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Catherine Pelley

Realistic Fiction Mini Lesson

2 min read

Realistic Fiction Mini lesson for a ninth grade class using the novel Paper Towns by John Green:


I will begin by asking students if they know what a paper town is. We will brainstorm some ideas about why John Green chose this as the title of the book.

I will then have students pair up to research what paper towns actually are. We will then have a discussion about copy right traps. I will ask students to consider the purpose of including these copyright traps on maps, and the implications that copyright traps might have on those who use maps.

As a class students will then make predictions about how copy right traps play a role in the novel.

We will then begin by reading the first 8 pages of the novel aloud. This part of the novel is about Margo and Q discovering a dead body in the park when they were children.

After reading this section of the novel I will ask students to:

  1. Evaluate the differing reactions that Margo and Q both have upon finding the dead man in the park, and thereafter—how does each react immediately? What lingering questions does each have about the dead man and what happened to him?
  2. Consider the opening of this novel. What tone does it set?
  3. Consider the thematic and symbolic implications of Margo’s statement, “Maybe all the strings inside him broke” (8). What does this statement mean? What might the “strings” come to symbolize?


I have chosen to write my lesson using this novel because it is based on an adventure between two teenagers. This is something that will engage older students because they are always looking for an adventure. This novel also deals with a wealthy main character, a middle class main character, as well as minority characters. This aspect of the story will help all students find some sort of connection within the text that will spark their interest.