"Holes" by Louis Sachar

                          Click on Louis Sachar picture for more information about the author.

You’ll read about some interesting things in Holes. The information below will help you build the background context for your reading.

The Props Hook

The Board Message Hook

Under Water?

Holes takes place in west Texas. If you ever go to that area of the country, you’ll notice something about the landscape: it’s flat—very flat and very dry. That’s why it’s so hard to imagine that it was once at the bottom of an immense sea. Of course, the sea is long gone. It existed about ninety-four million years ago during the Cretaceous Era. During this time, continents shifted and the oceans rose. The inland sea that existed during the Cretaceous Era covered the entire central portion of the United States. Finally, after several million years, the sea dried up and left behind land masses that still exist today. It also left behind clues about its past in the form of fossils and large flat areas, including the land that is now west Texas.

Literature Guide Developed by Mary Pat Mahoney for Secondary Solutions LLC®

Cretaceous period-What the Earth Was Like http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/history_of_the_earth/Cretaceous

The Craft Store Hook

                                 What Makes a Desert a Desert?

When you think of a desert, do you imagine vast sand dunes, hot winds, and few plants? Not all deserts are sandy—or even hot. An area is considered a desert if it receives less than ten inches of precipitation a year. Precipitation is moisture that drops from the sky in the form of rain or snow. The hottest desert in the world is the Sahara in Africa where you’ll find sand and hot temperatures. As a matter of fact, the world’s hottest temperature was recorded there: 136°F. The largest desert in the world is Antarctica where you’ll find plenty of ice and temperatures as low as –130°F.

Besides a lack of precipitation, what else do you know about desert life? Choose an animal or plant that you know lives in a desert. What features or characteristics does it have that helps it to live in such an extreme environment? Create a model of the animal or plant with play-doh  and write a paragraph explaining the characteristics.

Literature Guide Developed by Mary Pat Mahoney for Secondary Solutions LLC®

The Real-World Application Hook

                                                  Famous Shoes

How much would you pay for your favorite sports or movie celebrity’s shoes? If you are a fan of the movie The Wizard of Oz, you might be surprised to learn that in 2000, a pair of ruby slippers worn in the film was auctioned off for $666,000! When you read Holes, you’ll learn that Stanley is accused of stealing a pair of famous (and smelly!) shoes that were to be auctioned to benefit a homeless shelter. The used shoes of baseball player Clyde Livingston were expected to earn $5,000 in the auction.

Would you be willing to pay thousands of dollars for a pair of shoes a celebrity wore? Why do you think someone would? Whose shoes would you want to have and why? If you wouldn’t want a celebrity’s shoes, explain why. Add an image to your response either a picture from the internet or your may draw your image of the pair of shoes. along with a paragraph of your explanation.

Literature Guide Developed by Mary Pat Mahoney for Secondary Solutions LLC®

The Storytelling Hook

                                          Juvenile Detention

What happens when kids break the law? Depending on the state and the crime, kids may be sent to a jail for kids—often called juvenile detention. However, since the 1980s “boot camps” have become a more and more common alternative to sending kids to a juvenile detention center. The kinds of camps vary, but many are out in the country and away from city life. While they are at the camp, kids participate in physical work and “character-building” activities. Some adults think that a “boot camp” can help kids change their behavior by making them work hard and eventually decide on a better way of life.

There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding these camps, though. Several kids have been injured or have even died in the camps. Not all lawmakers think this is the best way to have troubled kids serve their punishment or learn how to follow the law.

Literature Guide Developed by Mary Pat Mahoney for Secondary Solutions LLC®

The Opportunistic Hook

Personal Reflection:

What do you think of juvenile camps? Do you agree or disagree with sending kids to a “boot camp” as punishment for a crime? Explain why you think it is or isn’t a good idea. What other consequences could you think of for children who have broken the law? How does this information and video make you feel? Does it give you second thoughts about the breaking the law?

Once you have answered all the questions create a newspaper article about juvenile camps. You may need to do more research. Share a current story that is trending. Make sure your add your thoughts and be creative. Example shown below.


The Extra-Credit Challenge Hook

Comment Stream

a year ago
0

Love this! Holes is a classic that I love to read with students. Great hooks to enhance a great story! I'll make sure to get your credit added when I get back to McAllen!

a year ago
0

Thank you!

a year ago
0

?

a year ago
0

XD

a year ago
0

Hi