Stargirl Unit Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Stargirl' is a young adult novel by Jerry Spinelli about a new girl who gains popularity through her unique behavior, but loses it just as quickly. This unit plan supports teachers as they plan a novel study about this book.


Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli explores identity and conformity through this coming of age novel about a quirky new girl in school named Stargirl Caraway. At first, students are mesmerized by her unusual style, but when she cheers for both teams at a basketball game, Stargirl descends from being the most popular girl in school to being shunned. Teachers may use this unit plan as a framework for planning instruction of this novel.

The Author

Students may know more about the author of this novel than they realize. Previewing some of the author's other works, such as Maniac Magee or Crash may engage some readers and give students insight on the topics students may encounter while reading Stargirl.


Stargirl Games & Activities provides pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading options to help students relate to the text. Before reading, students will participate in physical activity and a writing activity that encourages them to think about conformity and popularity. During the reading, students will play games and create graphic organizers that help them analyze characters. After reading, students will participate in a game and an art project that enhance their understanding of the characters and themselves.

During the reading of this novel, students will enhance their comprehension through the use of Stargirl Discussion Questions. This resource guides students to examine the characters, setting, and theme of this novel. It also contains a set of extension questions that require students to connect the text to their own ideas and experiences. Stargirl Comprehension Questions provides additional questions about these topics.

The Stargirl Lesson Plan explores characters and themes of this novel following its reading. Students will read text lessons, participate in collaborative writing activities, and make presentations.

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