• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

Suggested Activities

Would you eat cat tails? (p. 36)
This question might be asked about nearly everything Sam eats or tries – from flowers and bark, to mushrooms and nuts, to crickets and rabbit liver. Students might enjoy making a list of all the things Sam eats (or tries to eat). They could keep it privately, or in class, or at home. Many students might enjoy actually having the opportunity to sample some wild foliage some time (while many others would, naturally, be repelled and reticent).

Read Rip Van Winkle

There is a reference (on p. 38) to “the story about the men who plays nine-pins in the Catskill Mountains?” This must be a reference to “Rip Van Winkle,” by Washington Irving, which takes place in the Catskill Mountains. There will probably be students or teachers or families who will enjoy making the connection and sharing/reading the story.


The forum in Sam’s head
Late in the book, Sam conducts a fascinating “forum” inside his head, imagining what various people who know him might say about what he should do next. (p. 160) Ask students to write – or even perform – their own “forum” in which they imagine what others (parents, teachers, siblings, friends) might say about their behavior. Could be a very interesting exercise – especially as a group (or class) project.

“I take the woods.”
– Sam says to a newspaper reporter, “The falcon takes the sky, the white-throated sparrow takes the low bushes, the skunk takes the earth, you take the newspaper office, I take the woods.” (p. 160)
– You might say this statment – “I take the woods” – is Sam’s credo and the theme of the book. Ask students what it means. You might also ask students to answer the question, “What do you take?” Or even ask them to devise – and explain – their own credo.

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