Teachers, you probably already know Fish In A Tree rocks, but have you checked out the teacher's guide? It's full of activities that tie into the standards. Check out the awesome activity below about how characters grow and change and be sure to visit Lynda Mullaly Hunt's website, too. She has this fantastic page where teachers can share ways that they've used the book in the classroom which provides us a wonderful opportunity to learn from one another.
Activity Name: Characters Grow and Change
Activity Description: Ally grows and changes through her relationships with others. Have students use the fishbowl technique to explore her interactions with others.
• Give each small group a different character in Ally’s life: Mr. Daniels, Travis, Ally’s mother, Ally’s father, Albert, Shay, and Keisha.
• Before beginning the fishbowl technique, have small groups locate quotations from the text about the messages their character teaches to Ally. (For example, students might find messages from Travis on pages 34, 84, 110; messages from mother on pages 27, 66; messages from father on pages 52, 171; and messages from Mr. Daniels on pages 81, 125, 130, 135, 146, 156, 158, 163, 205.)
• Ask a small group to gather as a circle to discuss the character’s relationship with Ally while the other students gather in an outer circle to listen, take notes, and write down questions and comments.
• Discuss expectations for how the fishbowl members will interact (come to discussion prepared, make comments that contribute to the discussion, elaborate on the comments of others in the fishbowl).
• To begin, pose one of the following questions: What moments in the text show the way Ally and (chosen character) interact? What messages does (chosen character) communicate to Ally?
• Have students in the fishbowl discuss the open-ended question.
• Ask the outer circle to provide their thoughts.
Whether it be for one specific student, a small group of kids, or a whole class, finding a "just right" book makes the teacher's and the students' day.