Elizabeth betty buenning lake zurich middle school south campus
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Differentiation: Reaching All Students Using the Rebecca Caudill Books. Elizabeth (Betty) Buenning Lake Zurich Middle School South Campus. History of Project. School Librarian for 15 years Developed this unit in collaboration with Language Arts teachers at Cary Junior High

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Elizabeth (Betty) Buenning Lake Zurich Middle School South Campus

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Elizabeth betty buenning lake zurich middle school south campus


Reaching All Students

Using the

Rebecca Caudill Books

Elizabeth(Betty) BuenningLake ZurichMiddle SchoolSouth Campus

History of project

History of Project

  • School Librarian for 15 years

  • Developed this unit in collaboration with Language Arts teachers at Cary Junior High

  • Continue to use at LZMSS with LA teachers

  • Successful for students ranging from the gifted to LD classes

Featured all year

Featured All Year

Bulletin board

Bulletin Board



  • Starts in February by promoting the new Caudill books to the faculty

  • Purchase multiple copies

  • Encourage staff to check them out to read over the summer

  • Displayed in same section of the library each year

  • Always one bulletin board devoted to Caudills

Behind desk

Behind Desk





  • Both paperback and hard covers

  • Lake-Cook Distributors for PB

  • Very successful when teacher checks out the books & the CD

  • One team reads a book over the summer as a “One team, One book”



  • PTO purchases audio for us

  • Downloads from Audible.com

  • Circulate 7 iPod shuffles

  • Combination of audio and print results in higher comprehension

  • Our experience, raises reading test scores

  • Some at risk kids, first time participating

Bookmarks labels

Bookmarks & Labels

  • Mark all copies with labels printed in the library (Pattern online)

  • Different colors each year

  • Bookmarks copied on heavy card stock in the library and cut by volunteers (Sample online)

  • Use the bookmarks for the booktalk and to keep track of the books read for voting









Flexible schedule (see sample)

Sometimes have to restrict check out two to three weeks before a team does the project

Start with a booktalk

Students fill out a choice sheet

Teachers put them into groups

What next

What next?

  • Students fill out choice sheet

  • Come back next day for checkout

  • Literature circles established

  • Begin unit in their classes

  • Come to the library for author/historical research

Elizabeth betty buenning lake zurich middle school south campus


Rebecca Caudill Books


M j auch

M. J. Auch

  • One-Handed Catch

  • Post-WWII

  • Norm loses left hand in an accident

  • Wants to play baseball

  • Based on the author’s husband’s story

Elise broach

Elise Broach

  • Masterpiece

  • Marvin is a beetle

  • Lives behind a kitchen in Manhattan, NYC

  • Helps trap an art thief

  • Artist Albrecht Dürer from MMA

Ann burg

Ann Burg

  • All The Broken Pieces

  • A novel in verse

  • 1975 after airlift from Vietnam

  • Son of an American soldier

  • Adopted, but worried about fate of mom & injured little brother

  • Star pitcher

Clay carmichael

Clay Carmichael

  • Wild Things

  • Zoë trusts no one

  • Adults don’t stick

  • Adopted by her uncle

  • Cat living under the porch has a parallel story

Andrew clements

Andrew Clements

  • Extra Credit

  • Pen pals

  • Abby in Illinois

  • Amira in Afghanistan

  • Brother, Saheed writes the reply

  • Not proper for boys to correspond with girls

Mick cochrane

Mick Cochrane

  • The Girl who Threw Butterflies

  • Molly & Dad Cubs fans

  • Father dies in accident

  • Wants to join boys baseball team

  • Throws a knuckleball

Matthew cody

Matthew Cody

  • Powerless

  • Daniel moves to Nobles Green, PA

  • “Safest town on earth”

  • Kids in town have super powers

  • Lose them when they turn 13

  • He is the only “regular” kid in town to figure out the mystery

Jacqueline kelly

Jacqueline Kelly

  • Evolution of Calpernia Tate

  • Callie has 6 brothers in Central Texas

  • Heat is unbearable

  • Family owns Cotton Gin and grows pecans

  • Happiest when working with naturalist Grandpa

Grace lin

Grace Lin

  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

  • Fantasy

  • To change her family’s fortune Minli goes on a quest

  • Chinese folk tales mixed throughout

Wendy mass

Wendy Mass

  • Every Soul a Star

  • Friends Ally, Bree, & Jack

  • Prepare for Great Eclipse

  • Each tells an alternating chapter

  • Takes place at Moon Shadow Campground

Barbara o connor

Barbara O’Connor

  • Greetings from Nowhere

  • Takes place in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains

  • Four families change at this run-down motel

  • Form interesting friendships

Roseanne parry

Roseanne Parry

  • Heart of a Shepherd

  • Ignatius promises to take care of ranch while dad is in Iraq

  • Nickname “Brother”

  • Each chapter one month while father is gone

  • Trying to be the man of the house

Gary paulsen

Gary Paulsen

  • Woods Runner

  • City folk trying to make it in frontier Penn.

  • 1776 Revolutionary War

  • Samuel is 13

  • British-ordered massacre of neighbors

  • Parents captured

  • One boy caught up in harsh war

Rodman philbrick

Rodman Philbrick

  • Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg

  • Older brother sold to Union Army

  • Half-starved orphan boy

  • Uncle is “meanest man in the state of Maine”

  • Encounters abolitionists, spies, slaves, journalists and soldiers

Sarah prineas

Sarah Prineas

  • Magic Thief

  • Conn becomes a wizard’s apprentice

  • Tries to steal a magicalicus stone

  • City of Wellmet has lost its magic

  • First in a trilogy

Jon scieszka

Jon Scieszka

  • Knucklehead

  • True tales & mostly true stories about growing up Scieszka

  • Biography of popular, funny author

  • Includes family pictures

  • Had 5 brothers

  • Grew up in Michigan, attended Catholic then military schools

Roland smith

Roland Smith

  • Peak

  • Natural-born climber

  • Arrested for climbing skyscrapers

  • Rescued from detention by mountain-climbing dad

  • Dad is pushing him to be the youngest to climb Mt. Everest

Sherry smith

Sherry Smith

  • Flygirl

  • WASPs - WWII

  • Prejudice not just race, but also gender

  • Ida Mae Jones wants to be a pilot

  • Women were recruited to fly non-combat missions

Scott westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld

  • Leviathan

  • “Steampunk” lit

  • World War I

  • Global conflict between clunkers & darwinists

  • Massive biological airship based on a whale

  • Sequels are Behemoth, Goliath



  • Rebecca Caudill picture from Caudill website

    • http://www.rcyrba.org

  • Book covers from NoveList

    • http://web.ebscohost.com


After unit

After Unit

  • Checkout of these books remains high throughout the year

  • Voting is done in those LA classes doing the unitOnline voting from library website

  • Higher participation in voting

  • Brightly colored stickers attract checkout in following years



  • Voting both in the library

  • In LA/Lit classes

  • Google Doc voting online

  • Duplication not a problem, require name to vote

  • Whatever the teachers want, we try to provide

Too many copies

Too Many Copies?

  • After the year is over, extra copies go to LA classrooms, used for lit circles

  • Interest in these titles remains high

  • Kids look for titles with multiple copies

  • Know they were Caudills



  • Reaches all students

  • Challenges those who need a challenge

  • Helps those who need help in leveling the books & activities

  • Using audiobooks assists at-risk students

Online content

Online Content

  • Unit design & procedure

  • Explanation Sheet

  • Unit planning

  • Book contract & Task sheet

  • Questions/Vocab/Prediction logs

  • Character Charts



  • Setting sheet

  • Analyzing Dialogue

  • Author Research

  • Vocabulary Crossword

  • Journal entry

  • Recipefor a good book



  • Plot line activity

  • A Day in the Life

  • Character Venn Diagram

  • Be A Critic

  • Literature Circle Rubric

  • Unit Rubric



  • Lit Circle progress reports

  • Schedule Sheet

  • Label sample

  • Bookmark sample

Promotion continues

Promotion Continues

  • Book Trailers on Website

  • Shelved in different places

  • Kids continue reading these titles –especially 6th

More information

More Information?

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions

[email protected]

Lake Zurich Middle School

South Campus

435 W. Cuba Road

Lake Zurich, IL 60047


Background from http://www.animationfactory.com

Book covers from NoveList

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