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Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn't an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn't want to leave me.

Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He's a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running -- well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents' divorce and gets to know a redheaded girl he's been admiring. With Strider's help, Leigh finds that the future he once hated to be asked about now holds something he never expected: hope.

Curriculet Details
26 Questions
27 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in the 3rd grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations and videos explaining point-of-view, character, and central idea. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to character, illustration to text connections, and vocabulary. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

June 6

Strider is the second book in a two-book series. Dear Mr. Henshaw is the first book in the series.  
How does Leigh know what time it is? 

June 7

Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Is there a word on this page you need to look up?  (This annotation contains an image)

June 8

What does "Fog dripping off the eucalyptus trees made them smell like old tomcats" mean? 
Have you ever found a lost puppy or cat that you wanted to keep? How did you parents react?  (This annotation contains an image)

June 9

Why doesn't Leigh feel "lonely" as he writes in his diary? 
The SPCA is the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They do important work helping with stray and abandoned animals.  (This annotation contains an image)

June 10

Here is a photo of a Queensland heeler. These dogs are highly intelligent and devoted to their owners. They are working dogs and need a job to do!  (This annotation contains an image)
What is the main reason that Mom allows Leigh to keep Strider if the landlady approves? 

June 16

The illustrator of Strider is Paul Zelinsky. Throughout his career, he has illustrated many children's books. In 1998, he won the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in Rapunzel. This is the highest award that an illustrator can win. The photo is of the illustrator at work.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Leigh feel "uncomfortable" when Barry acts as if Strider belongs to him? 

June 22

This may surprise you, but it is possible to teach a dog to read. Actually, with a lot of patience and practice, a dog can learn to recognize the symbols printed on paper. This isn't really "reading," but it is a neat trick to teach!  (This annotation contains an image)

June 30

Why does Leigh enjoy his time at the Brinkerhoffs? 

July 9

Watch this video on characters. Think about what you have learned about Leigh's character so far! (This annotation contains a video)

July 10

What does Leigh mean by "I spoke too soon"? 

July 18

Sometimes, children with divorced parents worry about grown-up things like child support and visitation. It is really better to try and not worry about these things as they are topics for adults.  (This annotation contains an image)

July 20

Why does Leigh change his mind about the shirt? 

July 30

What can you tell from this detail? Does Leigh feel that he is missing out by not having his dad nearby? One small story clue can tell you a lot!  (This annotation contains an image)
How does the scene of Leigh and Strider going to the airport contribute to the story? 

August 19

John Steinbeck is considered one of the greatest American authors. He mostly wrote about the farming communities of California. As you move through school, you will read much of John Steinbeck's work. The Grapes of Wrath is his most important book.  (This annotation contains an image)
How does this illustration mostly contribute to the story? 
Point of view is how each character sees or feels about the events in the story. It might help you to think of Goldilocks and the Three bears. Goldilocks has a different point of view about the bears being in her house than the bears do! Do you get the feeling that Leigh and his dad have very different points of view about almost everything?  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 1 

September 12

Sometimes, kids have different ideas about clothes than their parents. Have you and your parents ever had a disagreement about what you wear?  (This annotation contains an image)
Why are Leigh's pants too short while his classmates are not? 

September 19

In the Bible story, Jacob had several sons, but his favorite was Joseph. Jacob gave Joseph a very brightly colored coat made of many colors. This coat made Joseph's brothers very jealous. If you want to read more about Joseph and his coat, there are many children's books written about it!  (This annotation contains an image)

September 21

Read this sentence from the text."For a second I thought about how I used to long for Dad to call..."Which of the following sentences uses second in the same way that it is used in the text? 

September 24

What does this illustration reflect from the story? 

September 30

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poem is over 200 years old! You will most likely read it in school when you are in a higher grade.  (This annotation contains an image)
What is the main reason that Ms. Wounded-hair and Leigh disagree? 

November 25

Did you notice the date of this entry? Nearly two months have passed since Leigh last wrote in his journal.  (This annotation contains an image)

December 17

What does Leigh mean when he says that cleaning up after Strider is an "ongoing job"? 

January 6

Did you notice that Leigh no longer calls his home a "shack" as his mom requested? Do you think that calling his home a "cottage" sounds better than calling it a "shacK"?  (This annotation contains an image)
How does Leigh getting sick add to the story? 

January 10

What does Leigh mean when he says that he went to school on "Jell-O knees"? 
This statement means that while boys and girls have different talents you should not make statements based on this. For example, you shouldn't think that all girls like to play with dolls or that all boys like sports. It is not that simple because all people are very different.  (This annotation contains an image)

January 14

Have you ever had a disagreement with a friend and regretted it later? Do you understand how Leigh is feeling?  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz 2 

January 20

What does Leigh mean by "Strider's ghost haunts this cottage"? 

January 25

Finals are the exams that older students are required to take. Final exams can cause a lot of stress because the test can cover material that has been learned all year long!  (This annotation contains an image)

January 26

What is the purpose of this illustration? 

February 13

Do you think that people put too much emphasis on winning? What do you think is more important, winning or playing the game?  (This annotation contains an image)

February 14

What does Leigh mean when he says that "when I got hold of myself"? 

March 1

Most of the time, sneaking around and trying to keep a secret can be a huge burden. Usually, you feel much better once you get everything out in the open.  (This annotation contains an image)

March 2

William Shakespeare is one of the most famous and most often quoted playwrights in history. He is credited with writing over 38 plays, numerous sonnets, and many poems over 400 years ago. You will be reading much of his work as you go through school.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Leigh think that problem solving is his life's work? 

March 12

Why is Strider "looking surprised behind his fence"? 

March 13

Mercury is a Greek god. He is a messenger and is thought of as very swift. Mercury is usually shown with wings on his feet.  (This annotation contains an image)

March 15

Why does Leigh say to Kevin that his home "keeps the rain off"? 

March 17

Do you notice in this sentence that Leigh says his "stomach tightened"? Authors include details such as these to let the reader know how the character is feeling. Why is Leigh's stomach tightened? Might he be nervous?  (This annotation contains an image)

March 31

During the course of a book, characters can grow and change. Like most characters, Leigh has changed since the beginning of the book. Write a response in which you write about how Leigh has changed. You might think about his self-confidence and his interests.Make sure you use events and details from the story as you write. 

April 1

A bed-and-breakfast is similar to a hotel. It is usually an old house with the bedrooms changed into guest rooms. Breakfast is served in the morning as part of your stay. Some people think bed-and-breakfasts are more like home than a hotel.  (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Leigh's comment about her hair please Geneva? 

April 29

The central idea of a text is the main idea or lesson that the author wants the leader to learn. To help you determine the main idea, think about the big events of the story and how the character responds to them. Later, in a quiz you will be asked a question about the central idea of "Strider."  (This annotation contains an image)

May 2

Based on what you read, what did Leigh change about the race in his composition? 
Quiz 3