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Lesson Plan

Exploring Friendship With Bridge to Terabithia

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Exploring Friendship With Bridge to Terabithia

Grades 4 – 6
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Six 45- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa L. Owens

Lisa L. Owens

Issaquah, Washington


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (HarperCollins Trophy, 2003)

  • Chart paper and markers

  • LCD projector (optional)

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Trading Card Creator

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Trading Card Creator

This tool provides a fun and useful way to explore a variety of topics such as a character in a book, a person or place from history, or even a physical object. An excellent tool to for summarizing or as a prewriting exercise for original stories.


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1. Obtain and familiarize yourself with Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. You will need copies of this book for each student in the class. For background information about the author, including an interview in which she discusses her career, body of work, and her real-life inspiration for this book, visit Terabithia.com: The Official Site of Author Katherine Paterson.

2. Assign the reading of the book on a timetable of your choosing. Break up the reading into three sections (Chapters 1 to 4, 5 to 9, and 10 to 13). Plan checkpoint discussions at the end of each section (see Sessions 2, 3, and 4).

3. Visit and familiarize yourself with the Character Trading Cards tool. You may want to make two sample trading cards for your own reference for the student activity. These should describe Jess and Leslie and focus specifically on each characterís search for friendship and role as a friend. See Session 5 for appropriate adaptations to the cardís questions. You may also wish to make a sample trading card for use when modeling the tool for students (see Session 5 for ideas).

4. If you do not have classroom computers available for students to use, you will need to reserve one 45- to 60-minute session in your schoolís computer lab (see Session 5). Make sure the computers you will be using have Flash 8 (visit†Technical Help for more information about free downloads). Add the tool to the favorites list on the computers your students will be using. If one is available, arrange to use an LCD projector when demonstrating how to use the Character Trading Cards tool. Alternatively, you can use the Character Trading Cards Planning Sheet to introduce students to and prepare for the online activity.

5. Make a copy of the What Is Friendship? Worksheet for each student in your class. Copy it and the Ways to Make and Keep a Friend Chart onto pieces of chart paper.

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