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Rent A Third Grader

This is a mini literature unit for "Rent A Third Grader" by B.B. Hiller. Hiller is also the author of Karate Kid and Karate Kid: II. It was published in 1988 by Scholastic, is 190 pages long, and has a fourth grade reading level.

Book Summary:

A police department horse is going to be sold to the HappiPet Food Company to be turned into pet food. A class of third-grade students work together to save the horse. They want to raise enough money to board the horse, whose name is Partner, at the Akers Acres for the rest of his life. They come up with the “Rent a Third Grader” idea to raise the money.

Suggested Vocabulary Words:

camouflaged
contradicted
cooperated
drenching
guaranteed
loped
majestically
masterminded
nutritious
patently
rent
ridiculous
sauntering
vaguely
wailing


Suggested Questions and Activities:

1. Have you ever worked with a group to accomplish something? Explain. Could you have done it by yourself? Why or why not?

2. Why do you think the students felt like they needed to save Partner?

3. Describe Akers Acres.

4. At the end of the story, the Rent a Third Grader business is going to make a lot of money. The students begin to think of other ways to use the money in their community. If you could raise money, what would you use the money for?

5. Learn about horses, in particular about the kind of horses used by Police departments and what their jobs would be.

6. Pretend you are trying to raise money with a group of kids your own age. What are you trying to save money for? How would you raise the money?

7. List things that you could buy for your community. List ways you could earn money for these things.

8. Research how much it costs to take care of a horse.

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