A 3-Minute Video on Using Beverly Cleary’s Newbery Medal–Winning Novel to Teach Inferencing and Letter Writing
“I think that readers are going to want to pick up a pencil and start their own journal and start writing to others because of the impact that writing had on Leigh [in Dear Mr. Henshaw].” —Colby Sharp
Just like Leigh Botts, the protagonist in Beverly Cleary’s Newbery Medal–winning novel, Dear Mr. Henshaw, students go through challenging life events and situations every day.
In his Teacher Share book review video, Colby Sharp from Parma Elementary in Parma, Michigan, explains why he loves introducing his fifth graders to Dear Mr. Henshaw. Plus Colby offers tips and tricks for using the beloved novel in the classroom to teach:
• Inferencing: Despite never seeing Mr. Henshaw’s replies to Leigh, readers can infer what the author said to him based on Leigh’s responses. What advice is he giving? How is his advice helping Leigh grow?
• Giving Advice: Students can respond to one of Leigh’s letters as if they are Mr. Henshaw helping Leigh through his problems. It’s a great way to put inferencing skills to work and practice giving thoughtful advice.
• Writing a Letter: Dear Mr. Henshaw inspires many letter-writing lessons. Students can write to their favorite authors or to people with whom they’ve lost touch.
Download a free printable “Sincerely, from Me” letter-writing activity in this week’s Cooked Up from a Book.
How do you plan to use Dear Mr. Henshaw with your class? Please share with the Scholastic Book Clubs community on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.
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