Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quake! A Novel by Joe Cottonwood

Cottonwood, J. (1995). Quake! A Novel. New York: Scholastic Trade. Grades 6-8.

Award: Young Readers Book Award (1998)
Subject Area: Language Arts, Science
Genre: Science Fiction

Summary: This book begins with two young girls who grew up together and had to separate after one of them moved away. They are eventually reunited right before the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake took place in California. Without their parents around, the two girls must rely on their instincts and knowledge of earthquakes in order to deal with this 7.1 Richter scale earthquake that damages everything around them. 

Themes/Topics: Earthquakes, friendship, survival

Initiating Questions & Activity:

  • Questions: What do we know about earthquakes? Do earthquakes often happen in this area? Has anyone ever had to move away from a friend or had a friend move away from them? Did you remain friends?
  • Activity: Together as a class we will review and discuss what it is like when an earthquake occurs. We will talk about what the Richter scale is and how bad earthquakes can be. We will also discuss any personal stories that can be shared about students who have been separated geographically from a friend or friends.

Culminating & Extending Questions:
  • Questions: What was your favorite part of the book? Did you enjoy the book? What is one thing that you know about earthquakes now that you did not know before this book? Has anyone ever experienced an earthquake?
  • Activity: We will use the fishbowl activity after reading this book which will have a small group in the middle of the classroom discussing the book. Several groups will rotate in and discuss similar aspects of the book or whatever aspects they prefer.

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