Curriculum Connections for DON'T FEED THE BOY by Irene Latham

One of my favorite things about school visits is walking in and seeing all the amazing work teachers and librarians have done to incorporate one of my books into all areas of study. The things people come up with are inspiring!

But not everyone has time to come up with their own ideas. Which is why I like to provide for each of my books a DISCUSSION GUIDE that includes cross-curriculum suggestions. And since DON'T FEED THE BOY will be released in paperback June 24, I've decided to feature those ideas here. You can find more for this book and for others at my website.

1. Write a “who am I?” poem from the perspective of one of the animals at the zoo (your choice.) ex. IF NOT FOR THE CAT by Jack Prelutsky
2. Write a letter to a friend telling them all the ways they are important in your life.
3. Write a story about Whit’s first day at Meadowbrook Middle School.
4. Read IF I RAN THE ZOO by Dr. Seuss. Write your own version.
5. Write a position paper in favor or against zoos. Present your argument orally.

1. Choose five exotic animals and create your own imaginary backyard zoo. Research what these animals eat. Calculate how much and what type of food to order. Create a budget.
2. Create a poll to discover the most popular/least popular zoo animal. Display your results in a graph.

1. One of Whit’s summer projects is a field study. Conduct your own field study of an animal in your life.
2. Research an animal on the Red List of Endangered Species. Create a conservation plan based on your findings.

1. Research the history of zoos. Give a news report as if you are reporting from the very first zoo, a current zoo, or a zoo in the future.
2. Whit’s mother is a veterinarian turned zoo director. Research the role of women in zoos.
How has it changed? What gender roles do you see currently emerging?

1. One way Stella escapes her life is by drawing birds at the zoo. Research and draw your favorite.
2. Create a 3-D model of Meadowbrook Zoo.
3. Examine the illustrations in DON’T FEED THE BOY. Why do you think the illustrator chose those particular scenes to illustrate? Choose another scene and illustrate it yourself.
4. Make a poster advertising the zoo. Include hours, prices and attractions.
5. Research John James Audubon, a famous artist and naturalist who, like Stella, loved to draw birds. Choose one of his paintings and attempt to copy it.


  1. Excellent cross-curricular tie-ins!

    1. Thank you, Marcia - it's fun to put on my teacher hat. :)

  2. Great Job Irene...I never thought to include the science and art tie-ins in my own curriculum guide for Wheels of Change.

    1. Thank you, Darlene - it's fun to come up with connections, isn't it?? Good luck with yours!

  3. Thank you, Holly - I could see lots of curriculum connections when I was reading your LUCKY. xo


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