During these colder winter months, it’s important to keep brains warmed up. Let us help with this latest round-up of easy-to-use activities and teaching guides! Starring characters kids love and nurturing STEAM skills to last a lifetime, these free resources are perfect for any classroom, home, or library. 

Printable Activities

Make Comics with Big Nate

Middle-grade readers everywhere love the shenanigans and wisecracks of the bestselling Big Nate series. Now they can create comics of their own, just like Nate! In this free printable make-your-own-comic activity, Nate and his squad of sixth-grade pranksters break down comic-creation into easy steps. Students can create their own four-panel stories in Lincoln Pierce’s signature style, coming up with their own characters and dialogue along the way.

With this activity, students will be encouraged to think about comics as an art form. Doing so will help them learn how to use this time-honored medium to express their own stories. If aspiring artists have trouble thinking of new ideas, there’s plenty of inspiration to draw from the chaotic fun of Nate’s daily routine. He’s always battling against overzealous teachers, protesting unfair wedgies, and trying to set the all-time record for detentions in a single school year. Implementing this Big Nate activity in the classroom or at home is easy and fun, and may even inspire future cartoonists!

Ages 7 to 12
Book: Big Nate series
Click to download guide

Soul Riders: Book Club Discussion Guide

Saddle up for an easy and fun book club kit all about Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling, the first novel based on the adventure game Star Stable! Tween readers will gallop through this fantasy novel, following four very different friends who share one thing in common: a mysterious and powerful bond with their horses. Don’t rein in the excitement after finishing the book, though. With this free downloadable discussion guide, gather a group of fellow riders for a turnkey book club. This discussion guide includes questions from every chapter of the book, giving you and your StarFam plenty to talk about, including characters, themes, and fun prompts to imagine yourself visiting the enchanting island of Jorvik.

Perfect for after-school programs, tween clubs, Language Arts classrooms, or just a few friends!

Ages 8 to 14
Book: Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling by Helena Dahlgren
Click to download guide

Teaching Guides

Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior: Arts and Architecture

Make learning fun with this easy-to-use Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior teaching guide! With lessons on art, architecture, and engineering, Minecraft fans will bring their creativity to life, and learn a lot along the way.

These student pages provide different challenges in drawing and rendering. “Create a Minecraft Self-Portrait” gives students tips on using the pixel-style of Minecraft to create a self-portrait. “Drawing for Engineering” gives students examples from the Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior books of a diagram, a floor plan, and a rendering, and provides grid paper for them to try their hand at architectural design.

Grades: 2 – 5
Book: Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior series
Curriculum Connections: Arts, Architecture, Engineering
Click to download guide

Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior: English Language Arts

With lessons on genre, character, descriptive imagery, as well as creative writing prompts, help Minecraft fans build a love of reading! This Common Core-aligned teaching guide was inspired by the hit series Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior, the unofficial Minecraft novels that have captured the imaginations of middle-grade readers everywhere. After you read, have students tell their own stories with a Narrative Writing Card Game and story map!

Grades: 2 – 5
Book: Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior series
Curriculum Connections: English Language Arts — Writing and Comprehension
Click to download guide



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