HOPE WAS HERE
READING RESPONSE ACTIVITIES:
BULLETIN BOARD DISPLAY
Establish a wall area in the room where students can contribute items that remind them of the story. Items on the display might include: menus from various restaurants, recipes with pictures of comfort foods, maps showing locations in the story, political signs and buttons (real ones or ones made for the characters in this book), informational pamphlets on leukemia and cancer, pictures to represent various characters in the story, pictures showing small town diners, etc.
Identify a location in the classroom where students can place vocabulary words from the story on cards on the wall. Write the word on one side and the definition of the word on the back. Later on, students can review these words and cluster them or regroup them according to topics, such as: Food words (pumpernickel, BLT,), Political words (petition, mayoral race), Medical words (leukemia, remission). Let them use these words in their speaking and writing.
Choose a day when students can sign up to bring in a favorite food dish (comfort food) to share with the class. Also be prepared to share the recipe and the history of this particular food. Eat together and enjoy the fun time and fellowship around food. Other students can offer to bring in paper plates, napkins, beverages, to accompany the food fest main dishes. Serving and cleanup crews can be delegated, just like in a real diner.
WRITE A LETTER
Write a letter like Hope did in Chapter 20 "to be opened later." Think of a personal issue that hurt you, bothered you, or upset you or someone you know. Write about it and seal it away in an envelope to be read at another time.
Make a set of "cut-out characters" to represent Hope, Addie, G.T., Braverman, Eli Millstone and several other characters you choose. Find details in the text to make your characters more accurate and complete. Put them on pencils or Popsicle sticks.
Reenact a scene from the story or do a role play of your own based on a story event.
Locate pictures of DADS in magazines and newspapers. Cut them out and make a collage scrapbook of fathers. Label each picture with a descriptive adjective or an attribute about Dads like Hope would have done. Identify the kind of father G.T. was in the story. What about Hope's absent father? What about a father-figure in your own life? Who has been a perfect dad to you? Display and share your scrapbook with another reader of Hope Was Here.
There are several references to newspaper writing (news articles, interviews, editorials) in the novel. Reread to find these references. Use your own writing skills to make a newspaper page reflecting on one or more of these from the book. Remember when Hope was interviewed because she was "an average teenager." What did she say? Or write up a news story about Braverman being attacked or a mouse in the salad or Brenda Babcock arresting the burglars.
Think about a time when you felt "hopeless," or "afraid," or "lost," or "alone," or "confused." LIST five (5) words or phrases that pop into your mind when you think about this situation. Now WRITE about your feelings using the 5 words or phrases and expanding them to 3 paragraphs. Example: Lost on a trip to France (WORDS: Paris, Metro subway, hand gestures, map, bakery.)
WORD SPLASH FROM THE NOVEL
Think back to a situation in the novel Hope Was Here where one of the characters felt "hopeless," or "afraid," or "lost," or "alone," or "confused." LIST five (5) words or phrases that pop into your mind from the story. Now WRITE or TELL about the story situation and the feelings involved using the 5 words or phrases and expanding on them.
CREATE A MENU FOR THE WELCOME STAIRWAYS DINER
Use words and pictures to list favorite foods, comfort foods of your own or from the novel. List foods Addie, G.T. and Braverman would like to serve. Describe the food item, its preparation, and give it a name. Add information about the friendly atmosphere of the diner and/or about the restaurant staff (owner, cooks, waitresses). Explain the name of the restaurant. Also add pictures or graphics. Put the theme of HOPE somewhere on the menu in words, color, or pictures. Find a quote or phrase from the book to add to the menu.
Reread to find special waitressing situations and techniques from the book. Research how it might be done in a real diner. Gather props and plan how you can present to the class. Example: Wait on tables showing how to handle lots of dishes, such as stacking five (5) loaded plates on one arm (use paper or plastic plates and cups). "Serve from the left, gather from the right, always smile and make small talk, keep the coffee flowing, etc." Show how Hope became a waitressing expert.
Recreate the scene where "Students for Stoop" are asking for names on a petition. Respond to hard questions / comments from community members, such as: "What about G.T.'s leukemia?" "You're just a kid who can't vote, so why should I listen to you?"
SKIT IN A BAG
Find five or six objects / props from the story and put them in a brown bag. Have students work in groups to use all of the items in the bag to retell the story. You can have several groups working on this at the same time all with different items in their bags. This is a great way to recap the story. Suggestions for objects / props in the bag: clown nose, two tree twigs wrapped together, envelope, political button, etc.
Draw pictures or find and cut out illustrations that relate to the story Hope Was Here. Take details from the text and visualize them and recreate them into a story illustration. You might draw the outside or the inside of the Welcome Stairways Diner. Reread and add details from the book. You might find pictures of political campaigns, or create a scene at G.T.'s and Addie's wedding. Write a caption for your picture, referencing the page in the novel where it can be found.
Enhanced Reading and Teaching Guide by Robert C. Bergstrom
Copyright 2002 Robert C. Bergstrom