This is a literature guide for chapter one of A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. This novel unit would be great for use in a literature circle or novel study group. There are four activity pages included: checklist and vocabulary, reading comprehension questions, character activity, and a vocabulary crossword.
The Bad Beginning is an excellent book that can be used to hook students. This is book one in a series of stories about the Baudelaire orphans who have the worst possible luck. Their parents perish in a fire, and they are sent to live with evil Count Olaf. Olaf claims to be a distant relative, but he is really after the Baudelaire fortune. Although they are treated cruelly by Count Olaf, the orphans cannot get anyone to help them. By using their unique talents, the children outwit Count Olaf in the end.
The writing style used in A Series of Unfortunate Events is very engaging, and both engaged and reluctant readers enjoy these stories. The books introduce many vocabulary words, but the author explains the words throughout the story.
The target age group for these books is grades 5 -8.
If using this book as an independent work packet, copy the activities for each student and place the copies in a binder. During class, students can take the binder and easily see what they need to complete as a checklist is provided for each day. Students could be required to turn in certain activities, or the teacher could grade the activities in the binder.
If using this as a whole class activity, the teacher should simply select which activities to use and copy the desired pages.
If you enjoy these activities, a complete novel guide is also available for the entire book.