Clementine, Friend of the Week by Sara Pennypacker
November 3, 2011 in Book Club Possibility, Chapter Books, character education, Elementary Educators, Frazee, Marla, Making Personal Connections, Pennypacker, Sara, Reading Skills Tags: Chapter Books, Clementine, funny chapter books
*Chapter book, realistic and contemporary fiction
*Third-grade girl as main character
*Rating: I’m a huge fan of Sara Pennypacker and the Clementine series. This is book four, and it is as cute as ever. If you are a pet lover, it can be a little sad in the middle–but happy endings all around (even for Margaret.
Short, short summary: In Clementine’s third grade class, she has been chosen as friend of the week. This comes with all sorts of privileges such as line leader, but Clementine is most excited, well and anxious, about the booklet she’ll receive at the end of the week. All the kids will write a message to her, and she wants to make sure they have something nice to write. She wants hers to be as good as Margaret’s from last year. She spends all week coming up with grand plans, like only Clementine can, so she’ll have the best Friend of the Week booklet ever. However, the importance of this week is put into perspective when Moisturizer, Clementine’s beloved cat, goes missing.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. A fun emotional intelligence activity is to have everybody in the classroom draw the name of another classmate. Then the students have to write something nice about the person whose name they drew. You write/draw it on an 8 x 10 inch piece of construction paper. You can draw students’ attention to how Clementine feels when she reads the nice comments on her Friend of the Week booklet. (If you homeschool, you can do this activity with members of the family and post the nice things on the refrigerator!)
2. In this segment of Clementine, Margaret shows her younger friend just how much she likes her and how important Clementine is to Margaret. Ask students what Margaret does to show her friendship in the novel. How does Clementine react? Then how does Margaret maintain her personality at the end of the novel?
3. There are really two problems in this novel–one is created by Clementine trying to figure out something wonderful to do for her friends, so they’ll write nice things in her booklet, and the other is when Moisturizer goes missing. How are these problems solved in the novel? This is an easy book to talk about problems and solutions because in each case, Clementine does different, obvious tasks to attempt to solve her problems.