Treasure Chest
Jackie's Wild Seattle
Jackie's Wild Seattle

The wildlife rescue center in this story was inspired by a real-life center near Seattle, Washington, called Sarvey. Be sure to click on the Gallery where you'll find lots of photos. Look into whether there might be similar wildlife rescue and rehab places near you. This might make an excellent field trip, or have someone from the center visit your class. Often they'll bring wildlife with them!

Shannon and Cody's parents, both doctors, are volunteering in refugee camps through an organization called Doctors Without Borders. This is an amazing and inspiring group of people, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in l999.


Bullet Story quilt: Make a class story quilt, allowing each student to select a chapter and create an illustration to represent the main idea of that chapter. At the bottom of their square, ask them to quote one line from the chapter supporting their illustration. You can do this with large squares of paper, make holes with a paper punch and stitch together with yarn.
Bullet Shannon mentions e-mailing her friends back home. Ask students to write a series of e-mail messages from Shannon to her best friend in New Jersey, describing what her life is like at the wildlife center, and what she thinks about her Uncle Neal, Jackie and Tyler. They could do this with the friend e-mailing back too, if you like.
Bullet Animal card game: Have kids create a card game with clues on each card describing an animal involved in one of the rescues in the story. Matching cards would have a drawing or picture of that animal.
Bullet Ask students which part of this story they thought was the funniest. Then ask them to illustrate the incident they chose.
Bullet Bumper stickers: Cody and Uncle Neal were always on the lookout for funny and unique bumper stickers. Ask students to list all the bumper stickers from the story and talk about what makes them good. Some are funny, some ironic, some thought-provoking, etc. Then invite them to make their own bumper stickers, either with original sayings or using sayings they've seen on other stickers
Bullet Dealing with our fears: Both Cody and Shannon are struggling with their memories of September 11 and the attack on the World Trade Center. Cody thinks a lot about dramatic, natural disasters (volcanoes, earthquakes, etc) and both Shannon and Cody are experiencing nightmares. Ask students to share, either through writing or discussion, fears they might have and how they try to handle them.
Bullet Circle of Healing: In one of the e-mails Shannon and Cody receive from their mother, she says, “We're proud that you are helping your uncle and the wildlife center this summer. You are helping to heal the world. Each of us can only make a small difference, but together we can make a big difference.” Brainstorm with the class ways in which they can make a difference. Discuss the ideas and choose one project to complete and make a difference in the lives of the people in the school, the community, or the world.
Bullet Skits: Have students form groups and select one of the animal rescues described in the story to dramatize. You could extend this activity by having them also make a poster illustrating and telling about the animal in their rescue.
Bullet Rock climbing: Ask around if there's anyone in your school or community that does rock climbing. Chances are good you might even have students who climb, either outdoors or at indoor climbing walls. Arrange a visit to a climbing wall, or have someone demonstrate equipment and techniques to your class.
Bullet Character placemats: Ask students to choose a character from the story, create a color drawing or painting of their character, and then describe that character and why they chose him or her, alongside the illustration.
Resources and Ideas for Teaching Will's Novels
Bearstone and
The Big Wander
Changes in Latitudes
Crossing the Wire
Downriver and
River Thunder
Far North
Ghost Canoe
Go Big or Go Home
Jason's Gold and
Down the Yukon
Kokopelli's Flute
Leaving Protection
The Maze
Never Say Die
Take Me to the River
Wild Man Island
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