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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

September 05

In 1952, Paul Fleischman was born on this day.

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In 1952, Paul Fleischman was born on this day.

Grades 1 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Novelist and poet Paul Fleischman was born in Monterey, California, in 1952. He is the author of the Newbery Award-winning book Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, and numerous works of fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry, as well as picture books. Fleischman won the Scott O'Dell Award, which is awarded to the year's best work of historical fiction for children or young adults, for his Civil War novel Bull Run.




Fleischman grew up in a home where reading and writing were very important-his father, author Sid Fleischman, won the Newbery Award for the novel The Whipping Boy. Paul Fleischman has fond memories of his father reading books aloud to the family, of listening to the radio with his mother, and exploring the many books in his father's study. Share some of Fleischman's memories with your class by reading his essay "My House of Voices."

Invite students to brainstorm a list of the voices that fill their own homes (or another location, such as their school or a community building). With their lists for inspiration, ask students to write a descriptive essay, similar to Fleischman's essay, that gives a tour of the voices in these places. Younger students might write a collaborative essay, with individual students or small groups cataloguing the voices of different areas of a place that they have all visited, such as the school or a nearby park.



  • Paul Fleischman's Official Website

    In addition to reviewers' comments, this site includes excerpts, biographical information, and articles, including "From Seed to Seedfolks," which provides background on Seedfolks.

  • Zap Teachers' Guide

    Candlewick Press offers this guide to Fleischman's first published play, Zap. Included are discussion questions and activities.

  • Meeting the Author: Questions for Paul Fleischman

    This teacher's guide to Fleischman's Seedfolks includes an interview with the author and specific activities and curriculum connections.

  • Meet the Author: Paul Fleischman

    EduPlace offers this brief biography of Paul Fleischman, in which the influences of his childhood and of music on his work is highlighted. Also included is a selected list of Fleischman's books.


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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Multipurpose Poetry: Introducing Science Concepts and Increasing Fluency

Creepy crawlers, hoppers, and fliers are the focus of this lesson in which students chorally read poems about insects and use the Internet to locate facts about their assigned insects.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Creating Classroom Community by Crafting Themed Poetry Collections

Students create poetry collections with the theme of "getting to know each other." They study and then write a variety of forms of poetry to include in their collections.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Using Historical Fiction to Learn About the Civil War

Students in grades 4 and 5 discuss inferential comprehension and visualization as they use a think-aloud questioning strategy to develop a deeper understanding of a historical novel.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Compiling Poetry Collections and a Working Definition of Poetry

This unit introduces students to a variety of poetic forms and elements, as they compile their own collections of poetry.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Moving Toward Acceptance Through Picture Books and Two-Voice Texts

Students read and discuss literature about intolerance and diversity. They work with a partner to write two-voice poems that illustrate situations of intolerance at their school and suggest a step toward acceptance.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

How Does My Garden Grow? Writing in Science Field Journals

Students plant a garden and study its growth using the inquiry process of questioning and exploring. As they research and study, students record their observations in a field journal.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Let It Grow: An Inquiry-Based Organic Gardening Research Project

Students learn about organic gardening by developing their own research questions, conducting research, gardening at their school, creating signs about their plants, and presenting their research to the class.