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Imagine being stranded. You are completely alone, in the wilderness. The sights, sounds, smells—everything—is new and unfamiliar. You have no food. You have no water. You have no way to contact the outside world. You are alone, with just your courage. You’re not even sure you have courage! What will you do? Will you make it?

Do YOU have what it takes to survive?



  • This week we will begin to read Hatchet, a story of one young boy’s struggle to survive in the Canadian wilderness. In preparation for this, we will be completing two interactive web activities. You will need:
  • Laptop with Internet Access
  • Copy of Hatchet
  • Pen and colored pencils
  • Dictionary
  • Worksheets for Activities
  • Your journal/notebook

We’re Reading a Novel, So…

What Do You Expect?

Before Reading Activity #1

You have all had the experience of reading a novel all on your own, as well as reading one with a teacher in a classroom setting. Before we begin to read our novel together, let’s talk. Please answer these questions honestly.

1. Whenever I find out we are going to read a novel in the classroom, I feel

a. nervous _________________________________________

b. excited _________________________________________

c. interested ________________________________________

2. The best part about reading a novel in class is

a. Listening to the story helps me to understand it better.

b. I can ask questions.

c. I don’t have to read on my own.


My Expectations (Part II)

3. The worst part about reading a novel in class is

a. I cannot read at my own pace.

b. There will be activities to do each day.

c. If it is boring, I cannot skip ahead.

 4. Whenever I have read a novel in class before, the activities we completed included

a. Worksheets (vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc.)

b. Art work (draw, design or build)

c. Computer activities (web activities)

 5. The activities we will complete in class that I would MOST like to do are

a. Worksheets (vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc.)

b. Art work (draw, design or build)

c. Computer activities (web activities)

To improve our reading of a novel in class, I would most like to:


Just How Tough Are You?

Before Reading Activity #2

  • In the novelHatchet, Brian must learn to survive without any plan or formal training. Would you be able to do this? To learn if you have what it takes to be a survivor, take the Survival Quiz by clicking here:
  • In your journal, record your results. (How did you do? Could you lead us all on a camping trip through the wilderness?) Write a paragraph in which you record the area(s) you had the most trouble with. Were you surprised by the results? Explain. Compare your score with other classmates.

Off We Go, Into the Clear Blue Yonder… Before Reading Activity #3

Brian is forced to battle for survival when the small engine plane he is riding in crashes. Take a ride in one of these planes by clicking here:

The great advantage to a plane like the Cessna Skyhawk is that it provides the rider with a bird’s eye view of the world. In your journal, write an entry describing the place in the world that you would most like to see form a bird’s eye view. Explain why you would like to travel there and how you might feel seeing it from the seat of one of these small planes.


Interactive Bulletin Board

How It Works

After reading each chapter, we will add lists of problems and challenges that Brian faces in the wilderness. As he finds solutions to those problems, we will add those discoveries too. The problems/challenges are listed under “Oh, No, Brian, If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another” and the solutions/discoveries are listed under “Survival”.

“Oh No, Brian, If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another!


Solutions and Discoveries

Made by Brian

Problems and Challenges Faced by Brian


Vocabulary Workshop Chapters 1-5

During Reading Activity #1

Use your knowledge and context clues to help you complete the worksheet in the next slide.

Remember, check your answers with a dictionary or thesaurus in the classroom, or click here for an online dictionary:


Vocabulary Workshop Chapters 1-5

During Reading Activity #1

Write S if the pair of words are synonyms or an A if the pair are antonyms.

1._____complicated-simple 6._____wrenching-twisting

2._____audible-silent 7._____abated-increased

3._____turbulence-whirlwind 8._____hordes-swarms

4._____visualize-picture 9._____murky-clear

5._____desperately-casually 10._____motivated-unconcerned



During Reading Activity #2

How would you like to meet a black bear like Brian did? How much do you know about these always beautiful and sometimes dangerous creatures?

Complete the first column of the chart in the next slide, then read all about our woodland friend and see if you are right.

Click here:, then search for ‘black bear’ to find the answers. Complete the chart and compare your answers with a classmate.







About how much does a black bear weigh when grown?

This equals __________

of my friends put together.

Where do black bears live?

I am likely or not to meet a black bear in Watertown. Explain.

What color is a black bear?

Black bears remind me of

What do black bears eat?

A black bear will or will not eat me if hungry. Explain.


During Reading Activity #2


American Black Bear

Encyclopedia ArticleEdit this articleMultimedia 1 item

American Black Bear, common name for a medium-sized bear of North America. The American black bear often has a white, star-shaped mark on its chest, and its color ranges from black to brown, cinnamon, beige, and even pure white. Its habitat ranges from the Tropics of Florida to the Arctic.

Female American black bears commonly weigh about 40 kg (about 90 lb); males usually weigh about 130 kg (about 290 lb), although some may weigh 300 kg (700 lb). The cubs weigh only about 0.5 kg (about 1 lb) at birth. In the northern mountains, both males and females weigh less. The American black bear has plantigrade feet (heel and sole touching the ground) and five short, curved, sharp claws on each foot for climbing trees. It is generally solitary, except during the breeding season, or in family groups of mother and young. The American black bear lives in a wide range of habitats, including forest, scrub forests of the subarctic, and near jungle. It also ranges onto the open tundra and plains along streams. A unique behavioral and physiological adaptation allows American black bears to remain dormant without eating for as long as seven months when food is scarce. When active, they are omnivorous, feeding mostly on berries, acorns, succulent herbs, fish, carrion, and insects. When food is abundant, they may eat as much as 20 kg (45 lb) of food per day and gain up to 2.5 kg (5 lb) a day in preparation for winter.


Female American black bears often do not give birth to their first young until they are five or six years old, and they usually do not have more than two cubs every second or third year. They may bear young until they are about 25 years of age. Because most American black bears do not live beyond ten years of age, and because juvenile mortality is rather high, many females barely replace themselves in the population. The cubs purr when fed and cry when hungry or cold. Adults huff and growl, roar, and chomp their teeth as warnings to other bears or to people. American black bears do not prey on humans, but sometimes they hurt or kill people in conflicts over space or food or while protecting their young. In most areas, American black bear populations are stable. Black bears are the most abundant of the species of bears.

Scientific classification: The American black bear belongs to the family Ursidae in the order Carnivora. It is classified as Ursus americanus


Vocabulary Word MapsDuring Reading Activity #3

Create a Word Map for each of the following words: diminish, receded, gingerly, exasperation and dormant. Follow the format of the example below.

A Dying Campfire






Blazed, Flamed

Logs in a Fireplace




Oh no, Brian, if it’s not one thing,

it’s another!

During Reading Activity #4

Just when things were finally settled, Brian encounters his biggest challenge yet—a tornado. Just how dangerous can these big storms be? Click here to find out:

Now complete the “Tornadoes: So Much Energy, So Little Time” worksheet in the next slide. Use the “Where and When”, “What” and “How” sections of the text. Use the graphs and your reasoning skills, too!


“Tornadoes: So Much Energy, So Little Time”

Complete this worksheet, using the site

1. Name three places in the United States where tornadoes are likely to occur.

2. During which two seasons are tornadoes least likely?

3. What time of day is most dangerous for tornadic activity?

4. Tornadoes reflect only a small amount of energy in a thunderstorm, so…what

makes them so dangerous?

5. What is the biggest threat that tornadoes pose to people?

6. According to the chart, how many tornadoes occurred the year you were born? (What

year was that?)

7. According to the chart, regarding tornadoes, which three months are the

safest in Oklahoma? Which three are the most dangerous?

8. How would these graphs be different if they showed tordadic activity in Connecticut?

9. Click on the photo display. Which photo of damage most impresses you? Why?

10. Tornadoes are classified according to the amount of damage they cause. The scale connects wind speed and damage. How are these two related?


Vocabulary Workshop (page 1) During Reading Activity #5

Use your understanding of the words in BLUE to complete each of the following sentences.

  • 1. In the wilderness, Brian might expect a STAGGERING number of
  • a. robins in one tree b.trees in a vast forest c. raspberries in a handful.
  • 2. The SHALLOWS of a lake would be a good place for
  • a. a youngster to play b. Brian to sail a large boat c. Brian to dive.
    • 3. If Brian were FLAILING a raspberry bush, you would expect
  • a. the berries to open b. the bush to grow faster c. the leaves to fall off
  • 4. If Brian HEFTED a large stone, you would think that he was
  • a. very strong b. very smart c. very hungry

Vocabulary Workshop (Page 2)

Use your understanding of the words in BLUE to complete each of the following sentences.

5. If Brian were in a boat without any MOTIVE force, he might want

a. some food b. some sunglasses c. some paddles

6. If a wolf would WAGGLE its tail, Brian might think the animal was

a. angry b. friendly c. dying

7. You would expect a HUMMOCK to be

a. difficult to climb b. hard to operate c. easy to walk over

8. When confronted with an INFURIATING situation, Brian might

a. scream loudly b. smile happily c. sigh sadly


Vocabulary Workshop (Page 3)

  • Use your understanding of the words in BLUE to complete each of the following sentences.
  • 9. Brian would want to RECTIFY a situation in which he
  • a. had a fight b. received a free pass to a movie c. got 100% on a test
  • 10. Brian might use CORROSIVE material to
  • a. make a sandwich b. bathe a dog c. remove rust

Vocabulary Workshop (Page 4)

Which of These Words Just Doesn’t Belong?

  • Underline the word that is unrelated to the other words in the set.
  • a. bellowed b. yelled c. screamed d. looked
  • a. worrisome b. incessant c. constant d. unending
  • a. panicked b. frantic c. aged d. frenzied
  • a. alert b. hurt c. register d. impress
  • a. substantial b. steamy c. solid d. hard

Vocabulary Workshop (Page 5)

Which of These Words Just Doesn’t Belong?

  • Underline the word that is unrelated to the other words in the set.
  • 6. a. bellowed b. yelled c. screamed d. a. stabile b. even c. ill d. unchangeable
  • a. disguise b. concealment c. camouflage d. disorder
  • a. smile b. grimace c. grin d. odor
  • a. experiment b. system c. study d. trial
  • 10. a. roadway b. obstacle c. blockage d. stymie

Everybody’s a Critic!

After Reading Activity

So, now that you’re finished reading Hatchet, what did you think?

Write a short (8-10) sentence review of the story for other kids, your age. Include your ideas about the plot,character and theme. Finish off the review with your recommendation (a good read, or not?)

Write a draft first, get my O.K., then post your ideas on the web, by clicking here:

Newbery Award


How Did You Do?

Rubric for Hatchet cyberlesson


Hatchet Centers Directions

Beyond Reading Activities

This week, we will be completing a series of five activities that revolve around the novel Hatchet. These will be completed as both independent and cooperative group work. These activities will be placed at different centers in the room. Each day, you will choose a different center to work at. By the end of the fifth day, you will have completed all five activities. The completed work will count as a TEST grade so, as always, do your BEST work. (Note: Any work not completed at the center must be finished for homework that night.)

Use this sheet to keep track of your activities.

BRAIN DRAIN: This center has you use your brains to connect the problems and challenges Brian faced, with the solutions and discoveries he made on his way to survival.

REASON SEASON: This center has you use your powers of reasoning (and your math and geography skills) to survive in a hostile environment.

I LL WILL: This center asks you to research some of Brian’s friends, the moose, skunk and porcupine.

ART PART: At this center, you use your creativity to draw an exciting scene from the novel.

NAME GAME: After identifying Brian’s characteristics, you choose an appropriate animal name and totem for our hero.

Check off each center as you complete it:

B:____ R:____ I: ____ A:____ N:____



After each day of reading Hatchet, we reviewed the action by adding note cards to our bulletin board. We recorded Brian’s problems and challenges (“Oh, no Brian, if it’s not one thing it’s another!”). We also recorded the solutions and discoveries he made (“Survival!”). These were also recorded in your daily journals. Your challenge today is to record the problems/challenges Brian faced and match them to the solutions/discoveries he made. (Solutions will sometimes solve more than one problem.)

Problems/Challenges Solutions/Discoveries

When complete, answer the following questions:

·    What do you think was Brian’s most important challenge for survival? Why?

·    What do you think was Brian’s most important discovery? Why?



Use your reasoning skills (and survival instincts) to complete the following:

Imagine that you are stranded in the wilderness of Swift Middle School. In order to survive, you will have to make your way around the school and gather essential survival materials. Knowing there is danger everywhere, you must take the shortest and safest route. Assume that room #7 is your home camp and that one pace equals one foot to find these solutions:

1. You must go to the library to get books on survival. Should you go up by room 33 or travel past room 43? Which path should you follow to get there the quickest? Explain.

To get to the library the quickest, we will travel . . .

We have chosen this path because:


Reason Season (continued)

2a. The art room has paints and paper for your SOS signs. How far away is the room? If you can only travel 150 feet from your home camp, is this a safe place for you to go? Why or why not?

 The art room is ______ feet from my home camp.

The art room is/is not safe because:

2b. Assume that the art room is due north and therefore the science wing is due south, in what direction do you have to travel to arrive at the cafeteria for your food? Is it too far to be safe (more than 150 feet from your home camp)? ESTIMATE. (Use what you learned from your journey to the art room.)

 In order to get to the cafeteria, we will travel ____ and then . . .

It is/is not safe because:


Reason Season (continued)

3a. You agree to meet your friends from Mr. Hogrefe’s room exactly between the two home camps (the mid point). How will you decide where that place is? Explain. Now record where you have agreed the mid point is located.

We will decide where the mid point is by:

 The mid point is:

3b. If the art room is due north and the science wing is due south, what directions will you travel to get to the band room for much needed drums? Draw a map below detailing your path. Include significant markers such as hallways, stairs, etc.


Ill Will

  • In this center, you will research information about the animals that show ill will towards Brian: skunk, porcupine and moose. Go to to read about these animals. In your journals, write a paragraph about each animal and include the following:
  • A description
  • The lifestyle of the animal (food, mating behaviors and habitat)
  • The ways it protects itself (as Brian found out)

Complete the paragraph by answering this question: What would you do if you encountered one of these animals?



In the space below draw and color one exciting or significant scene from Hatchet.

Find the text that supports your drawing

and then record the text in the space below.

Text reference, page __ :


NAME GAMEEvery name has a special meaning. Some names signify strength or strong will or a kind heart. Your assignment is to choose another name for Brian based on the characteristics he shows in this story. Then choose an animal that also represents those character traits and draw a totem for Brian. Follow the directions below to describe our hero.First, decide what character traits Brian shows in this story. Use the list of traits provided in the next slide to choose three characteristics. List these traits below and explain with evidence from the story why you have chosen these.Brian is:I know this because he: Brian is:I know this because he:   Brian is:I know this because he: Choose an animal that best fit Brian’s character (look at the first slide after the slide with the character traits). Draw a totem to symbolize Brian.


Character Traits

This list of character traits may help you when describing Brian (or yourself) for your totems. You may also choose to use a character trait that is not on this list.

Aggressive Angry Brave Charming

Courageous Creative Determined Fearful

Funny Honest Independent Intelligent

Jealous Kind Loyal Patient

Reckless Resourceful Strong Strong-willed

Temperamental Unreliable Wasteful Wise



The following list of animal totems represent many different character traits. Choose the one you think best fits Brian’s personality (and then choose one that fits you!)

Buffalo: Independent and strong

Butterfly: Quiet and colorful

Bear: Fearless and confident

Coyote: Wise and resourceful

Dove: Peaceful and truthful

Eagle: Brave and determined

Fox: Clever and creative

Lion: Fierce and generous

Owl: Intelligent and protective

Turtle: Sensitive and respectful



(Your Turn!)

Now, choose a totem that best represents you. First decide which character traits you show, and then explain why you think this.

I am:

I know this because I:

I am:

I know this because I:

I am:

I know this because I:

Now choose the animal that best fits your character. Draw your totem.

If a totem pole was made from the totems of the members of your group (and Brian), what would it look like?


Hatchet Centers Evaluation

Name the best part about these centers. Explain.

Name one thing you would change about the centers. Explain.


So, Tell Me What You Think…

Now that we have read Hatchet and we have finished our culminating activities, I would like your input. Please answer the following questions as honestly as you can. (Please do not count the Center activities in your responses.)

  • The activity I liked the MOST was… Explain.
  • The activity I liked the LEAST was…Explain.
  • I was SURPRISED when we…Explain.
  • I would describe the WEB ACTIVITIES as…because…
  • Reading a novel this way was…because
  • What would you tell other students about this book?
  • What would you tell other students about the way we responded to this book?
  • Add any comments, suggestions or ideas that you may have. Thanks!