- your ideas!
buried treasure, curses,
friendship, homelessness, juvenile
delinquency, magic, onions, racism,
Stanley is just a regular kid
until he is found responsible for a
crime he didn't commit. We learn
about a curse that has been in his
family for several generations. His
bad luck lands Stanley in a very
strange correctional camp in the
Texas desert. The warden has all the
inmates digging holes in a dry lake
bed. The story weaves interesting
tall tales from local history and
Stanley's family. The relationships
among the juveniles in the camp are
interesting to follow. Stanley finds
a good friend, treasure, and learns
to like himself.
Is your class reading this book?
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Read comments from our
- Author and Book
- Author Connection. Sachar is the author of
Small Steps,Wayside School, Dogs Don't Tell Jokes,
Sideways Stories, and the Marvin Redpost
series, among others.
- Holes by Louis Sachar from N. Matson
- Fun Connections. Did you notice that the name
Stanley Yelnats is a palindrome? Find examples on the
Internet and create your own. Visit Palindromes
from DiscoverySchool. Use the following websites for other ideas: English Palindromes, Palindromic Phrases, Palindromic Words.
- For a
totally different and fun activity, try the Holes
Trivia Game or the Holes
Word Scramble, both from Kidsreads. Also try the quiz from Scholastic
- Book Connections. Holes blends a serious topic
with light humor. It also contains elements of historical
fiction and tall tales. Discuss which element you enjoyed
the most. You might enjoy other books in the same areas.
SparkNotes provides a study guide for Holes.
- Explore the book at Wikipedia. Read the Random
House - Book Info and Scholastic
- Holes. Also check Holes KidsRead and Holes. Try the following Holes WebQuests and activities:
- Check out the following project; a website developed
by kids for kids:
Hole Truth (and Nothing But the Truth) - a unit study
based on Louis Sachar's book. It's a 2001 "Best of
Contest" award winner from ThinkQuest Junior!
- Cool Classroom
- Consider the following aspects of the book:
inventions and inventors, onions, dehydration, old west,
magic, spells, treasure, animals of the desert (snakes,
scorpions, lizards), and lots more. Here you find some
- Bullying and Teasing. Teasing and bullying in
schools is a problem that can have devastating and
lifelong effects -- both for the bully and their victims.
Remember Stanley was a victim of bullying at school
before he came to Camp Green Lake
- Homelessness. Stanley's friend was homeless
before he came to camp. Discuss homelessness in your
community. What would it be like to be homeless? Create a
poster advocating a way that one can help.
- Juvenile Justice & Detention. Read about
the history of juvenile delinquency. How do you think
that teenagers should be treated in the judicial
- Texas. Stanley goes to a correctional camp in
Texas. Learn more about the state. Based on the
description of the surroundings, where do you think the
camp might be located?
- Buried Treasure. Stanley finds out that the
real reason they are digging holes involves hidden
treasure. Read about treasure hunts. What type of
treasure would you like to hunt? Why? Hide some treasure
at your school. Create a treasure map.
- Desert Life. Stanley had to deal with life in
the desert, including lack of water and harmful
creatures. Create a list of the helpful and harmful
aspects of life in the desert. Then, create a desert
- Gypsy (Roma). According to family legend,
Stanley was under a curse from a gypsy woman. Investigate
the history and culture of gypsies, many who prefer to be
- Other Related Explorations.
- View the trailer, learn more about the cast, and
teachers will find lots of lesson plans at Holes - The
Official Website from Disney Online http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/holes/.
- Read a movie review (May 6, 2003) by T.S. Hibbs in
the National Review: "No Holes in Hole"
- Holes (Grades 5-8) by H. Kupczyk and M. Budzban
- Holes by Louis Sachar (Grade 5-6) from Houghton
Mifflin Company's TeacherView
- Holes by Louis Sachar (Grades 3-6) by D. Flaugher
. . .
- Holes, by Louis Sachar by D. Flaugher form AskERIC
. . .
- Holes by Louis Sachar (Book Discussion Guide) from
Multnomah County Library
- Holes (Literature Activity Guide) by N. Polette
- Holes: Louis Sachar from Kids@Random
- Questions on Holes
Classroom Connections and Reader
- I am going to be using
Holes as a class novel in about two weeks. I teach 8th
grade Reading Development which is for those students who
made less than a 78 on the Texas Assessment of Academic
Skill test. We do not have mandatory 8th grade reading.
Students in my class may not have a serious problem with
reading, but are reading at a low comprehension level
because of a sense of failure, and or a lack on interest
in reading. Sometimes it is due to low vocabulary
concepts. Some of my students have been placed in my
class because they have never taken a TAAS test or
because their parents have requested that they take an
additional reading class. The reading ranges in my class
can go anywhere from about 3rd-4th grade level up through
12 grade level. Some students are just not good test
takers. I have two objectives for my class. The first is
to encourage a love of reading to the best of my ability.
This means I must be very careful with the selections I
bring into my class for my students to read. I think
Holes fits that category. My next objective is to develop
critical thinking skills so that the student will
- stimulated to start asking
questions so that they will become a more active and
participating reader. Holes seems to offer a wide variety
of topics that students should be able to buy into. I
have begun to lay the ground work by teaching and
demonstrating the Reading Process. (Pre Reading, Reading,
and Post Reading) through a short story by Richard Peck,
"Priscilla and the Wimps". The students are just now
finishing up on Post reading activities such as creating
an extension to the story. This next week I will be
starting to engage them in group activities using Reading
-- A Novel Approach by Janice Shabbona published in 1984.
It incorporates student discussion groups and cooperative
learning which I hope to extend into Internet activities.
We also use the Accelerated Reader program to supplement
our reading. The students are required to read two books
a grading period( 9 weeks). Holes is an an Accelerated
Reader book and students will be able to take a test on
the book for credit when we finish it. Vicki
- More ideas...
- Pre reading activities: The
students will be issued books and I will be reviewing pre
reading questions they should ask themselves before they
read. We will be looking at the cover trying to get as
much information as we can from the cover, the preview
summary on the back and any information the cover and
first pages would have on the author. Using a graphic
organizer similar to a kwl but actually a paper folded in
half on one side I will ask the students to write any
questions they have about the title or author . They will
see how many pages there are in the book, how many
chapters and become aware that the book will be divided
into 8 sections. On the other side I will ask the
students to predict what the story will be about by
determining who the main character is and what may be the
main characters problem. On another paper I will have
them draw a picture or write a descriptive paragraph of a
boys detention camp and have them include a picture or a
description of a camp warden. We probably will not get
all of this finished in this class period. You are free
to use any of my ideas. I would appreciate any feedback,
critiques, or extended ideas. Vicki
Lamb, 10/99. Updated 5/06.
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