Workshop Wednesday: The Sign of the Beaver - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Workshop Wednesday: The Sign of the Beaver

Welcome to another edition of Workshop Wednesday! We are sharing one of our favorite chapter books with a lesson idea (good luck picking just one! hee hee)- this might be a read-aloud or a book you use in group. You can absolutely share a product in your blog post, give a freebie, and/or just describe a lesson that you do with it. It's totally up to you! (But no direct product link-ups, please.)

You might remember, I received class sets of three of my favorite chapter books to read with my class from Donors Choose. One of the books we are starting this week!
And, just as I suspected, my class was SO excited when I told them as we read this book together as an extended text (that is, going deeper into a novel that many students in the class might not be able to read because of the rigor involved) they were going to get to have their OWN COPY! These kids check out every copy in the school and public library they can get their hands on of whatever read-aloud chapter book I read to them!! So you can imagine their excitement, I'm sure.

The Sign of the Beaver takes place in 1768. Matt and his father build a log cabin in the wilderness of Maine, where their family will be the first in a new township. Matt, who is only 12 years old, is left alone while his father returns to get his mother and sister. They were supposed to return in 7 weeks, but it takes them much longer. During this time, Matt befriends an Indian, Attean, who teaches him many things to survive. The book is a wonderful story of friendship, survival, and family bonds. It is a great one to use during a colonial unit, as it takes place after the French and Indian War.

This book is so great to teach SOOOOO many skills, which is why I like to do it as an extended text. One skill we'll be looking at this week is figurative language. The first two chapters have great examples of similes. We will talk about what these mean and why the author used those similes.
In true Jivey fashion, you can get this activity for free by clicking above or here!

This activity is part of a brand new, large unit I've created for the novel.
It will be 20% off through Friday if you want to grab it for yourself! You could do the activities in a guided reading group, too. :o)

Your turn!


  1. I love this book! It is always a hit with the students!


  2. This is one of my favorite books. I normally start it in January/February when we start social studies again. I'm so excited that your students will have a copy of the book to follow along with you.

  3. I love this book as well. There is an old Hallmark movie called The Promise Keepers which is based off this book. It is great to show and compare to the book because there are clear differences. My children always prefer the book version.

  4. The movie is actually called Keepers of the Promise but it is also marketed under The Sign of the Beaver. We are getting ready to watch tomorrow as we just finished the book. Thanks for the freebie above. I have your unit on my wish list.

  5. I always heard about this book, but never knew what it was about. It sounds great! I am in love with all of the books I am using this year. I chose Wonder to teach social skills and how to treat each other, and we just finished Julie of the Wolves that started off our Alaskan and other US States research unit. I am building my curriculum as I go this year, so I am looking for more! Glad I found your blog!


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