Gary Paulsen
Lesson plans for Hatchet and other novels

|Biography| |Dogsong| |The Foxman| |Hatchet| |Nightjohn| |Tucket's Gold| |The Winter Room| |Woodsong|

Biography & Background

Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen
Biography and bibliography at Wikipedia.

Sled Dogs of the Arctic Circle
This downloadable video (7:17) explores the strength and social structure of sled dogs and the role of the dogs in Inuit society. Scroll down for discussion questions and a transcript.


Dogsong Teaching Guide
Summary of the book, opening discussion and writing activities, crosscurricular suggestions, and research assignments.


The Foxman
Review, discussion questions, activities.

Harris and Me

Down on the Farm
After reading from the book Harris and Me, the writer will imagine being a young child growing up on a farm with no one to play with. The writer will create a short story in which they have to use their imagination to take them to far away places. This lesson focuses on voice and word choice.


Lesson plans for Hatchet have been moved to their own page. You may wish to update your bookmark.


A variety of reading strategies, including an anticipation guide, a guided imagery activity, and a problematic situation.

Tucket's Gold

Tucket's Gold
Summary and 12 discussion questions.

The Winter Room

The Winter Room
An anticipation guide. Adobe Reader Required for access.


A Geopoem about Alaska
Students gather information on the physical and human characteristics of Alaska. They organize this information on a concept map and then write a geopoem about Alaska. Downloadable handouts available at this site.

The Iditarod, One's Will to Live
This unit plan uses both Woodsong and The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford. It integrates E/LA with social studies, math, technology, and physical education.

Paulsen-inspired Nature Poems
The student will listen to all of chapter one of Woodsong by Gary Paulsen as the narrator describes his experience with understanding. As students listen, they will visualize and sketch images that come to mind; then students will label their sketches with key descriptive words either from the text or their own words. The student will select one emotion to act as the title of their poem. This lesson focuses on voice and word choice.

Where's the Boss? -- A Scripted Play About the Iditarod
This Readers Theater script tells the story of one musher and his loyal sled dog team.

This lesson develops skills in both reading and memoir writing.

Interdisciplinary activities to accompany reading the novel.