Teaching Hatchet by Gary Paulsen Using a Novel Workbook

Novel Studies that Promote Higher-Order Thinking

Have you been following along our novel study journey? If so, you may have seen my posts about using interactive novel workbooks instead of typical novel studies. Novel workbooks are going to provide your students with the opportunity to challenge their thinking, build their literacy skills, and become more well-rounded readers.

Teaching Hatchet

Hatchet is one of those novels that can grab the attention of even your least interested readers. This story of survival covers themes of strength and perseverance. These thought-provoking ideas are present throughout this entire novel study.

This story introduces you to a young boy named Brian. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he ends up alone in the Canadian wilderness with little more than a hatchet. Your students will be amazed by the odds that Brian fights to overcome and they will enjoy the events that happen along the way.

Hatchet is a great novel to study because the character transformation is woven beautifully. As Brian faces physical obstacles, he will also be faced with mental and emotional obstacles that are perfect for analysis. Who knew that a story with one character could be the one to study for character development?

Digging Deep with the Hatchet Workbook

Just like the others, this workbook has been designed to meet each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Students will be able to really dig deep into understanding the novel with activities under each of the following sections: Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate and Create. Below are *some* of the ideas to incorporate from each section of the Hatchet Workbook!

Remember: Have students work independently or as groups to understand each chapter. Questions that correlate with each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, as well as, vocabulary and figurative language will help enhance their literacy skills.

Understand: Have students dive into the plot with the Extended Plot Structure Activity or expand students’ knowledge of survival skills with a Wilderness Pamphlet activity.

Apply: Conduct a novel investigation with the Literature Review Flipbook!

Analyze: Have students investigate Brian’s obstacles with the Character Trophy activity or Character Interview.

Evaluate: Think like a novelist! Pull back the layers of the story with the literary elements focus lesson or the identifying themes activity.

Create: Explore the world with Five Minute Adventures or Brian’s Wilderness Map!

The activities and lessons that come with this novel study will provide students with an interactive, hands-on approach to reading. They will be reading, writing, illustrating, creating, speaking, researching, discussing and so, so much more!

If you think your students would love studying Hatchet, click here!


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Welcome! My name is Brittany Jeltema, also known as The SuperHERO Teacher, and I am a curriculum designer and classroom flipper. I have a strong passion for helping teachers reach as many students as possible through creativity, engagement, and empowerment!

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