Sam and Nate (Orca, 2005) Lesson Ideas

Pre-Reading Idea:

Using the strategy of Think-Pair-Share, have students reflect on where they have met their closest friends.  How did they become friends?  Was it an easy process or a bumpy one?  Have students brainstorm what qualities make up a healthy friendship.  What kinds of misunderstandings have they had with friends? (Sam and Nate started their friendship with a fight! Read Chapter 1)

Discussion Questions: 

Who are all the people in your school community?  How many people help Sam and Nate in Chapter 5?

Is taking a vote the best way for a group to decide what to study?  What are some other ways / strategies for how groups can make decisions together?  (See Chapter 2)

Describe the personality differences between the two main characters, Sam and Nate.  (Even though the boys are trying to be twins in Chapter 3, it is also the part of the book where they are least like each other). 

Mr. Tangent used to teach high school before he taught Sam and Nate’s class.  What do you imagine it will be like when you go to high school?

Sam and Nate encounter communication problems, bossy kids, and separation anxiety at school.  What are some good strategies for solving problems with others, on the playground and in the classroom?

Suggested Activities:

Create a Quiz Show, much like Mrs. Licorice does in Chapter 4.  Make questions from your current unit of study and put them on index cards or your Smartboard.  Divide the class into two teams.  Then set up grid like Tic-Tac-Toe on the blackboard.  Each team wins a spot as an “X” or “O” when they successfully answer a question together.  If a team scores three in a row, they win!

Have students write a Days of the Week story that includes a problem and a solution.  “On Monday… On Tuesday…”  (Chapters 1, 2, and 4 are set up this way.)

Read Chapter 2 to launch a group research unit about animals.  (Sam’s group: Dinosaurs, page 18) (Nate’s group: Monkeys, page 19-20).

Study the most fascinating mammals on the planet: whales!  In Chapter 4, Sam and Nate measure out the length of a Blue Whale in the hallway and create a habitat diorama, among other things.  Why not dive right in and do the same.

Rock your classroom like Sam and Nate do in Chapter 3!  If you’re hesitant to teach your own music, why not try a package like Celebrate You and Me – Helping Kids Build Self-Esteem by Roger Emerson.  It contains the song R-E-S-P-E-C-T that Mrs. Licorice used for her students.  In my teaching practicum, I assisted in our school’s production of this musical and the children loved the concept!


About pjsarahcollins

teacher, author, reader
This entry was posted in Classroom Lesson Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sam and Nate (Orca, 2005) Lesson Ideas

  1. patricia Martens says:

    Great read on “Sam and Nate”, highly recommended.
    “What Happened to Serenity? ” is a page turner; don’t expect to get much sleep the day you bring it home. Will be using it with my ESL students. Good Work!
    Patricia Dashwood.

  2. Thank you, Patricia. You’re very kind.
    RE: ESL students. I’ve heard from Orca that “Sam and Nate” enjoy visits to Korea.

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