Annie Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, the first to survive, the first woman for over 95 years, and the only woman to do it alone. This is her story – the story of a woman over 60 years of age who did an amazing thing.
Chris Van Allsburg, Houghton Mifflin, ©2010, 978-0547-31581-2
Start in the Middle of the Action
This book is a brilliant example of starting a story in the middle of the action, then going back to fill in the backstory, and bringing your reader back up to the beginning point of the story.
In this book, a crowd has gathered to watch a barrel go over the falls but why is the barrel so important? The book then flashes back to Annie Taylor’s life, leads her up to the falls, and then follows on with the rest of the story. After analyzing how the “start in the middle of the action” strategy works, have students re-write a story they have written by starting at the action point and flashing back to the beginning.
Science Egg Drop Project
Annie Taylor knows, “You can put an egg inside a can and let it drop to the floor. The can may not be damaged, but it’s a different story for the egg.” This is a classic science project. How do you protect an egg from breaking in a 20 foot drop? One of the neatest demonstrations is The Science Egg Drop Project by Bradley who demonstrates 5l contraptions he built to protect an egg in a 19 foot drop. This can also make a good science challenge for your students.
For 9 writing ideas, click Queen of the Falls to download.