Thank You, Mr, Falker (Hardcover) by Patricia Polacco. Philomel Books, 2001. ISBN: 978-0399237324. pp: 40. Ages: 6-9, gr: 1-5.
Original edition 1998, ISBN: 978-0399231667
Paperback (1999) Scholastic, ISBN: 978-043909836


Based on her own difficulties in learning to read, Patricia Polacco gives thanks and tribute to the caring teacher, Mr Falker, who took the time to first befriend her when her peers teased, and then to discover and remediate her problem.


  1. Read along with Jane Kaczmarek reading the book.

  2. Define the word incident. Describe am incident in Trisha’s life that made her happy. Describe an incident in Trisha’s life that made her unhappy.

  3. Define the word proficient. Complete these sentences. I am proficient at ___. I would like to be more proficient at ___.

  4. Read how Patricia Polacco describes her life. Explain what she means when she tells students to, "listen to that voice inside." How is this book an example of listening to that voice?

  5. Trisha moved from Michigan to California. Find Michigan and California on a map. Use a map that shows roads to trace the route they might have taken. Note to the teacher: For more advanced, trace the route from Union City, Michigan to Oakland, California and estimate the number of miles.

  6. Patricia Polacco lists some of her favorite things. Draw a picture of one of your favorite things.

  7. Interview your father, mother, uncle or aunt about an important thing that happened to them as a child. Note to the teacher: You may want to expand this using ideas from the "Creating Family Timelines" unit designed for grades 3-5.

  8. Patricia Polacco does not use a computer (from the intro at her website). Write a letter to Patricia Polacco to persuade her to use a computer.
  9. Find a picture of Patricia Polacco as an adult. (Enter the name Patricia Polacco into the search field of a browser that lets you search images.) Compare the adult picture with the pictures of Trisha in the book.

  10. Read other books by Patricia Polacco.

About the Author


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More for the teacher

Links to other online guides for Thank You, Mr. Falker.


Thank You, Mr. Falker. Accelerated Reader: Quiz #027677; Book Level 4.1; Points= 0.5
Reading Counts: Reading Level 3.7; Points= 2.0
Lexile Level 650
Guided Reading Level M
DRA Level 24-26
Flesch/Kincaid Level 3

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