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Save Me a Seat

Last updated Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Author: Sarah Weeks
Illustrator: Gita Varadarajan
Date of Publication: 2016
ISBN: 0545846609
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2016

Synopsis: Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common -- but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

Note to readers:
•  Read the inside cover to the students before you begin reading the chapters. Each chapter is the perspective of either Ravi or Joe. It would be fun to have one volunteer read Ravi chapters and the other volunteer read Joe chapters. Try to read 4 chapters, they are not too long.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Who do you eat with at lunch?
•  Have you ever invited new kids to sit with you and your friends? Why or why not?
•  What is your favorite school lunch?
•  Vocabulary: virtue-moral excellence, goodness; plantation--large property where cotton or tobacco is grown; cricket--a small insect or a game similar to baseball; Bollywood--Hollywood in India; coincidence--surprising concurrence of events by accident/chance; hacky sack--game with a small bean bag bounced off one's foot; klepto--slang for someone who steals things; lurking--lie in ambush or hide

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Is it hard to make friends at a new school?
•  Is it harder to make friends if you are from another country or area?
•  What should Ravi and Joe do about Dillon, the bully?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of your favorite school lunch in a tray. Divide a piece of paper to resemble a lunch tray and color in your favorite school lunch.
•  Make a book cover for your prize book! You will need a paper bag cut open with the rectangular bottom cut off, or a long piece of paper or newspaper. Place your book in the middle of your paper and with the book open, mark the paper along the top and bottom so that it matches the height of the book. Push the book aside for a moment, and fold the paper along those two marks. Now put the open book back on the paper and mark the left edge and the right edge. Fold along the marks on the left and right. You have just created a pocket on either side that the covers of the book will fit into. Tuck the front cover into the pocket created by the left-hand fold. Fiddle with the book’s back cover until it too fits into the pocket on the right side. Decorate your book cover!
•  Make a THANK YOU card for your teacher.
•  See examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/september-2016-back-to-school/

Special activities:
•  Partner up and play Venn Friends. Create a Venn diagram showing all the things you have in common with your partner. See page 17 for description of Venn Diagram

*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!