Skinnybones by Barbara Park 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.

'Skinnybones'' is a great book written by Barbara Park about an entertaining rivalry between two classmates. The activities in this asset will bring the story alive for young readers.


Skinnybones is the story of Alex Frankovitch, also known as Skinnybones. He and his rival, TJ Stoner compete with one another in a baseball game which TJ ultimately wins. But, in the end, Alex still manages to come out on top. Students in the middle elementary grades will have a great time reading this story and will enjoy the unique twist at the end. Use the activities below to help them make connections with both the story and its characters.

Baseball Words Scavenger Hunt

Materials: writing paper, pencils, copies of the book for each of several groups

  • Begin with a brief discussion about the story. Talk about the baseball part of the story and discuss some of the words associated with the sport of baseball.
  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • With books in hand, set students on a baseball word scavenger hunt.
  • Instruct each group to locate at least fifteen baseball related words (pitcher, coach, mitt, base, etc.). For each word they locate, ask them to:
    • Write the word
    • Write the page number where the word is located
    • Write a definition for the word
    • Write the word in an original sentence (not copied from the book)
  • Allow time for the groups to work and then have them read their lists aloud to the rest of the class.

Write a Business Letter

Materials: writing paper and pencil or access to a computer for writing, mailing envelopes

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