Hatchet Lesson Plans

When I first started my Hatchet lesson plans, I knew I wanted some activities that would focus on the author’s craft.  Gary Paulsen’s voice and style of writing are all his own and worth taking note of.  For example, in chapter 14, Paulsen repeats a one word sentence:  Mistakes.  So, written in my Hatchet lesson plans for this chapter, is an activity to have my students take a look at this for meaning.  In groups, students discuss why Paulsen repeats this word and what effect it has on the story and the reader.  Then, I have them try this writing technique themselves.  I give them the following assignment:

Instead of focusing on mistakes, write a few paragraphs focusing on Brian’s successes.  In order to add emphasis, model Paulsen’s writing technique of repetition.  Before narrating each accomplishment that Brian has made while being stranded on the island, first write the word Success.

Hatchet is one book your students will certainly remember.  Scroll down to print free Hatchet Lesson Plans like the one listed above!

 Gary Paulsen wonderfully tells the story of Brian, who is forced to pilot a plane and land it on a deserted island.  There, he must learn to survive. The book is action packed, and your students will not want to stop reading.  This book lends itself wonderfully as a whole-class, literature circle, or independent novel study.

With Hatchet, great opportunity arises to teach students about examining the author’s craft.  We teach our students to pay attention to Gary Paulsen’s word usage, imagery, use of suspense, and even symbolism.  Of course, we also take a look at literary elements too, such as theme, point of view, and setting.  Take a look at our free sample handouts.

Print these handouts and a portion of a test by clicking here for our sample packet for Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.


If you enjoy this free sample, consider purchasing our entire teaching unit for Hatchet.  All of your planning will be complete!  You will simply print and teach!