Boys of Wartime and the Common Core

When we first talked about using the month of March to blog about how our books can be used in the classroom, I had a moment of concern verging on panic.  How could I possibly tell a professional teacher or librarian what to do? Except for school visits, I haven’t set foot in a classroom in more years than I’d like to fess up to.

But then I calmed myself down and remembered that not only are my novels frequently used as grade-wide read alouds to supplement Social Studies lessons about the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War II.  And I paid a professional to create teacher’s guides for many of my books, including all three BOYS OF WARTIME novels, back when they were first published.  You can find them here:

I admit that Common Core confuses the heck out of me, but I also have an educator friend who has become somewhat of an expert. Together we put together a list of Common-Core related activities for BOYS OF WARTIME.  Some are focused on Close Reading and Collaborative Conversations.  Others involve Writing and Researching.  My favorite is this one:

Imagine that you are in charge of the French Resistance efforts to smuggle downed aviators out of France, the head of the emergency committee formed to fight the Rebel invasion, or the head of a spy group in colonial Boston. Using examples from the books, create a top-secret manual with orders for everyone involved in the operation, including instructions on how to avoid getting caught and how to handle interrogations. Present your manual to the class with a Powerpoint presentation. (W.2, W.4, W.6, W.9)

You can download the whole list here:

I hope you and your students have fun with it!


  1. Saw BOYS OF WARTIME at my local B&N yesterday. Good to have educator friends, isn't it?

  2. How exciting! Thanks for letting me know. I NEVER see the books in stores.

  3. Laurie, your books are absolutely perfect for the classroom! You make a teacher's job easier.

  4. Compelling activity suggestions for riveting books!


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