Novel Plans: HATCHET, by Gary Paulsen - Culminating Activity to Novel Reading
Peters Township School District

The students will engage in an activity through which they will learn the definition of perseverance, how the characters in the novel demonstrated this quality, and write about a time in their lives when they have shown perseverance.

At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to define perseverance.
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • construction paper
  • pens/pencils of choice
  • writing journal or lined paper

  1. Begin the lesson: “Boys and girls, we have just finished reading the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.  We have discussed how this is a book about survival.  In the novel, the main character, Brian Robeson, exhibits the character trait of PERSEVERANCE.”
  2. Have students tell what they think perseverance is. Have a student look up the word in a dictionary and share with the class.
  3. Have the students brainstorm events in the novel during which Brian exhibited perseverance.  Teacher records the events on board.
  4. Distribute a paper “hatchet” to each student. Each student should finish this sentence: “Brian demonstrated perseverance when…” on the “handle” of the hatchet. The student should then illustrate their sentence on the “blade” part of the hatchet.The hatchets should be displayed on a bulletin board which has this title: PERSEVERANCE MEANS NEVER GIVING UP.
  5. Come together as a class and have students share their work.

Homework Assignment: write a journal entry tonight about a time when you exhibited perseverance.