45 Hatchet Pre Reading Activities

"Book Bits" a Fun Prereading Activity for Hatchet Pre reading activities, Reading activities
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Welcome to our blog! In this article, we will explore some exciting pre-reading activities to engage students before diving into the riveting adventure of "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen. These activities will not only pique their interest but also prepare them for the themes, vocabulary, and literary elements they will encounter throughout the book. Let's get started!

1. Book Introduction

Begin by introducing the book "Hatchet" to the students. Provide a brief summary, mentioning the main character, the plot, and the setting. Encourage students to share their initial thoughts or predictions about the story.

2. Vocabulary Exploration

Introduce a few key vocabulary words from the book that may be unfamiliar to the students. Create a word wall or a vocabulary chart where students can write down the words, their definitions, and use them in sentences. This will help them become familiar with the language used in the story.

3. Survival Skills Research

Since "Hatchet" is a survival story, engage students in researching various survival skills. Assign different topics such as building a shelter, starting a fire, finding food, or purifying water. Ask students to present their findings to the class, fostering a sense of collaboration and curiosity.

4. Character Analysis

Introduce the main character, Brian, and ask students to analyze his traits, motivations, and conflicts. Encourage them to support their ideas with evidence from the text. This activity will help students develop critical thinking skills and connect with the protagonist.

5. Journaling

Ask students to keep a journal as they read "Hatchet." They can record their thoughts, predictions, reactions, or questions about the story. This activity promotes reflective thinking and allows students to engage with the text on a personal level.

6. Setting Exploration

Discuss the importance of the setting in "Hatchet," which is the Canadian wilderness. Show pictures or videos of similar landscapes and ask students to describe the features, climate, and challenges they may encounter in such an environment.

7. Predictions and Foreshadowing

Engage students in a discussion about predictions and foreshadowing. Have them analyze the book cover, chapter titles, or the first few paragraphs to make predictions about what might happen in the story. Encourage them to revisit their predictions as they read and reflect on the effectiveness of foreshadowing.

8. Survival Scenario Role-Play

Create a survival scenario that reflects the challenges Brian faces in "Hatchet." Divide students into small groups and ask them to brainstorm solutions to the given scenario. This activity will encourage teamwork, creative thinking, and empathy towards Brian's struggles.

9. Theme Exploration

Discuss the theme of survival in "Hatchet" and ask students to think about other books, movies, or real-life situations where survival was a central theme. Encourage them to explore the different ways survival can be depicted in literature and media.

10. Literary Elements Scavenger Hunt

Before starting the book, create a scavenger hunt for literary elements such as similes, metaphors, personification, or foreshadowing. Provide excerpts from different books or poems and ask students to identify and analyze these elements. This activity will help them recognize and appreciate literary devices in "Hatchet."

11. Research the Author

Ask students to research the author, Gary Paulsen, and discover more about his life and other books he has written. This will give them a deeper understanding of the author's background and may spark their interest in exploring his other works.

12. Discussion Circles

Divide students into small groups and assign chapters for them to read independently. Then, facilitate discussion circles where they can share their thoughts, ask questions, and engage in meaningful conversations about the book. This activity promotes active listening and collaboration.

13. Creative Writing

Encourage students to write a short story or a poem inspired by the themes or events in "Hatchet." This creative writing activity allows them to explore their imagination, develop their writing skills, and make connections to the book.

14. Audio or Visual Adaptation

Show a short video clip or play an audio excerpt from an adaptation of "Hatchet." Discuss the similarities and differences between the adaptation and the book. This activity will help students visualize the story and encourage them to compare different storytelling formats.

15. Guest Speaker

Invite a guest speaker who has experience with survival skills or outdoor adventures to share their insights and experiences with the students. This will provide a real-world connection to the themes and challenges in "Hatchet."

16. Artistic Interpretation

Ask students to create artwork inspired by scenes or characters from "Hatchet." They can use various mediums such as drawing, painting, or sculpture. This activity allows students to express their creativity and deepen their understanding of the story.

17. Debate

Organize a debate where students can argue for or against Brian's decisions and actions in the story. This activity promotes critical thinking, persuasive speaking, and empathy towards different perspectives.

18. Field Trip

If possible, plan a field trip to a local wilderness area or nature reserve. This hands-on experience will allow students to connect with nature, observe survival skills in action, and make real-life connections to the events in "Hatchet."

19. Film Screening

Organize a film screening of a movie adaptation of "Hatchet." After watching the movie, facilitate a discussion comparing the film to the book. Encourage students to analyze the director's choices and evaluate the effectiveness of the adaptation.

20. Culminating Activity

Wrap up the pre-reading activities with a culminating project, such as creating a book trailer, writing a book review, or performing a scene from "Hatchet." This final activity allows students to showcase their understanding of the book and their creativity.


By engaging students in these pre-reading activities, you will ignite their curiosity, build their background knowledge, and enhance their reading experience with "Hatchet." These activities will not only prepare them for the story but also foster a love for literature and an appreciation for the power of storytelling.