Reading Beyond a Name

What’s in a name?

Ms. Ballard’s 6-8 team Language Arts students recently learned “not much,” as they began reading the award-winning book Holes by Louis Sachar.

Accused of a crime he did not commit, Stanley Yelnats is sentenced to Camp Green Lake for rehabilitation. Camp Green Lake doesn’t sound like a bad place to be sent, right? 

But Camp Green Lake—which takes its name from a lake that dried up more than a hundred years ago—is in the middle of the Texas dessert.

Stanley’s first impressions of Camp Green Lake sketch out a stark picture for the reader: “The land was barren and desolate. He could see a few rundown buildings and some tents. Farther away there was a cabin beneath two tall trees. Those two trees were the only plant life he could see. There weren’t even weeds.”

To aid their comprehension of the opening of the book, Ms. Ballard’s students used LEGO to replicate settings and characters of the initial chapter. We look forward to the students’ continued reading of the book as they discover why the warden forces the boys to dig a hole each day, and why Stanley’s conviction for a crime he didn’t commit may not have been bad luck after all.

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