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Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School

Last updated Friday, September 11, 2015

Author: Barbara Park
Illustrator: Denise Brunkus
Date of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0449817830
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2015

Synopsis: Hello, school children! Hello! It's me . . . Junie B., First Grader! I have been going to school for over one and a half entire years now. And I have learned a jillion things that will help you survive at that place. And guess what? NOW I AM GOING TO PASS THIS INFORMATION ON TO Y-O-U!!! I wrote it all down here in Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School! Here is some of the stuff I wrote about: * Bus Rules * Teachers (and other bosses) * Carpools * How to Stay Out of Trouble (Possibly) * Homework * Funwork * Friends (Plus Children You May Not Actually Care For). And that is just the tip of the ice cube! 'Cause I drew all the pictures myself. Plus also, there are pages where Y-O-U can write and draw, too! So open it up and get started. You will have fun, I think! (Amazon)

Note to readers:
•  This is not a story, but a "guide". You may want to read a few pages from each of the six sections. After reading a short excerpt from a section, discuss how it relates to the kids' school experiences.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think a survival guide is?
•  Talk about how a "guide" is different from other books.
•  What tips for school do you have or give to your younger siblings?


•  essential - Fundamentally important or necessary.
•  survival - staying alive, existence, being alive, viability, life span, holding on to life. An animal's sense of smell is crucial to its survival.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Offer one suggestion you would give to a new classmate just entering your school. What would you say to him/her?
•  Do you think this guide is serious or funny? Why?
•  Would this guide apply to other grades, as well? What about 3rd grade? (the grade it is being read to)

Craft ideas:
•  Make a small notebook for your own "Survival Guide to School". Design a cover, list sections for a table of contents, include illustrations with labels and make it fun! Refer to diagram & instructions on making a little booklet from
•  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 books back cover until it too fits into the pocket on the right side. Decorate your book cover!

*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!