HOWLING FOR HOME
A Teaching Guide
Written by author, Joan Carris, this Guide is targeted for grades 1-4. Teachers, media specialists, librarians, and homeschoolers are encouraged to download the Guide. Joan Carris welcomes your comments, and you can send your comments by activating "Contact Us" on our Homepage.
Howling for Home lists for $12.95, hardcover (ISBN: 0-316-13017-6). To order the book use the on-line order forn or call Children's Literature at 1-800 469 2070.
Moved from Montana to an east coast city suburb, Beau is upset and lonesome for his old home. Even worse, his new family knows nothing about puppies. By doing only what comes naturally, Beau lands in obedience school with a "bad collar" around his neck and a worried Michael holding his leash. Rex, a jumpy miniature Doberman, and Prudy the Pomeranian cause big trouble for the innocent Beau and his master. After a few classes, Beau tries to return to Montana, but he cannot find it OR his new home. Lost and alone, Beau must decide where home really is and how to find it.
Moving to a different place is hard, but in time the new place becomes home.
You can have a good human-pet relationship only if you understand the nature of your pet.
"Telling her story from Beau's point of view, Carris offers an amusing mix of authentic puppy behavior and indulgent human interpretation of it--especially in a hilarious scene in which Beau makes chaos of the laundry (where he's cooped up) by attacking the detergent that makes him sneeze and burying it in a basket of clothes." Kirkus
"Nothing much happens in this story told from a puppy's point of view."
School Library Journal
Authors Note: Oh yeah? Read it and judge for yourself!
- Provide a light-hearted, early reading experience
- Enlarge vocabulary
- Introduce the basic elements of a fiction novel (especially point of view!)
- Show that the primary needs of humans and animals (food, water, secure and loving environment) are the same
Share experiences about moving from one home to another.
Read Chapter 1 aloud to stimulate the desire to read alone.
Discuss what Beau left behind, and what he needs now.
USING THIS GUIDE
Choose only those activities that best suit each separate class. Over-analyzing turns reading into a dreaded chore.
ACROSS THE CURRICULA:
- Identify basic elements of fiction: plot, characters, setting, theme, point of view.
- Focus on point of view. Find lines that show this story is told from Beau's point of view.
- Discuss humor. Why is a dog's view of obedience training funnier than a human's? (Note: This book was written many times, but only from Beau's point of view does it sparkle. It is RE-writing that allows a writer to test a story in many voices, or settings, to add or delete characters, etc.)
- Choose a few vocabulary words from each chapter to turn into giant flashcards for quickie-review each day.
Quotations for discussion:
- Just now he was in the mood for a cat. (p. 6)
- "I hate being firm at midnight." (Dad, on p. 8)
- "He'll need real jobs--just as retrievers and shepherds do." (Dr. Sushito, p. 16)
- Beau viewed the laundry room with pride. He had fixed all the problems in here that he could think of. (p. 23)
- This was a very sneaky collar...but he had made it mind him. (p. 36)
- "Before he let sleep come, he put one watchful paw on his boy's leg." (p. 61)
- As humankind's oldest companion animal, dogs were originally much the same, but now exhibit many differences. Create 6 groups that will learn about the 6 canine groups: Working Breeds, Toy Breeds, Sporting Breeds, Hound Breeds, Terrier Breeds, and Companion Dogs. Student groups choose HOW to present their collected information, e.g., drawings, photographs, brief talks, live dogs as guest-examples, etc.
- Watch PBS video "Dogs" for excellent history of canines, and a nice multi- cultural view of dogs around the world.
- Pets fill a recognized psychological need. Check medical references for cases of pets lowering blood pressure, calming mentally ill patients, et cetera. Some pet owners regularly take their animals to convalescent homes and homes for the elderly to share the warmth and love.
- Focus on LOGIC: Which would cost more to keep, a Great Dane or a toy poodle? Would you install a Chihuahua as a guard dog? Whose bark would scare off an intruder? What breeds would work best in a small house or apartment?
- Research cost of owning a dog: food, vet bills, licenses, obedience classes, etc. (Groups work well here.) Add all totals for a yearly cost figure.
How This Book Came To Be Written:
I wrote this book for fun--for me and for my readers, too, I hope. We know how people feel about dog obedience school, I thought, but how do you suppose the DOG feels?
For me to keep on writing--or reading--there's only one rule: It must be enjoyable. I read this book to our cat Brahms, but he is NOT interested in dogs and he refuses to even think about obedience training. How like a cat.
More Joan Carris books:
Aunt Morbelia And The Screaming Skulls
Beware The Ravens, Aunt Morbelia
Just A Little Ham
A Ghost Of A Chance
Witch-Cat (A CBS Story Hour Special)
The Greatest Idea Ever
Rusty Timmons' First Million
Hedgehogs In The Closet
Pets, Vets, And Marty Howard
The Revolt Of 10-X
When The Boys Ran The House
SAT Success (with CD-ROM)
Success With Words
SAT Word Flash
Panic Plan for SATs---all from Peterson's
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