Flying Solo Book Activities

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'Flying Solo' by Ralph Fletcher is a book about a classroom full of students without a teacher. Use the activities in this asset to make this story come alive for your students.

Flying Solo

In the book, Flying Solo, a group of students finds itself without a teacher. The students' own teacher had arranged for a substitute who ended up calling in sick herself. With the principal not knowing that the substitute teacher did not show up, the class decides to run their day on their own, carefully following the plans their teacher left. Students in upper elementary or middle school grades will enjoy reading about all that goes on during their day. They will also enjoy learning about all of the unique characters that make up this classroom full of students. Use the activities below to help students further connect with the story and even apply some meaning to their own lives.

Write a Letter to Mr. Fabiano

Materials: writing paper or access to a computer for writing

  • Put students into groups of 2-4.
  • Explain that each group is to imagine that they have decided to write a letter to Mr. Fabiano, explaining everything that happened while he was gone.
  • Each letter must contain explanations of at least ten different items or events from the day (ordered chronologically). Each item or event must be explained with as much detail as possible.
  • Each letter must also follow appropriate letter format (give a brief review, if needed).
  • Allow time for each group to develop their letters to Mr. Fabiano.
  • Have each group share their letter with the class.

Character Chart

Materials: drawing paper, pencils

  • Put students into pairs and give each pair drawing paper.
  • Instruct each pair to create a chart on their papers. Their chart should have eleven rows (across) and four columns (down).
  • Skipping the corner box, students will fill in the first column (going down) with names of the characters from the book.
    • Rachel White
    • Karen Ballard
    • Jessica Cooke
    • Missy
    • Rhonda
    • Bastian Fauvell
    • Christopher Ransom
    • Sky
    • John
    • Sean O'Day
  • Again, skipping the corner box, students will fill in the first row with the following labels:
    • Physical description
    • Personality
    • Something unique about the character
  • Next, students will complete their charts by filling in the appropriate information about each character.

Write An Explanation

Materials: writing paper, pencils, drawing paper, colored pencils

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