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NEW!! Youth Literature Series: Hatchet

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This class is part of the Youth Literature Series.
Classes in this series are intended for students at elementary and middle school reading levels.

Other classes in this series include:
Bridge to Terabithia
The Westing Game

In this youth literature series, each course focuses on one novel or novella. This particular course will focus on the 1986 Newbery Honor-winning survival novel written by American author Gary Paulsen– Hatchet.

The novel tells the story of thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, who is traveling to visit his father when his plane crashes. Brian finds himself stranded, alone, in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothes, a tattered jacket, and the hatchet that his mother had given to him as a present–“and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart ever since his parents’ divorce.” Brian must overcome his anger, self-pity, and sorrow in order to find his inner determination and courage in order to survive.

This 4-week course will focus heavily on reading, and a full copy of the novel will be provided in both pdf and audiobook format. Although, students are also encouraged to purchase their own copies or borrow one from their local library. Student may either read the full text before the class begins, or their will be weekly reading assignments during the course.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1
Week 1 will begin with a focus on biographical information on the writer’s life and career, and will discuss why this person has remained such a significant voice in classic literature. This week will also cover introductory information to the novel, discussing themes and characters, as well as Chapters 1-6.

Week 2
Week 2 will cover Chapters 7-12 We will further explore how themes are present in the story, discuss symbols, and explore other literary devices present so far in the first half of the story.

Week 3
Week 3 will cover Chapters 13-18. We will further explore how themes are present in the story, discuss character progression and dynamics, and explore other literary devices.

Week 4
Week 4 will cover the end of the novel, Chapters 19 & Epilogue, and we will further explore literary devices and the greater messages of the story. Finally, the course will end with the comparison of the book to a film rendition of the story.

In the lessons, I often reference specific page numbers from the novel. It does not matter which edition you use, but if you would like to be able to follow along with my page reference, I recommend using the same edition I do.

I recommend using this Reissue edition of the novel for this class:

Course Features

  • Schedule October 3 - November 7
  • Activities NEW Classes
  • Lessons 4
  • Suggested Ages 9-14 One Level