Classroom Activities
To Help You Connect Trumpet Books to Your Curriculum
Classroom Activities
About the Book
"Wesley is a nonconformist suffering rejection from classmates until he puts his school lessons to use and founds his own civilization. Beginning with the discovery of a new staple crop that Wesley christens 'swist,' the idea works superbly, its flowering caught equally well in text and illustrations. A language and counting system evolve to support his innovations; it's all here and it all fits."
—The Horn Book

Before Reading the Book

Food for Thought!
Wesley is able to build an entirely new civilization through the cultivation of a single food.

  1. If possible, plan a trip to a neighborhood supermarket or grocery store.
  2. As you pass through the aisles, ask students to record, in journals or notebooks, the foods that they recognize and the foods that they commonly eat.
  3. Back in the classroom, have students divide their notes into lists of their favorite foods and their least favorite foods, with a reason for each.
  4. Discuss each student's choices and come up with a common list of favorite foods and least favorite foods.
  5. Create an "ideal" menu using your students' favorite foods. Post your menu on a bulletin board.
Read Together
  1. Read Weslandia aloud to your students.
  2. At each stage, note the development of Wesley's civilization.
  3. Record the stages on your blackboard (food, clothing, alphabet, sundial, etc.).
  4. Ask students for examples of fruits or vegetables most similar to Wesley's crop. In what ways are they similar? Different?
  5. Have students come up with additional uses for these fruits or vegetables. (For instance, coconuts could be hollowed out and used as cups or bowls, corn husks could be woven into hats, etc.)
  6. Record their answers on your blackboard.
Classroom Activities from Arizona's State Teacher of the Year

Before and After
Language Arts/Art: Have your students retell Wesley's story in pictures.

  1. Using the book's title page as your guide, trace or roughly draw the two poles supporting the Weslandia flag, as well as the flag.
  2. Create several divided spaces, big enough for your children draw in, on each of the two poles.
  3. Label the pole on the left "Before" and the pole on the right "After."
  4. Make copies and distribute to your students.
  5. On the left pole, ask each student to draw or write about events that happened in the story before Weslandia was created.
  6. On the right pole, have each student draw or write about events that happened in the story after Weslandia was created.
  7. Post their creations on a central bulletin board.
My Own Land
Language Arts/Art: Now it's time for your students to create their own special lands.
  1. As before, use the book's title page as your guide to draw the two poles supporting the Weslandia flag and the flag, only this time do not include the Weslandia insignia.
  2. Create divided spaces, big enough for your children to draw in, on each of the two poles.
  3. Make copies and distribute to your students.
  4. Ask each student to imagine his or her own land and to record events from that place on the spaces provided on the poles.
  5. Have your students name their lands (using their names, if they prefer, as Wesley did. For example, Boblandia or Katelandia.).
Language Arts: The adventures of Mylandia.
  1. Using their newly drawn poles, encourage your students to write their very own _________landia stories.
  2. Encourage students to follow the events they've recorded on their poles in creating their own ____________landia stories.
  3. Share each student's adventures by reading the stories aloud to the class.

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