Looking for projects related to SAVE ME A SEAT?


Miss Sanzari and her 5th graders in North Haven, CT  came up with some great ideas….

“Each student in my class brought in an item and a notecard and we followed the same rules as the characters in the book did for their personal reflection assignment.”

Here’s what some of the notecards said:

“Head over wheels” –a student who loved skateboarding and brought his board

“I stick out” a student who is unique brought in a glue stick

Another great project we did was to write chapters as if we were Dillion Samreen. The students were interested to know more about why he was so mean.

  • Have students draw a picture of their idea of the most perfect (or most awful) school lunch.
  • Try making one (or both!) of the recipes at the end of the book.  If cooking at school is not feasible, perhaps a parent would be willing to make the cookies or apple crisp and send some samples to class.
  • Try playing Mrs. Beam’s ice-breaker games with your students
  • Have students write a chapter or a scene from Dillon Samreen’s point of view.
  • Explore the glossaries at the end of the book and practice saying the words with the help of the phonetic pronunciation guide.




Mrs. Joan Shiland, a 5th grade teacher in Yorktown Heights, NY wrote to Gita and me in the spring of 2020, sharing her creative approach to teaching SAVE ME A SEAT while her students were distance-learning from home… 

Save Me a Seat has anchored my students together and helped me to think outside the box. It has connected us in ways I never thought possible in this virtual classroom. Some students ordered, downloaded, borrowed digital copies from library, or engaged in the audiobook to surround themselves with your words. As a teacher, I needed to prepare lessons that taught standards in a way that engaged and connected my children to the text, the world and helped them to deal with or forget the current situation we are surrounded by. Using the Google Classroom platform and Google Meets book clubs, I was able to present my materials and create a hunger for the book. We focused on not only the educational parts of curriculum: author studies, literary elements and devices, text structure, format of written responses but on so much more. We fed our souls by connecting your book to principles of Social Emotional Learning, Character Education, Cultural Diversity, and the comfort of Food and Family. In constructing each week´s plan, I reflected on ways to not only be true to your characters, plot and theme, but to provide thought provoking questions, tasks and real world strategies. I needed to go way beyond last years ¨packet” of work to spice up my teaching. I wanted to share a few of the ways we feasted on your words.


  • Families participated in weekly food challenges where they cooked together some of the recipes and foods mentioned throughout the sections and sent me pictures.


  • Two students and their families worked together to create a cultural slide show about India to provide the other students with background information.


  • Our school focuses on the principles of Social Emotion Learning. Talking about and monitoring character emotions and responses helped us to do the same with our own feelings during this time. We talked about strategies the characters used to deal with stressful situations and how to apply these and new ones to their own lives. We even created art work using Abstract Expressionism to illustrate an emotional quote from the text.


  • We focused on interactions and social cues between the children, parents and teachers in the book and related the advice and outcomes to our own situations.



Choose a project from the list below that really interests you and that you can commit your time to. All project choices must be discussed and approved by your teacher.  We will discuss personal selections during  Book Talk Groups. If you decide earlier, a private Google Meet can  be set up to review your choice and talk about expectations. Written work should be typed. Illustrated work can be done any way you decide. All projects will be shared via google drive with your teacher and presented to classmates on FlipGrid or possibly live.


  • Cookbook: Create a Cookbook using all the many foods mentioned throughout the chapters in the book and as the titles of each section. Connect the foods to what occurred in the book. Feel free to add one or two of your own recipes and how they would connect to the story. Be sure to look at a real cookbook to see how it is organized. At least ten recipes must be included.


  • Menu: Create a menu using the many foods that were mentioned throughout the chapters in the book and and included as the titles of each section. Connect the foods to what happened in the book. Feel free to add your own ideas to fill in menu categories. Be sure you write how you feel they would connect to story. Be sure to research how a real menu is set up.Your menu must include: Appetizers, Main Courses, Sides, Desserts and Drinks Include at least 2 food choices for each.

RESEARCH and REPORT: Google slides presentation: 8 slide minimum/10 slide maximum. 

Facts must be sited and paraphrased, NOT cut and pasted!!  Bibliography must be included at end. 


  • Research and Report meaning behind the design, colors, symbols and VIRTUES on the INDIAN Flag. List all the VIRTUES on the Indian flag. Pick and Connect 5 of thoses virtue to events in the book and how the characters showed or did not show the virtue.   A bibliography page must be included to site the sources you found your facts from. NO Wikipedia!! 


  • Research and Report on the similarities and differences between Cricket and Baseball. Include at least ten  facts about each sport. All facts must be different and in your own words. A Venn Diagram showing the comparison between the two must be included on one slide.  A bibliography page must be included to site the sources you found your facts from. NO Wikipedia!! 


  • Research Service Dogs and how they can help all kinds of people and in all kinds of situations. We inferred fro the story that Mia made a huge difference to Joe and helped him emotionally. 

 ILLUSTRATE IDEAS: Draw, Paint, Sculpt,  Code,  Kami or ???? 


  • Illustrate 5 scenes that depict  the many bits of advice that were given to Joe and Ravi by their Teachers and Parents. Be sure to write the advice and how the scene you drew connects to the advice. 


  • Draw illustrations for at least 5 of the many Figurative Language expressions found throughout the book. Be sure to include what they really mean, how they relate to event in book and the page /section you find it. 


  • Design and draw 18 bow ties or regular ties  that represent important events, themes, advice, characters or settings in the book. On another document, you must include and justify why these ¨ties”were important to the book. Remember, Mr.Barnes wore them and Joe memorized them! 



  • Write a new chapter for the book from Dillon’s perspective( at least 3 pages typed 14 font). Reread both Joe and Raviś perspective before writing Dillons. Use  the section events that occured but tell the event from Dillon’s side. Be sure to include dialogue using the “voice” of the characters  and proper punctuation. 
  • Write a 2 page typed letter(14 font, proper format)  to the Authors discussing:
  •  likes and dislikes about the book.
  • theme of book and what you learned from it.
  • How 5th grade at Crompond is similar and different to life at Albert Einstein school.
  • Suggestions or feedback you have.
  • Facts you learned about them  from your resource in the letter as well.


  •  Write a 5 minute speech about any  of the important topics  or themes in the book. Relate your ideas to the real world and include examples from the book. Please film yourself giving it. Just as Ravi did be sure you understand the proper elocution skills needed for public speaking. 


  • Create your own Character Education presentation using our HEART lessons as a model. Teach a topic you think all children should EMPATHIZE with and understand to be a good HUMAN BEING

                                     Doing a OSOB read of Save Me a Seat?


send it to: heysarahweeks@gmail.com

Thank you @JJANKOWSKI for this photo of homework done with sidewalk chalk.



Double peanut M&M’s from Jeffersonville, NY










Characters in SMAS seen from different POV’s

Compare and contract two characters. Ravi from SMAS and Alice from PIE

Classroom door decorated for an author visit

I love all those buttons on Ravi’s white shirt!

WOW! Great way to make an author feel welcome! Check out the 3-D cafeteria food!

Chapter written from Dillon Samreen’s POV

Exploring character traits for RAVI