How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell will be the perfect book to inspire even your most reluctant readers! Every page contains so much adventure and excitement that students will never want to put the book down. This novel works great as a whole-class novel study, as a read-aloud for younger learners, or in a literature circle.
What you'll find on this page:
How to Eat Fried Worms Summary
The second students see this book, they will wonder What is How to Eat Fried Worms about? Surely, it cannot mean eating worms! They will be in for the biggest shock when they see the plot summary actually talks about eating worms.
Readers will instantly make connections with the characters in How to Eat Fried Worms. Some will connect with Billy, the crazy daredevil. Others will connect with Alan, the supportive best friend who loves to add to Billy’s crazy ideas.
Billy is never one to turn down a dare, no matter the setting or situation. So, people are always trying to come up with the craziest idea. While Billy has always completed his dares, he may have bitten off more than he can chew. This is in the form of eating fifteen worms in fifteen days! If Billy wins, Alan has to pay him fifty dollars. There are no concerns over eating a measly fifteen worms. In Billy’s mind, he is already dreaming of buying a used minibike.
When Billy starts to eat the worms, Alan is shocked. Billy uses mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar, and lemon to disguise the taste. Alan cannot believe this works! As gross as this dare is, Billy ends up hooked on eating juicy worms!
Since Alan does not want to lose fifty dollars, he is busy finding schemes to make Billy lose the bet. Readers will love seeing how this bet goes during each chapter.
What reading level is How to Eat Fried Worms?
This book has 144 pages. It is a Guided Reading Level R with a Lexile score of 560L. Age appropriate for fourth and fifth graders, the book grade level works well for students in grades 3-6.
Why is How to Eat Fried Worms a Good Book for Book Clubs or Novel Studies?
Whether using this book in book clubs or as a novel study, it is perfect for all readers! The character who loves to do crazy dares will draw even the most reluctant readers in. Students who already enjoy reading will love to see the friendship between Billy and Alan while following all the adventures. All readers will be on the edge of their seats while waiting to see what Billy does next.
If students are too young to read this book independently, do not let that stop them from hearing this incredible story. It works great as a read-aloud. The class can stop along the way and make predictions on whether or not Billy will be able to accomplish all of his dares! Additionally, readers will love to share what they think of Billy’s worm toppings.
Students love to watch movies! Luckily, there is a How to Eat Fried Worms movie! All your readers will be excited to see the book come to life in their minds and on the screen.
What's included in the How to Eat Fried Worms Novel Study?
This three-week How to Eat Fried Worms novel study unit is available in print and digital formats. The unit guide breaks the book into 15 sections.
Each day's work covers 2-3 chapters of the text and includes a standards-aligned comprehension activity and vocabulary.
Here's more about what you'll find inside:
- Print & digital instructional guides with daily comprehension skill, objectives, key Tier 2 & text-based vocabulary, and tips for using both versions
- Comprehension trifolds (provided in color and black & white)
- Reader's notebook comprehension prompts (matching trifolds)
- Word of the Day text-based vocabulary flipbooks
- Vocabulary word wall cards
- Trifold answer keys for easy grading
- Access to the Google Slides version of the daily assignments for use in digital classrooms
Reading Comprehension Skills Targeted in this How to Eat Fried Worms Novel Unit
I targeted the comprehension skills based on areas where students commonly need more consistent practice – this is why you'll see higher-level comprehension practice consistently included.
Once I had a list of skills I hoped to cover, I carefully aligned them with the details and plotline of How to Eat Fried Worms. As a result, this novel study is both rigorous and engaging for learners!
Some of the skills addressed in this novel study include:
- Citing text to respond to literature
- Cause & effect
- Problem and solution
- Identifying character traits
- Character development
Daily lessons target one comprehension skill, letting learners focus on quality rather than quantity when responding to literature.
Many novel units include lists of basic comprehension questions completed daily. You won't find that here!
This no-fluff format ensures your students understand and can apply their knowledge to How to Eat Fried Worms and other texts they read. The goal is to get students to think rather than just regurgitate the text.
The Novel Study Format
This novel study is provided in two formats – print & digital. The digital version of the novel study is perfect for use as part of distance or home learning, and it can easily be shared with students via Google Classroom.
The printable version includes the same material but in a paper-saving print format. This version requires under 10 minutes to prepare and is designed to be approachable to struggling and reluctant learners while maintaining the interest of your on-level and advanced learners.
Here's a bit more about what you'll find in the printable version of this novel study:
How to Eat Fried Worms – Printable Novel Study
The printable novel study format provides comprehension prompts in two formats. I chose these formats to help you differentiate and meet your learners' needs.
Here's an overview of each of the comprehension response formats:
The trifold format was the original design for this novel study. You can cover a week of comprehension with each foldable. Plus, you'll only be using only one piece of paper.
Students respond to a targeted question daily that focuses the day's reading on a single comprehension skill.
From the student perspective, the benefit of the trifold is that it is extremely approachable. Each day's work only takes up a third of the page, which keeps reluctant writers from shutting down.
You'll find it easy to collect and grade if you're in the classroom. Many students use the trifold as a bookmark, helping prevent missing papers.
Homeschool families love the low-prep format, too!
The Reader's Notebook prompts are perfect for advanced students who provide more in-depth analysis and struggling writers who may need more space to write their responses.
For advanced readers, the notebook prompts can generate a longer, more detailed response to the daily prompt. This pushes the students to analyze and defend their answers.
However, students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, or fine motor issues often prefer to use cut-and-paste prompts. Glue them onto specialized paper or into a notebook. This can give students with large handwriting more room to respond.
Regardless of the format selected, the prompt is the same, so you can easily have some students working on the trifolds while others use the notebook prompts.
What academic vocabulary is included in the How to Eat Fried Worms novel study?
The instructional guide includes over 50 academic vocabulary words your students should be familiar with through instruction. These include general academic vocabulary and skill-specific vocabulary.
Teach academic vocabulary explicitly and within context. Struggling learners often lack the vocabulary essential to perform well in school and on standardized assessments, so this is easy to incorporate this into your regular instructional practices.
Here is a small sample of the academic vocabulary you'll find included in this novel study:
- main idea
In addition to the Tier 2 vocabulary, each lesson includes a text-based vocabulary word found within the day's reading.
Some of the vocabulary words included in this literature guide are:
Teach these words using the included flipbook format. Designed to conserve copies, the flipbooks use a half-piece of paper per week.
The Word of the Day Flip Book is designed for use in interactive reading journals.
To use the flipbooks, cut around the outer edge, cut the tabs, and glue them into their notebook. Leave the flaps unglued so that they can be lifted. This allows students to write under them.
Depending on your students, you can have them define the day's word or generate a list of synonyms and antonyms. You can even have students draw a picture of the meaning.
Purchase this Novel Unit
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell is full of laughter, adventure, and crazy antics! All your students will love this book and the crazy ideas Billy and Alan come up with.
If you're ready to teach your next book unit with How To Eat Fried Worms, grab the novel study from my shop by clicking the link below.