Talk about the book. Have the boys make parfaits for themselves and their parents, and then make maps out of parchment-type paper and colored pencil, rolled up and tied with leather strings.
We had 6 families (7 boys). All of the boys liked the book, although several of the parents had a hard time with the graphic format. The boys had no problem with the female protagonist (they didn’t even really notice), and several of the parents really appreciated it. Thanks to the mastermind behind Mother-Daughter Book Club for recommending it!
After everyone got a chance to say what they thought about the book, I handed the discussion questions to the tables and let them discuss. The discussion took about 20 minutes.
After the discussion, the boys got a chance to make parfaits for themselves and their parents. They really had a good time with this. The available ingredients were:
- vanilla pudding cups
- chocolate pudding cups
- vanilla wafers
- chocolate wafers
- canned whipped cream
This activity also took about 20 minutes, including photos and eating time, so we didn’t get to the maps. The parents all sat together and chatted while the kids were working, and they talked a surprising amount about the book, as opposed to general chit chat. So that worked out well!
- If you were going on a dangerous quest, who would you take with you, and why?
- Why do you think the authors decided to tell this story as a graphic novel? Do you think it was a good choice? Why?
- Gaston’s and Marie’s parents seemed surprised to hear their children described as brave and smart. Kids, can you think of a time when your parents were totally surprised by something you did? Parents, can you think of a time when your kids surprised you with something you didn’t know they could do?
- Gaston, Marie, and Claudette all know what they want to be when they grow up. What do you think you’d like to be?
- Claudette tries to solve all of her problems with violence. What is your first response to a problem? Do you think violence is ever the right answer?
Other Possible Activities
- Life-sized CandyLand
- build a dam (http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/buildadam.html, http://tryengineering.org/lesson-plans/engineer-dam) or a tin foil river
- make your own French dessert:
- sugar cookie with frosting & fruit
- easy palmiers (if you have access to an oven; we do, but I don’t think we have enough time to do this)
- tart shell with whipped cream, pudding, fruit
- obstacle course