Mudshark by Gary Paulsen Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Gary Paulsen's ''Mudshark'' is a fun book, so it's a good one to get students engaged on a different level. These activities can help your students delve deeper into the book and work on literacy skills as well.


Mudshark is a children's book by Gary Paulsen, in which the titular character becomes renowned for his skills of observation and must outsmart a seemingly psychic parrot. It's a fun book, and one that students will likely be eager to engage with. These activities are designed for mid-upper elementary school, but can be easily adapted to slightly older or younger classrooms.

Mudshark Activities

Diary Entries

Students will select one passage from Mudshark and rewrite it in the first person from the perspective of one of the book's characters. The obvious choice is to have students write from Mudshark's perspective, but you may also consider having students write a passage from the perspective of Bill, the principal, or one of Mudshark's friends, or even the parrot.

  • Materials: Copies of Mudshark, writing supplies

Eraser Story Map

Divide the class into small groups. Provide each group with a bag of erasers. Each eraser should have an index card attached to it, containing one plot point of the story. In their groups, students will have to sort through the erasers and organize them into the correct order.

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