Notes to the Teacher
Summer of the Wolves,
The activities and handouts in this Teacher's Guide are meant to supplement your students' reading of
Summer of the Wolves
by Polly Carlson-Voiles. You are free to use the pages as you'd like and to copy them for your students. You are also welcome to share them with colleagues. Nicole Boylan and Erin Fry have both spent many years in the classroom. They have also worked for several educational publishers, writing curriculum and assessment. Their passion is creating curricula that is pedagogically sound, standards-aligned, and engaging for students. They hope you enjoy this guide and welcome your feedback at their website: http://curriculumspecialists.blogspot.com/.
Orphaned twelve-year-old Nika and her seven-year-old brother Randall leave a California foster home to visit a long-lost uncle in the wilderness lake country of Northern Minnesota. A letter from their uncle sets them on a journey in a small floatplane over the thick green forest canopy, to spend the summer with him on a wilderness island. Nika, of all people, knows not to get her heart set on anything, but as she follows her uncle in his job studying wolves, Nika stumbles upon a relationship with an orphaned wolf pup that makes her feel
for the first time since her mother died
whole again. Here in these woods, with this wolf, none of the hard things in her past can reach her. With vivid details about wolf behavior and a deep sense of interconnectedness with nature, this captivating first novel illuminates the intricacies of family while searching for the fine balance between caring for wild animals and leaving them alone.
Directions for the Pre-reading
Activity RI.5.2, SL.6.1b, d, SL.6.6 1.Label the four corners or walls of your classroom with an A, B, C, and D. 2.Distribute Student Handout:
Four Corners Activity.
Explain that in the novel,
Summer of the Wolves
, the main characters have many tough choices to make. 3.Have students answer each question on their own handouts. 4.Divide students into groups of four. 5. Give groups two minutes to discuss Scenario 1 and agree on an option. Tell groups to be ready to defend their choice. 6. Read the Scenario 1 out loud (or project it on a screen). Then tell each group to send one person to the corner that represents their choice for Scenario 1. 7. Have group representatives explain and defend their choices. 8. Repeat steps 2
7 for Scenarios 2 - 4. 9. Ask students to think about some tough choices they have had to make in their lives. What helped them make a decision? Do they think they made the right choices?