Sahara Special Extension Activity
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
About this book
1. Miss Pointy's students are assigned to write about how they got their names. What do you know about your name? How did you get your name, and what does your name mean? Do you like your name? Does it fit you? If you could change it, what would you choose, and why? Write about your name.
Students can also pick new names for themselves that display some aspect of their character, in the same way Sahara believes her own name is important (pp. 157-160). They could write these names down and put them in a hat, and as names are drawn, the class can guess whose "secret" name it is.
2. Choose one of the scenes from Miss Pointy's classroom — a humorous or important one — to make into a reader's theater or skit. Condense the scene if you want, assign roles, and practice reading your parts before you perform for the class. Afterward, explain why you chose the scene you did. What makes that scene funny or significant? What did you learn about the characters from reading their words aloud?
There is room here for a discussion of the different ways to tell a story. Does a skit tell the story in the same way as a book? What does a book do that a skit doesn't? What does a skit do that a book doesn't?
3. Using what you know from her story, imagine Sahara Jones twenty years in the future. What is she like, and what is she doing? Write a newspaper or magazine article about the grown-up Sahara Jones, giving us a glimpse into her adult life. Illustrate your article with a newspaper-style "photo" of Sahara.
Students with a stronger interest in writing can partner with students more interested in illustrating. They can further discuss how these different ways of getting information across are both important, and what one can do that the other can't, and why.