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Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco



Book Summary Novel Activities Vocabulary Words Writing Activities Discussion Topics Online Test




Book Summary


Trisha's mom was a teacher, so she grew up in a family who loved books. Once she got to school and started to learn to read, she had a lot of trouble. Despite how hard she tried, she was not able to learn to read like the other children her age. She was teased and discouraged. The other children were mean to her and called her dumb. This caused Trisha to hate school.

When Trisha started fifth grade, she was in Mr. Falker's class. Mr. Falker made her feel special. He helped her appreciate her talents. He also was the first teacher to recognize her inability to read and help her through it. Mr. Falker took the time to help Trisha read, and in doing so, changed her life.


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Novel Activities


1. Try to determine the two important themes in this story.

2. Make a list of things you can say to someone to make them feel good about themselves.

3. Say something nice to a classmate.


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Vocabulary Words


ladle twilight torture elegant
stumbling mole cunning odyssey


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Writing Activities


Sensory/Descriptive: Write a thank you note to a teacher that helped you get through something that was a real challenge for you. Describe in detail how the teacher helped you. Also, explain in detail how the teacher's extra help made you feel.


Imaginative/Narrative: Trisha's hero is Mr. Falker because he made such a huge difference in her life by teaching her to read. Think about who your hero is. Then, write about why that person is your hero and what they have done to make a difference in your life.


Analytical/Persuasive: Convince someone not to be a bully. Explain why it is wrong to tease or to be mean to others.


Practical/Informative: Explain why teachers are important. Be sure to give at least three specific reasons why teachers play an important role in the lives of children.


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Discussion/Journal Topics


If you were in class with Trisha, what would you have done to make her feel better about herself?

Have you ever felt like Trisha before?


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Online Test


Your students can take an online test with immediate results at:

Thank You, Mr. Falker Online Test


The Professional Development Institute has a complete literature unit for this novel. For more information, click the link below.

Thank You, Mr. Falker Literature Unit (Check out the sample pages!)


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