Thursday, October 22, 2020

Soar by Hillary Daecher

Similar to the way people in real life change over time, characters in books change too.  When early readers practice their reading skills, they learn how to identify the main characters of a story and how to describe the characters' actions.  As their reading skills improve, students begin learning about character analysis and how characters change over time.  Soar by Hillary Daecher (affiliate link to Amazon) is the story of a hummingbird who is timid at the beginning of the story but has an experience that enables him to grow and become more confident.  What was that experience?  How did he change?  Keep reading to find out!

Language arts lesson using Soar written by Hillary Daecher. Compare and contrast how characters change over time. Identify the causes of the change.

🍎 Title: Soar
🍎 Author: Hillary Daecher
🍎 Illustrator: Angie Hohenadel
🍎 Date: August 28, 2020
🍎 Publisher: Schiffer Kids
🍎 Pages: 32

Story Summary from Amazon

Ramone, a shy, ruby-throated hummingbird, is about to leave the nest for the first time. But his anxiety and fear keep him from taking off as he contemplates all that could go wrong. Full of kind words and encouragement, Ramone's mother gives him room to work through his emotions, building his confidence, and letting him set his own pace. Ramone watches as his friends soar through the sky, realizing all he might miss out on if he doesn't conquer his fear. Ramone’s adventure showcases the emotions, both positive and negative, children experience as they approach new challenges. Accompanied by strikingly beautiful illustrations, this tale guides readers through Ramone's emotional journey, showing kids that fear must be overcome in order to grow.

Language arts lesson using Soar written by Hillary Daecher. Compare and contrast how characters change over time. Identify the causes of the change.

Picture Walk the Story

Soar is a beautiful story with beautiful illustrations.  Take a few minutes to picture walk through the story.  There are a lot of hummingbirds in these illustrations.  Are your students able to figure out which two are the main characters?  What do they see happening in the illustrations?  Soar is a story about confronting your fears and conquering them.  Do they see evidence of a character confronting his fears and changing because of it?


Language arts lesson using Soar written by Hillary Daecher. Compare and contrast how characters change over time. Identify the causes of the change.

Reading the Story

Depending on the reading levels of your students, you can either read Soar to them or send them to a quiet spot in the room to read it independently.  As your students go through the story... either with or without you... they need to:
  • identify the two main characters (Ramone and his mother)
  • identify which character changes throughout the story (Ramone)
  • explain what Ramone was like before he changed (nervous, timid, afraid to fly, scared, unhappy, etc.)
  • explain what Ramone was like after he changed (happy, glad, confident, feels brave, etc.)
  • explain what caused Ramone to change (He saw his mother and his friends flying without him.  He wanted to join them.)
  • explain if Ramone changed for the better or for the worse

Language arts lesson using Soar written by Hillary Daecher. Compare and contrast how characters change over time. Identify the causes of the change.

Making Connections

After reading Soar and doing a character analysis of Ramone, wrap up the lesson by helping your students do a 'character analysis' of themselves.  Tell your class a personal story of a time when you needed to confront your fears and how you changed because of it.  Ask for volunteers to share their experiences as well.  Do your students use reader response journals?  If so, this could be a writing prompt for them to write about. 

Language arts lesson using Soar written by Hillary Daecher. Compare and contrast how characters change over time. Identify the causes of the change.

To learn more about Soar and to download some coloring pages for your students, visit Hillary Daecher's website

Language arts lesson using Soar written by Hillary Daecher. Compare and contrast how characters change over time. Identify the causes of the change.

You can also watch this trailer from Schiffler Publishing and listen to one of her interviews on Picture Booking.


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