written by: Patricia Gable
• edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch
• updated: 7/12/2012
Andrew wanted to have freckles! He wanted them so much that he used his allowance to pay for a freckle juice recipe. Will it work? Explore the book with your students with a math, health/safety and a creative writing activity.
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Freckle Juice is a short and entertaining book for young elementary students. Read it aloud to your class to introduce them to the popular children’s book author Judy Blume. The reading level is listed as 2.0, so it also can easily be assigned to young readers to read on their own or in a small group. Blume typically creates determined main characters that are often caught in amusing situations. In this case, Andrew wants to have freckles so badly that he uses his allowance to pay for Freckle Juice. What will happen when he drinks the concoction?
These activities include a health/safety lesson, math word problems and a creative writing activity. You will also want to catch the enthusiasm of your listeners by providing additional Judy Blume books for them to read themselves. Similar reading level selections could be: Super Fudge, The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
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On page 15 of Freckle Juice the teacher says, “This morning we will begin with arithmetic." How many of your students have every heard of “arithmetic"?
Here are some story related word problems that you can use. Create some more to fit the math objective on which you are working.
1. (Page 12) Andrew says that $.50 is five whole weeks of allowance. How much does Andrew make each week?
2. (Page 32) Mom says that if Andrew doesn’t go to school she will make him “take three baths every day for the next ten years!" How many days in a year? How many baths per year? Per ten years?
3. If Sharon sold the freckle juice recipe to Andrew and five other students, how much money would she receive?
4. Sharon does not include measurements with her recipe! Let’s suppose the measurements were as follows: 1 cup grape juice; ½ cup of each of these: vinegar, mayonnaise, olive oil; ¼ cup each of ketchup and mustard. How many cups would you have?
5. If Andrew drank the freckle juice at 3:30 and got sick at 5:15. How many minutes did it take for him to get sick?
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Ask your students, “After reading the whole book, what safety tips do you think were good or bad in the book?"
Hopefully they will mention the fact that Andrew drank something bizarre without permission or parental knowledge. Discuss safety issues of drinking unknown things. The ingredients that Andrew drank were all safe but when mixed together they made him very sick. Always get permission before eating or drinking anything strange or unfamiliar. The same goes for taking medicine.
The good safety tip in the book occurred when Mother told Andrew to pick up the house key at the neighbor’s house after school. This way the key was safe and not at risk of being lost. Mother, who was at the neighbor's, would know that Andrew was back home from school. Andrew was old enough to be in the house alone for awhile but he knew he was not allowed to use the stove or oven, which is another good safety tip.
Provide tag board or construction paper in a light color for each student. The assignment is for students to create a home safety poster. Brainstorm ideas before they start. Besides tips from the book, some suggestions should be safety around electrical sockets, fire safety (have an escape plan) and don’t open the door to strangers.
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Your Own Recipe
Andrew wished for freckles. As part of the activities for Freckle Juice, instruct your students to write a sentence or two about something they wish for themselves. Then list ingredients of a “recipe" that would help them get their wish.
For example: My wish would be that I could push the end of my nose and it would lift me off the ground. I would be able to fly over traffic when I was in a hurry.
Ingredients: Chocolate cake mix, Power Drink, Bird Feathers chopped up, Minced garlic, Fish eggs