Crenshaw Resource Set

Lesson Plans • Resources • Activities
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Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Jackson’s family is no stranger to hard times and the return of his imaginary friend, Crenshaw, signals that hard times may have found them once again. Crenshaw first appeared when Jackson was young and his family started living in their van. The sharply dressed, surfboard riding cat helps Jackson when he needs it most, but Jackson feels that he is now too old for an imaginary friend. This touching story about family, friendship, and perseverance is ideal for a Book Club focused on theme and how it is developed over the course of the text.

Teach with Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Get everything you need to deliver meaningful reading instruction using Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

  • Interactive Lesson Plan for 6 Book Club Meetings Focusing on Determining Theme
  • Chapter by Chapter Discussion Guide
  • Chapter by Chapter Vocabulary Guide
  • Book Club Calendar
  • Conversation Prompts
  • Expectations for Book Club Anchor Chart / Student Reference Sheet
  • Student Self-Evaluation Forms
  • Running Record Assessment Tool
  • Student Reading Response Guide
  • Comprehension Assessment Rubric
  • Common Core State Standard Assessment
CCSS Alignment
TEKS Alignment
  • CCSS Alignment: L.4.6 RF.4.3 RF.4.4 RL.4.1 RL.4.10 RL.4.2 RL.4.3 RL.4.4 RL.4.5 RL.4.6 RL.4.7 RL.4.9 SL.4.1a SL.4.1b SL.4.1c SL.4.1d SL.4.2 SL.4.3 W.4.8 W.4.9
  • Vocabulary: L.4.4a L.4.5c L.4.6
  • Instructional Overview: 4.10A 4.10B 4.10E 4.1A 4.1C 4.6A 4.6E 4.6F 4.6G 4.6H 4.6I 4.7A 4.7B 4.7C 4.7D 4.7E 4.7F 4.7G 4.8A 4.8B 4.8C
  • Vocabulary: 4.3A 4.3B 4.7E 4.7F
  • Take a Closer Look at the
    Crenshaw Resource Set

    Instructional Overview

    The instructional overview includes instructional background for determining theme, instructional objectives for each of the Book Club meetings, and a list of the materials and preparation necessary to host the Crenshaw Book Club.
    TEKS Alignment:

    4.10A 4.10B 4.10E 4.1A 4.1C 4.6A 4.6E 4.6F 4.6G 4.6H 4.6I 4.7A 4.7B 4.7C 4.7D 4.7E 4.7F 4.7G 4.8A 4.8B 4.8C

    Book Club Management Resources

    The management resources include a Book Club Calendar, conversation prompts, Student Self-Evaluation forms, Reading Response Board (with optional Common Core alignment), and an Expectations for Book Club anchor chart.

    Meeting #1: Introduce Theme

    Open the Crenshaw Book Club by practicing identifying the theme of a popular children's story that students are familiar with. Then, provide the broad category of friendship for readers to follow as they read and look for ways author Katherine Applegate share her message throughout the story.

    Meeting #2: Identifying Main Ideas and Supporting Details 

    An important step in learning to determine the theme of a story like Katherine Applegate's Crenshaw, is identifying the main ideas and supporting details. Students will work on this skill using a graphic organizer that will help them track their thinking.

    Meeting #3: Recognizing How Characters Support Theme

    While following friendship throughout Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, readers will find it helpful to look at the relationships between Jackson and Crenshaw and Jackson and Marisol. Paying attention to these relationships and the characters' thoughts, dialogue, and actions will help students begin to formulate a specific theme related to friendship.

    Meeting #4: Discovering the Relationship between Plot and Theme Development

    This Crenshaw Book Club focuses on how author Katherine Applegate woven her theme of friendship into the plot of the story. Readers will be able to explore how this is done using the "story within a story" of the first time Jackson's family became homeless.

    Meeting #5: Connecting Main Ideas and Supporting Details to Determining Theme

    Now that students have progressed further into Katherine Applegate's Crenshaw, it is time to revisit the main ideas and supporting details that they have been tracking. Students will be able to identify some common main ideas related to friendship that are supported by the text. These main ideas will help shape their thinking when it comes to determining a theme in the final meeting.

    Meeting #6: Determining a Theme that the Author Conveyed Throughout the Story

    The final Book Club meeting for Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate provides an opportunity for readers to showcase their learning related to determining theme. Students will use their creative side to create a book poster that illustrates a theme found in the book.

    Crenshaw Focus Assessment and Rubric

    Use this six-question assessment to determine whether or not students understand the key concepts associated with determining theme.

    Crenshaw Common Core Assessment

    This 9 question Common Core aligned assessment can be used to determine students' overall comprehension of Crenshaw and their mastery of the Common Core State Standards.

    Crenshaw Running Record

    Use this "done for you" Running Record to assess oral reading fluency of Crenshaw. Track meaning, structure, and visual accuracy using the first 100 words of the text to determine whether or not this book is a good fit for the readers in your classroom.

    Student Resources in Spanish

    This set of Spanish student facing resources includes Book Club Management Resources for use with Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate. These resources are intended to be used with the lesson plans included in the Resource Set for this book.

    Crenshaw Vocabulary Connections

    Before your students can fully comprehend and enjoy Crenshaw, it’s helpful to review the new vocabulary used in the story. Either download Crenshaw Super Pack or this individual Vocabulary Builder for resources and activities that support Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary growth through fun and productive interactions with new words.
    Common Core Alignment:

    L.4.4a L.4.5c L.4.6
    TEKS Alignment:

    4.3A 4.3B 4.7E 4.7F

    Crenshaw Common Core Alignment

    List of the Common Core State Standards addressed by Crenshaw Book Club Resource Set.

    Crenshaw TEKS Alignment

    Complete TEKS alignment for all of the mini lessons, resources, and activities in the Crenshaw Resource Set.

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