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Tuck Everlasting

Last updated Monday, February 27, 2006

Author: Natalie Babbitt
Date of Publication: 1975
ISBN: 0374378487
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2006

Synopsis: Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a starnger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

Note to readers:
•  This is a chapter book that you won't be able to finish. Read Prologue and Chapters 2-6 (skip Chapter 1). If you have time, read Chapter 7. Remind students that the book will be in their school library and they should finish reading it on their own.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think the title means?
•  What kinds of things are ?everlasting??
•  What would you do if you could live forever? What would you miss if you stayed at one age forever?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Prologue
•  What is the simile on the first page?
•  What do you learn?
•  What is the hub of a wheel? What does it do?
•  The three things that will happen are in Chapters 2, 3, and 4.
•  Chapter 2
•  Who are Mae and Tuck?
•  How long have Mae and Tuck stayed the same?
•  Chapter 3
•  Who is Winnie?
•  What are Winnie's mom and grandmother like? Are they like your mom and/or grandmother?
•  Chapter 4
•  Who is the stranger?
•  What is the elf music that Winnie's grandmother hears?
•  Chapter 5
•  What is Winnie afraid of when she is planning on running away? What does she do with her fears? In what ways are you a good friend to yourself?
•  What does Jesse stop Winnie from doing? Has someone ever told you not to do something? Did you later find out if it was good for you?
•  Chapter 6
•  When Winnie is kidnapped, Mae shows her the music box. Have you ever seen one before?
•  How does Winnie feel when she is kidnapped?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of yourself when you are 16, 25, 35, 45, etc. and write words to describe yourself.
•  Draw a picture of different seasons on a circle (paper plate) and create a spinner using brads. You can also use thumbtacks to attach the circle to the eraser of a pencil and spin it. Bring ahead: paper plates, brads, thumbtacks, and/or pencils.

*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!