Strays by Jennifer Caloyeras: Exclusive Classroom Material

Strays Feature Banner
When Jennifer Caloyeras first reached out to me about the possibility of reviewing her new book Strays on Novel Novice, I was intrigued – of course – by the premise of the book. But what really stood out to me was, when I perused her website, I noticed she had already put together classroom materials for the novel. (You can download discussion questions HERE!)

straysAnd if there’s anything you know about Novel Novice, we LOVE incorporating YA novels into the classroom. So when Jennifer & I started plotting this week’s features, she generously offered to put together some additional classroom materials exclusively for us. Of course I said yes! So, without further ado …

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Today, I’ll be sharing a writing prompt that will hopefully get you thinking more deeply about our connection to the animal world. You can start by writing a first-hand account of your experience below. Perhaps later, you can fill it in with made up details or even write about it in the third person.

PROMPT: Write about a memorable interaction with an animal. (off the top of my head I can think of a bird’s nest filled with eggs that I claimed and the mother bird came back looking for her babies. Or the time I saw a rattlesnake on a hike and instead of being afraid I was in awe of its beauty) Describe the animal using all five senses. How did this interaction make you feel? What did you learn from the experience? The more details you can add the better! Why not throw a metaphor or simile in there. What do you think the animal was thinking? In what ways were you similar to that animal? In what ways were you different?

Animal Outreach:
Do some research in your community and see if there are any programs similar to Ruff Rehabilitation in my novel, Strays. What are the options for participating with animals in your community? How can you get involved? What do you think you can gain by these sorts of experiences? Why is it important to help animals?

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