English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lower Primary, Upper Primary
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Education Standards

Halfway to Harmony Read Aloud Activities

Halfway to Harmony Read Aloud Activities


Our ‘Local Read Aloud’ is a spin-off of The Global Read Aloud, created by Pernille Ripp.  The idea is that we select one book to read aloud to our students over a span of six weeks.  During our six weeks of reading we connect with other classrooms across the district and discuss, create, and connect with the book and our peers.  We can use a variety of tools to connect, and take as much, or as little time as we’d like.  The project is intended to be enjoyable and not stressful, and in my experience the students enjoy the read aloud component as much as the connections.

Our ‘Local Read Aloud’ is a spin-off of The Global Read Aloud, created by Pernille Ripp.  The idea is that we select one book to read aloud to our students over a span of six weeks.  During our six weeks of reading we connect with other classrooms across the district and discuss, create, and connect with the book and our peers.  We can use a variety of tools to connect, and take as much, or as little time as we’d like.  The project is intended to be enjoyable and not stressful, and in my experience the students enjoy the read aloud component as much as the connections.


Book:Week:Chapters to be read:
Week 1Chapters 1-737 pages
Week 2Chapters 8-1540 pages
Week 3Chapters 16-2342 pages
Week 4Chapters 24 -3145 pages
Week 5Chapter 32-3735 pages
Week 6Chapter 38-4226 pages


Week 1-


solicitors, pigeon-toed, sharp-tongued, bully-thwarting, gullies, mange, admiration,

Canopy, inventory, hogwash


Word,Definition - Copy this CSV list into the online platform of your choice; Quizlet, Kahoot, Quizizz, Blooket, Gimkit


Solicitors, Lawyers who help people with legal problems and go to court for them.

Pigeon-Toed, When someone's toes point inward instead of straight ahead when they walk.

Sharp-Tongued, Someone who says mean or critical things in a clever or sassy way.

Bully-Thwarting, Stopping or preventing bullies from being mean to others and helping those who are being picked on.

Gullies, Narrow, deep ditches in the ground, often found in hilly or mountainous areas, made by water running through.

Mange, A skin problem that makes animals very itchy, lose their fur, and have irritated skin, like a rash.

Admiration, When you really like and look up to someone or something because of the great things they do or how awesome they are.

Canopy, An overhead covering, like a big umbrella or a leafy roof, that gives shade or protection from the weather.

Inventory, A detailed list of all the stuff a store has to sell or the things you have at home.

Hogwash, Silly or ridiculous ideas or stories that don't make any sense or aren't true.




1. Who is Tank?  What happened to him?

2. Describe Walter’s Dream.

3. How do Walter’s thoughts about Posey change throughout the course of chapter 1.

4. How did Tank feel about their hometown of Harmony, Georgia?

5. Why isn’t Walter opening the last letter from Tank?

6. Describe Posey.  Does she seem like someone you’d want to be friends with? Explain.

7. Why didn’t Walter ask Posey if she ever got teased about her birthmark?

8.  What do Posey and Walter find on their way to the creek?

9. Describe the man they find.

10. What claim does the man make about what caused him to end up there?  What injury does he think he has?

11. How does Banjo react to Evalina showing up?

12. Walter’s mom says that Banjo is “either a nut or a liar, or both.” Which do you think he is? Explain.

13.The book  “Nuggets of Knowledge”  was published in 1933, what “knowledge” might be in this book?







Week 2-



sociable, forlornly, abode, contentment, awry, liable, nigh, skeptical, predicament,




Sociable, Friendly and liking to be with other people, enjoys company and talking to friends.

Forlornly, Feeling very sad and alone, as if you're missing someone or something you care about.

Abode, Another word for a home or a place where someone lives.

Contentment, A happy feeling when you're satisfied and don't want anything more.

Awry, When something goes wrong or doesn't happen the way it should.

Liable, Likely to happen or be responsible for something because of what you did.

Nigh, Almost or very close in time or distance.

Skeptical, When you have doubts or aren't sure if something is true or will work.

Predicament, A tricky or difficult situation you're stuck in and don't know how to solve.

Considerable, A lot or a big amount of something.



  1. As the chapter 8 ends, Banjo is about to explain his presence. Make a prediction about who he is and what he’s doing there.
  2. How did Banjo get his nickname, and what has he been up to since he left his home?
  3. What is Banjo’s Bodacious Adventure?
  4. How did Banjo end up in the woods by Posey and Walter’s houses?
  5. What do you think Posey has in mind for finding the balloon?
  6. How does Posey inspire Walter?
  7. Do you consider yourself to be more like Posey or more like Walter? What would you do in this situation? Explain.
  8. What does Walter discover when he goes home?
  9. What does Posey find at the end of the chapter?  Why do you think Walter wouldn’t want her to see it?
  10. How does Walter assume Posey will react when he starts crying?  How does she react?
  11. Was Banjo able to fix his truck? Explain.


Week 3-



dejection, conundrum, scenarios, imbeciles, pinnacle,grit, fortitude



Dejection, A very sad and discouraged feeling, like when you're really down and upset.

Conundrum, A puzzling problem or question that's hard to figure out, like a tricky riddle.

Scenarios, Different ways things might happen, like different plans or ideas for what could occur.

Imbeciles, People who do silly or foolish things, often not making good choices.

Pinnacle, The very top or highest point, like the peak of a mountain or the best you can achieve.

Grit, Having strong determination and courage, not giving up even when things are tough.

Fortitude, Having a lot of strength and bravery to face difficult situations without giving in.



  1. What are rules two and three for making friends?  Do you do these things?
  2. What does Walter decide to do after he wakes up from his usual dream?  Why?
  3. How does Posey respond to what Walter tells her?  Do you think her response was helpful?  Explain.
  4. What is rule five for making friends?
  5. What do Walter and Posey find?
  6. Why can't they recover Banjo’s hot-air balloon?
  7. Why is Walter worried about the rain?
  8. What inspires Walter to stop waiting around and take action?
  9. The first rule of making friends comes up twice in chapter 22.  Describe the two situations and how it helps Walter and Posey.
  10. Walter debated whether or not he should tell his mom about finding the hot-air balloon.  Do you think he made the right decision?  Explain.


Week 4-



pole beans, obstacles, stealthy, vital, gallant, uncanny, unsavory, infused



Pole Beans, A type of green bean that grows on tall poles or supports in a garden.

Obstacles, Things that get in your way or make it hard to do something you want to do.

Stealthy, Doing something quietly and secretly so that no one notices.

Vital, Very important and necessary for something to work or be successful.

Gallant, Brave and polite, like a true hero who helps and respects others.

Uncanny, Something that is strangely surprising or seems almost magical.

Unsavory, Things that are not pleasant or don't taste good, like bad-tasting food or something you don't like.

Infused, When something has a special flavor or quality added to it, like adding flavor to tea or making it taste different.



  1. How does Walter solve the problem of Banjo’s truck not working and them not being able to go get the hot-air balloon?
  2. Explain why Walter’s solution to their problem didn’t solve everything.  What obstacles do they still face?
  3. How does Posey suggest they get around their biggest obstacle?
  4. Explain their plan to get to Starcatcher and get it back to Banjo’s property.
  5. Do you think their plan is a good one?  Would you participate in it?
  6. In chapter 28, on a scale of 1 (least confident) to 10 (most confident, how confident do you think Walter, Posey, and Banjo should feel about their mission to rescue the hot-air balloon at this point?
  7. Describe the scene as they’re trying to get the hot-air balloon loaded into the truck?  Have you ever been in a situation like that? Explain.
  8. Do you think their mission was successful?   Why or Why not?
  9. In chapter 31, How does Walter’s father react? How do you think your parents would react in that situation?


Week 5



audacity, honeysuckle, peasants, metropolis, feistiest, varmint, mesmerized, confidence,fraternizing, frantically, highfalutin


Audacity, Being really brave and bold, not being afraid to do something daring.

Honeysuckle, A sweet-smelling flower that looks like a trumpet and grows on vines.

Peasants, People who live in the countryside and often work on farms, usually not very rich.

Metropolis, A huge and bustling city with many people, buildings, and things to do.

Feistiest, The most spirited or lively, like someone with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

Varmint, A word for critters or animals, especially those that can be pesky or bothersome.

Mesmerized, When you're so fascinated or captivated by something that you can't look away.

Confidence, Believing in yourself and feeling sure that you can do things well.

Fraternizing, Hanging out and being friendly with people, often your pals or buddies.

Frantically, Doing something in a big hurry and with a lot of excitement or worry.

Highfalutin, Using fancy or important-sounding words or acting like you're better than others.



  1. What is Walter’s Punishment?  Do you think it’s fair? Explain.
  2. What is Walter’s Birthday wish?  Do you think he’ll get it?
  3. After his birthday party while he sits in Tank’s truck, Walter feels both sad and mad.  Explain why he’s feeling this way.
  4. How does the fact that Evalina declines Banjo’s offer lead to good news for Walter and Posey?
  5. Would you like to ride in a hot-air balloon? Why or Why not?
  6. Why does Banjo continue to change the elevation of the balloon?
  7. Make a prediction about what will happen in Chapter 38.


Week 6



repentant, gumption, magnitude



Repentant, Feeling sorry for something you did wrong and wanting to make amends or do better.

Gumption, Having the courage and determination to do something challenging or brave.

Magnitude, How big or important something is, like the size or significance of an event or problem.



  1. Why does the balloon drift off course?
  2. What feeling does Walter experience as they approach Harmony?
  3. What does Tank say in his letter to Walter?
  4. Describe how Banjo is different now?
  5. Do you think Evalina should forgive Banjo?
  6. How does Walter feel about going back to school?  Why?



Halfway to Harmony Novel Activities



  1. Plan, draw, and color a large poster that inspires others to read this book.


  1. Write and perform a television news broadcast reporting events from the book.        


  1. Halfway to Harmony introduces us to many different types of trees.   Take pictures of trees around your school.  Research what type of trees you have found.


  1. Write a letter to Tank explaining some of the problems Walter is having and possible solutions.


  1. Create a conversation between two characters from Halfway to Harmony.


  1. Create a graphic organizer comparing and contrasting two characters in the story.


  1. Write an interview for a main character of the book. Ask at least 5 questions and write the answers to the questions, as the character would respond.


  1. Make connections to the story, including a connection to your life, to another book you have read, and to the real world.


  1. Design a new hot air balloon for Banjo.


  1. Draw a picture of the main character, and then write ten words that describe the main character.