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The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron

Teacher Guide by Ashley Trudeau

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Student Activities for The Stories Julian Tells By Ann Cameron Include:

The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron is a beginning chapter book full of magic, mischief, and little brothers. It is a great story about growing up, and learning from your mistakes. The stories are told by Julian, in a narrative style that is funny and easy to connect with. Julian has a wild imagination and it shows through his storytelling!

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!




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A Quick Synopsis of The Stories Julian Tells (Contains Plot Spoilers)

The Stories Julian Tells is a compilation of six different stories that the narrator, Julian, tells about his life. We follow Julian through stories of major life events, and we see how his life is affected by his family, his imaginative mind, and his ability to get himself into trouble. Throughout the book, we see that Julian is growing up, and learning from his mistakes. He learns how to take responsibility for his actions, he learns how to be a better big brother, and he learns that anyone can be a friend.

The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea

Julian and his brother, Huey, watch their dad make a delicious lemon pudding. While their father is napping, the boys, who are not supposed to touch the pudding, take turns tasting it and accidentally eat almost the whole pudding! When their dad finds out, they are in big trouble, and their punishment is to make another lemon pudding. The boys complain that it is hard work, but they know they have to take responsibility for their actions and finish the pudding.

Catalog Cats

Julian’s father orders a catalog to get seeds for their garden. Huey asks Julian what a catalog is. Julian, tricking his little brother, says a catalog is a book full of hundreds of cats that pop out and help plant in the garden. When the catalog arrives, Huey is very upset when he finds there are no cats, and Julian’s father is also upset with Julian and his lie. However, their father plays along with the fib, saying catalog cats are real, but that it is very hard to catch or see one. He also says that you have to send a special request for catalog cats, and that is exactly what Huey does.

Our Garden

The family orders many different things to plant in the garden. The boys order two special seeds: giant corn seeds, and seeds to make a house of flowers. The night that they finish planting the seeds, Julian sneaks outside to look at the garden. His imagination takes hold, and he thinks he sees a moon with sharp horns, and the catalog cats sitting on the roof of the garage! He also thinks the seeds are dreaming, so he quietly tells them to grow as high as the house. Throughout the summer the plants do grow, the corn grows as high as the house, and Huey’s flower house grows very large.

Because of Figs

Julian is given a fig tree for his fourth birthday. He plants and takes care of it, and it starts growing leaves. Julian is excited his tree is growing, but is upset that he is not. He decides to eat the leaves of the fig tree to help him grow. As Julian grows, his fig tree does not. Years pass and still the tree does not grown. Julian’s father thinks it is time for a new tree, but Julian refuses. He decides to stop eating the tree’s leaves and hopes the tree will grow big with lots of figs.

My Very Strange Teeth

Julian has one tooth that is loose and wiggly, and one new tooth coming in. Julian does not want two teeth where only one should be, nor does he want to wait for his tooth to fall out naturally. His father offers some options to get Julian’s tooth out, but they all scare Julian. He decides to keep his tooth even though he thinks it’s stupid. His mother offers some advice, and he gets a brilliant idea. The next day at school, he tricks some kids into paying to see his ‘cave boy’ teeth. Julian is very excited with his idea and cannot wait to go back to school the next day to show more kids. He takes a big bite out of an apple, and out falls his tooth!

Gloria Who Might Be My Best Friend

Julian meets a new girl in the neighborhood, Gloria. They instantly become friends, and they both wish that each other would live in the neighborhood for a long time. Gloria says she knows a way to make wishes come true. Together, they make a kite, write down wishes, and fasten the wishes onto the tail of the kite. They fly the kite, and Gloria says if there are no wishes on the kite when it gets pulled in, then that’s how they know the wishes will come true. When Gloria and Julian pull in their kite, all the wishes are gone. Julian finds out one of Gloria’s wishes, and he is very happy that she also wished they would be good friends.


Essential Questions for The Stories Julian Tells

  1. Why is storytelling important?
  2. Why are responsibilities important? What can you learn from having them?
  3. Is it okay to tell make-believe stories or ‘little white lies’?
  4. Why is family important? What do they teach us?

The Stories Julian Tells By Ann Cameron Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Character Map Graphic Organizer | The Stories Julian Tells


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As students read, a storyboard can serve as a helpful character reference log. This log (also called a character map) allows students to recall relevant information about important characters. With character mapping, students will record this information, helping them follow along and catch the subtleties which make reading more enjoyable!

You can click on this map and create a copy on your teacher account. Feel free to use it as is, or to edit it for the level of your class. Printing it as worksheets, for your students to complete while reading, is a fast and easy way to incorporate this character map into your classroom.

Here is an example for Julian:



Physical Appearance

  • young boy
  • older and taller than his brother, Huey

Character Traits

  • has a wild imagination
  • learns from his mistakes
  • friendly
  • funny

Evidence

  • "I stayed taller than Huey."
  • "A catalog is where cats come from. It's a big book of hundreds of cats. And when you open it up, all the cats start jumping out and running around."
The Stories Julian Tells Character Map

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a character map for the major characters.


  1. Identify the major characters in The Stories Julian Tells and type their names into the different title boxes.
  2. Choose a Storyboard That character to represent each of the book characters.
    • Select colors and a pose appropriate to story and character traits.
  3. Choose a scene or background that makes sense for the character.
  4. Fill in the Textables for Physical Appearance, Character Traits, and Evidence.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.


Blank Character Map

Example

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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The Stories Julian Tells Vocabulary Lesson Plan


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Another great way to engage your students is by creating a storyboard that uses vocabulary from The Stories Julian Tells.

In this activity, students are able to demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using sentences and corresponding images. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text. The sentences and images validate the understanding of the word and the context that it was used in the novel.

Here are some ways to help your students find the meaning of the vocabulary words they choose:

  1. Use context clues. Sometimes, you can figure out the meaning of a word by reading the sentences that come before and after the unknown word.
  2. Sometimes, the author may tell the definition of the word right in the same sentence or in the following sentence.
  3. Picture clues may help define an unknown word.
  4. Look at the unknown word and look for parts you may know. Sometimes a new ending or beginning has been added or changed.
  5. Use a dictionary or glossary.

Example The Stories Julian Tells Vocabulary

  • request
  • fasten
  • quiver
  • windowpanes
  • shiver
  • crater
  • catalog
  • ignorant
  • handkerchief
  • visible
  • fertilizer
  • pliers
  • method
  • mastodon

The Stories Julian Tells Vocabulary

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in The Stories Julian Tells by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



Vocabulary Template Blank

Example

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The Stories Julian Tells Setting Map Graphic Organizer

A great way for your students to practice determining a story’s setting is for them to make a visual storyboard depicting where each chapter takes place.

In this activity, students will choose a chapter and decide on the setting. They will create the setting using the storyboard art. In the storyboard, each setting should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene. Details, characters, and textual evidence can be added to reinforce the setting.

Here is an example:

Chapter 1: The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea

The setting of Chapter 1 is in the kitchen. The story begins in the kitchen with the dad making pudding. The story ends in the kitchen when the dad punishes the boys for eating the pudding by having them make a new one.

The Stories Julian Tells Setting

Example

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The Stories Julian Tells Summary


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A good way to help your students understand the book as a whole is to have them summarize each chapter first. Creating a summary storyboard for each chapter will help the students determine the importance and visualize the chapter explicitly. Then, as a class, or in groups, the students can decide on an overall summary of the book, and how they think the characters and the plot evolved.



In this activity, students will work independently or in groups. Each group/student will be assigned a specific chapter to work on. Students will review the chapter and decide on the beginning, middle, and end. They will choose the major moments that affect the plot and the outcome of the story.

Example Summary: Chapter 1: The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea


Beginning

Julian and his brother, Huey, watch in awe, as their father makes a delicious pudding for their mother. They help whenever he directs them.


Middle

The father goes for a nap, and tells the boys to leave the pudding alone. As the boys are guarding the pudding, Huey decides to stick his finger in and taste it. Then Julian does the same. They eventually end up eating almost the whole pudding! They run and hide under their bed.


End

The father wakes up and finds out the boys ate the pudding! He pulls them from under the bed and says he is going to punish them. He has the boys make the pudding again, all by themselves. The boys learn that making the pudding is really hard work.


Example Summary: Chapter 2: Because of Figs


Beginning

One birthday, Julian is given his own fig tree. His dad tells him it will "grow as fast as you grow". They plant it and it starts to grow. Julian becomes upset that the tree is growing, but he is not.


Middle

Julian started eating the leaves on the fig tree in hopes to grow. Every time a new leaf came, he ate it. Soon, Julian was growing. The tree did not grow for two more years, even though the Julian's dad tried everything to get it to grow. His dad wanted to get rid of this tree and get a new one. Julian refused.


End

Julian realizes that the tree is not growing because he is eating the leaves. He apologizes to the tree and stops eating the leaves. He dreams that with all the new leaves, his tree will grow as big as the house.


The Stories Julian Tells Summary

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Make a storyboard summary of a chapter in The Stories Julian Tells.


  1. Make a picture that shows the beginning of the chapter.
  2. Make a picture that shows the middle of the chapter.
  3. Make a picture that shows the end of the chapter.
  4. Write a sentence under each picture.


Chapter BME Summary

Example

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Making Connections in The Stories Julian Tells


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Text Connections
Text to Text Connection that reminds you of something in another book or story
Text to Self Connection that reminds you of something in your life.
Text to World Connection that reminds you of something happening in the world.

The Stories Julian Tells is a great book for young readers because many of the stories are relatable to children. The small chapter book is loaded with many different life experiences: losing your first tooth, growing a garden, or making a friend. Students can easily make text-to-self connections throughout the book.

In this activity, students will create a storyboard showing some of the text-to-self connections they made throughout the book.

Here is an example:

Chapter 1: The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea


Text: "My father is a big man with wild black hair. When he laughs, the sun laughs in the windowpanes. When he thinks, you can almost see his thoughts sitting on all the table and chairs. When he is angry, me and my little brother, Huey, shiver to the bottom of our shoes.”


Self: My dad is a big man with wild grey hair. He also has a big booming laugh, but when he is angry I know to stay away from him.

The Stories Julian Tells Connections

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows connections you have made with The Stories Julian Tells.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Create an image for each connection using scenes, characters, items, and text boxes.
  3. Write a description of how the text relates to you.


Text to Self Grid Template

Example

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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•   (English) The Stories Julian Tells   •   (Español) Las Historias Julian Dice   •   (Français) Les Histoires Julian Tells   •   (Deutsch) Die Geschichten Julian Tells   •   (Italiana) Le Storie Julian Dice   •   (Nederlands) De Verhalen Julian Vertelt   •   (Português) As Histórias Julian diz   •   (עברית) סיפורי אומר ג'וליאן   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) قصص جوليان يحكي   •   (हिन्दी) कहानियां जूलियन बताता है   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Истории Джулиан Сообщает   •   (Dansk) Historierne Julian Fortæller   •   (Svenska) Stories Julian Berättar   •   (Suomi) Tarinat Julian Kertoo   •   (Norsk) Stories Julian Forteller