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Judy Moody Declares Independence

Last updated Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Author: Megan McDonald
Illustrator: Peter Reynolds
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 076362361X
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2005

Synopsis: Hear ye! Hear ye! Everyone knows that Judy Moody has a mood for every occasion, and now a visit to Boston has put our famous third grader in a revolutionary mood. When Judy meets an English girl named Tori at the Tea Party ship, she is gobsmacked to learn how many liberties her British friend enjoys--her very own phone, private loo, and pounds of allowance. When a day of cheerfully doing her chores doesn't earn Judy Moody more rights, and staging a revolt in the form of a tea-throwing Boston Tub Party has her dad reading the riot act, Judy is forced into temporary retreat. Who would guess that a real-life crisis involving her brother, Stink, would finally give Judy a chance to show her courageous quick thinking--and prove her independence, once and for all?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  How many people do you have in your family?
•  Have you taken a vacation with your family? Where have you gone?
•  What do you know about Boston and its history?
•  What does "independence" mean? If you could declare "independence" from something, what would it be?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  From each chapter, what did you learn about Boston?
•  Who were some of the important men from history and what did they do?
•  What does Stink do that bothers Judy?
•  Do you think Judy or Stink had a better experience on the trip? Why or why not?

Craft ideas:
•  When America declared its independence, the flag was created. Explain the symbolism in the American flag and have students create their own flag, declaring their own independence. (Bring ahead option: flags from different countries)
•  With an unlined index card, create a "postcard" and write a message to a friend. Pretend that you are writing from a fun place to visit. Are you at the beach? In New York City? The San Diego Zoo? (Bring ahead option: old postcards)

Special activities:
•  Sing the National Anthem and explain the words.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!