Tuck Everlasting Unit Plan
Do you want to live forever?

Rachel Weber
Jeffrey Miles
Christina Hoff
Laurie Gracia
Trena Noval

Table of Contents:
Section 1
    • Vocabulary Squares
    • Pre- Reading Activity 1: Literary Influences of Water
    • Pre- Reading Activity 2: What is a Fantasy?
    • Chapters 1-5 Comprehension Questions
Section 2
    • Section 2 Vocabulary Squares
    • Chs. 1-8: Feelings About Living Forever
    • Chapters 6-12 Comprehension Questions
    • Metaphors and Similes
Section 3
    • Pre- Reading Activity 3: Patent-Medical Show
    • Chs. 9-20: Setting and Plot
    • Chs. 21-Epilogue: Weather and Action
    • Chapters 13-Epilogue Comprehension Questions
    • Rubric
    • Outline
    • Sample Essays
    • CA State Content Standards
Coming of Age
Focus Content Area:
English/Language Arts
Grade Level:

This will be a comprehensive, grade-level wide novel unit plan focusing on Kinsella vocabulary instruction, literary analysis, literary devices, a debate and persuasive writing.

Section 1:

Vocabulary Squares

Use the Kate Kinsella - inspired vocabulary squares to pre-teach new vocabulary words to the whole class for each section of the novel.

Pre- Reading Activity 1: Literary Influences of Water

This PowerPoint presentation provides students with a greater understanding of how water has influenced writing and culture throughout history. Included are examples of the beliefs and superstitions found in literature and cultural beliefs from around the world. The PowerPoint ends with a brief prediction and question slide relating to Tuck Everlasting.

NOTE: This PowerPoint is best used before you begin reading the novel.
Click HERE to download or view the PowerPoint file to your computer.

Pre- Reading Activity 2: What is a Fantasy?

This PowerPoint presentation reviews the elements that create a fantasy story.  This Power Point presentation provides modern day examples of fantasy television and questions that prompt the students to look for clues in chapter 2. This would be best reviewed before reading chapter 2 of Tuck Everlasting.

Click HERE to download or view the powerpoint file from your computer: What is a Fantasy?

Chapters 1-5 Comprehension Questions

Section 1

1. Describe the setting in complete sentences.

2. Why do you think it might be a terrible disaster if people discovered the giant ash tree and the little, bubbling spring? Predict what you think is going to happen.

3. What is Tuck’s “good dream” about?

4. Who is Winnie talking to about her troubles?

5. What is Winnie complaining about?

6. What does Winnie decide she should do to solve her problems?

7. Who is the man in the yellow suit looking for?

8. In chapter 5, Winnie meets a boy in the wood. Explain what the author means when she writes, “Sitting relaxed with his back against the trunk was a boy, almost a man. And he seemed so glorious to Winnie that she lost her heart at once.”

9. Why doesn’t Jesse want to share the water from the spring with Winnie?

10. What does Mae Tuck mean when she says, “The worst is happening at last?”


Section 2:

Section 2 Vocabulary Squares

Section 2 Vocabulary Knowledge Rating Sheet

Section 2- Vocabulary Squares- Student Version

Section 2 Vocabulary Squares- Key

Chs. 1-8: Feelings About Living Forever

The Tucks have mixed feelings about living forever. Have students use the chart worksheet below to note their attitudes.

This worksheet to help students explore how the main characters feel about living forever.

Chapters 6-12 Comprehension Questions

Section 2

1. Why do the Tucks take Winnie with them?

2. Complete the story: 1. __________________________ years before, the Tucks had come, looking for a place to 2.____________________.  In those days, the wood was a 3. ____________________. They thought they’d start a 4. _______________________ when they came out of the end of the trees, but they never seemed to 5.______________________. Then they happened upon the 6.______________________. They stopped and everyone took a 7. _______________________ except for the 8.______________________. The water tasted sort of 9._____________________. They came out of the 10._____________________ at last, and found a place to start their farm. One day, Jesse fell out of a 11._______________ onto his 12. _________________, but it didn’t 13._________________ him a bit! Pa got bit by a 14.__________________. Jesse ate 15. ______________ ______________. Mae cut herself slicing 16._______________. None of them got hurt, and as time passed none of them got any 17. _____________________.

4. How did the Tucks made sure that they were immortal?





5. Pretend you are Winnie. Do you believe the Tuck’s story? Why? Why not? Give support for the text.

6. How do the boys feel to have Winnie with them? Why is this important?

7. Who overheard the Tuck’s story? Why is it important for him to hear it?

8. Winnie thinks it’s sad that the Tucks don’t belong anywhere. What does she mean? How do you know?

9. Angus Tuck says that life is all around them, moving, growing and changing. He compares life to a rock and says that the Tucks are stuck. What does Tuck say would happen if people in Treegap know about the spring? Why is this so important for Winnie to understand. Why it is so important to Tuck that no one find out about the spring?  What does Tuck mean when he says the pond has answers?

10. Describe the difference between the Tucks house and the Foster’s House.

Metaphors and Similes

Students will use this worksheet to organize the similes and metaphors that they find in the novel.

Simile and Metaphor Log

Section 3:

Pre- Reading Activity 3: Patent-Medical Show

This PowerPoint presentation helps students understand the idea of a patent-medical show and what would happen to the characters in Tuck Everlasting if they were forced into one of these shows by the man in the yellow suit. This presentation should be read at the end of chapter 19.

Chs. 9-20: Setting and Plot

Use this worksheet to help students discover the role of setting in the development of a novel’s plot. On the worksheet, students brainstorm different settings from the novel, and write a short explanation of how each setting effects the plot.

Setting and Plot

Chs. 21-Epilogue: Weather and Action

In this novel, Natalie Babbitt utilizes changes in the weather to foreshadow events that effect the outcome of the story. Use this worksheet to help students explore how the author uses weather (heat, thunderstorms, etc.) to foreshadow the story’s action.

Weather and Action

Chapters 13-Epilogue Comprehension Questions

Section 3

1. Why couldn’t Winnie sleep in Chapter 14?

2. What is Jesse’s big idea for Winnie?

3. In chapter 15, the man in the yellow suit explains this to the Fosters: “I’ve got what you want, and you’ve got what I want. Of course, you might find that child without me, but… you might not find her in time. So: I want the wood and you want the child. It’s a trade. A simple , clear cut trade.” (page 75) Explain what the stranger is doing to the Fosters. Is this an honorable trade? Why or Why not?

4. In chapter 17 Miles takes Winnie out fishing. Read the piece below and answer the following questions. “And then Miles caught a fish. There it flopped, in the bottom of the boat, its jaw working, its gills fanning rapidly. Winnie drew up her knees and stared at it. It was beautiful, and horrible too, with gleaming rainbow-colored scales, and an eye like a marble beginning to dim even as she watched it. “ (page 87) Explain how something could be beautiful and horrible at the same time.

5. Describe the offer that the man in the yellow suit makes to the TUCKS when he comes to their house to get Winnie. Why do you think the Tucks react the way they do?

6. When the constable arrives at the Tucks, Winnie explains, “They didn’t kidnap me…I came because I wanted to…” Why does she tell this to the constable?

7. What will happen to Mae if the man in the yellow suit dies? Why is that bad?

8. What plan does Winnie come up with to help Mae?

9. Describe how the rescue of Mae Tuck was performed. Use complete sentences.

10. Jesse gives Winnie a bottle of spring water. Why does Winnie pour this water on the toad? What does that mean she has decided to do with her life?

11. Why is the book called Tuck Everlasting?

12. Do you think Winnie made the right decision? Explain your answer.

13. Would you drink the spring water if you knew where it was? What else would you do? Explain why?

14. What does the reader find out about Winnie in the epilogue?

15. Explain the funny coincidence that happened at the end of the book between the toad and Angus Tuck?




Click here to view or download the Tuck Everlasting Rubric.


This rubric is aligned with the 6-traits of writing and the California Standards listed on the "standards" page. Since all students have different and varying writing needs, our language arts classes are based on using the 6-traits to help students improve these specific

writing skills.

Each semester the students learn and focus on improving particular traits. This essay is written at the end of the year, so the traits and rubric are built around what we expect from our students.



Click here to download the student pre-writing outline.

This outline is constructed to help students organize their notes and ideas after reading Tuck Everlasting. As the students work their way through the outline, they will see the skeleton of their essay. By working with this "skeleton," students will gain a powerful understanding of how to bridge notes and quotes from a book to formulate a logical and persuasive essay.

Sample Essays

The following are actual essays that were turned and graded after teaching this unit. They include teacher comments and have been scored using the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing.


Student Sample 1

Student Sample 2

Student Sample 3

Student Sample 4


CA State Content Standards

The following standards will be met while teaching this unit.

ELA.6.1.2. Identify and interpret figurative language and words with multiple meanings.
ELA.6.1.3. Recognize the origins and meanings of frequently used foreign words in English and use these words accurately in speaking and writing.
ELA.6.1.4. Monitor expository text for unknown words or words with novel meanings by using word, sentence, and paragraph clues to determine meaning.
ELA.6.1.5. Understand and explain "shades of meaning" in related words (e.g., softly and quietly).
ELA.6.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Structural Features of Literature
ELA.6.3.1. Identify the forms of fiction and describe the major characteristics of each form.
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA.6.3.2. Analyze the effect of the qualities of the character (e.g., courage or cowardice, ambition or laziness) on the plot and the resolution of the conflict.
ELA.6.3.3. Analyze the influence of setting on the problem and its resolution.
ELA.6.3.4. Define how tone or meaning is conveyed in poetry through word choice, figurative language, sentence structure, line length, punctuation, rhythm, repetition, and rhyme.
ELA.6.3.5. Identify the speaker and recognize the difference between first-and third-person narration (e.g., autobiography compared with biography).
ELA.6.3.6. Identify and analyze features of themes conveyed through characters, actions, and images.
ELA.6.3.7. Explain the effects of common literary devices (e.g., symbolism, imagery, metaphor) in a variety of fictional and nonfictional texts.
Literary Criticism
ELA.6.3.8. Critique the credibility of characterization and the degree to which a plot is contrived or realistic (e.g., compare use of fact and fantasy in historical fiction).
ELA.6.2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.6.2.5. Write persuasive compositions:
a. State a clear position on a proposition or proposal.
b. Support the position with organized and relevant evidence.
c. Anticipate and address reader concerns and counterarguments.
Listening and Speaking
ELA.6.2.0 Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.6.2.4. Deliver persuasive presentations:
a. Provide a clear statement of the position.
b. Include relevant evidence.
c. Offer a logical sequence of information.
d. Engage the listener and foster acceptance of the proposition or proposal.