideas about using Study Guides in your classroom.

As always, thanks for visiting! 

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