It’s October and Halloween is probably on the minds of most of your students. Your students are starting to get comfortable and their true personalities are emerging. Combine these two and it’s time to grab your copy of Substitute Creacher by Chris Gall and share it with your students! Here are some of my favorite activities to use with this story.
If you aren’t familiar with this story, here’s the blurb:
The trouble making students of Ms. Jenkins’ class arrive at school one day to discover a substitute has come to put a stop to their monkey business! He regales them with mind-boggling stories about his former students who didn’t follow the rules: Keith the glue-eater, Zach the daydreamer, and Hank the prankster, to name a few. But even this multi-tentacled, yellow-spotted, one-eyed monster’s cautionary tales about the consequences of mischief-making can’t seem to change the students’ wicked ways until he reveals the spookiest and most surprising story of all: his own.
I always like to start by giving my students a preview of our vocabulary words and discuss predictions my students have for the text.
After reading, we revisit the vocabulary words and discuss their meaning. We also review the story elements together and I like to check their listening comprehension by asking questions.
During our second reading, our main focus is on the characters in the story. Mr. Creacher shares tales about the problems his former students had in class. We use these student problems to complete a cause and effect chart together as a class.
To extend this study of characters, I have my students create WANTED posters. As a group we discuss common behaviors and problems at school (without names, of course). Eventually, students identify these fictional characters with a name, age, and reason the student is wanted.
I also like to give my students a chance to draw Mr. Creacher in their response journals:
Then I let them choose one of four writing prompts to complete in their response journals:
You can find all of these resources and more here: