Yard sales, ice-skating, and surprise parties are just a few of the things that make fourth grade fun. But Julio and his friends know it’s time to get serious when the class begins preparing for the big statewide test at the end of the year. Just thinking about it is enough to give anybody a stomachache!
Julio and his best friend, Lucas, are going to try every superstition in the book to make sure they pass. They’ll wear their underwear inside out, use brand-new pencils, and even — gulp — study. But when test day comes, Julio finds out there are some surprises no one can prepare for!
Johanna Hurwitz creates characters with strong personalities in this book. Have students use Scholastic’s Character Scrapbook to analyze one of the characters in the story. Have students print and share their scrapbooks.
Many schools have state tests in May, just as in the book. Have students work individually or in pairs to create posters of their top five tips for test taking.
Julio and his friend Lucas are superstitious and they try everything they have ever heard of to pass the test. Discuss with your students whether they have, or know of, any superstitions. Students then write an opinion piece taking a stand on whether superstitions work or not.