Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus

Ten-Rules-You-Absolutely-Must-Not-Break-If-You-Want-to-Survive-the-School-BusJames advises his younger brother on the 10 things you must not do if you ride the school bus.  They range from not sitting at the front, not sitting at the back, not making eye contact with the bully, to not touching the bully’s stuff, not sitting with a girl, and finally to not talking to the bus driver.  During the course of the day, his brother inadvertently breaks all 10.  But he discovers that things work out and makes a rule 11—you don’t have to pay attention to the rules.

John Grandits, Houghton Mifflin, ©2011, 978-0-618-78822-4

Listening Idea

With the PDF of lesson ideas there is a listening chart with the 10 rules cited on it. The second time you read the story, students could note how these rules are broken. Discuss at the end. For each one, ask if it is a sensible rule and why.


This is a good time to teach students the structure of a simile. Each of the 7 similes in the book is reflected in the illustration, which cleverly reflects the perception of the narrator. You may want to project the illustrations as you point out the similes in the book and ask the students to discuss their meaning. The only simile missing is that of the bus driver, although the illustration of her is of a predator bird. The similes are:

  • a dog…sounded like an arctic wolf that hadn’t eaten all winter
  • school bus …charging at me like a giant yellow rhinoceros
  • staring at me…I felt like a zebra at a lion party
  • big kid…up close, he was the size of a grizzly bear
  • girls…as mean as snakes
  • bus driver…illustration of a predator bird, no simile
  • brother…jumping up and down like a spider monkey.

For 7 creative writing ideas, click Ten Rules to download.


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