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Cecil's Story

Activities and resources to teach Cecil's Story, a Civil War book written by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto.
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Cecil's Story

by George Ella Lyon

Cecil's Story

Cecil is a young farm boy whose father has gone off to fight in the U.S. Civil War. When his mother leaves to look for her injured husband, Cecil is left at a neighbor's house to wait and wonder the fate of his parents. Peter Catalanotto's watercolor paintings help young children to imagine the scenes depicted in the story in a realistic and easy manner.

To buy this book, click here or on the book cover.

Enrichment Activities
Internet Resources
Books by George Ella Lyon


Enrichment Activities

  • Act Out a Scene
    After a discussion and chart creation on the different scenes of the story, have groups of students act out scenes from the book.

  • Bookmark Creations
    Create bookmarks with your students and allow them to choose the content. Ideas include drawing their favorite character, scene, and happiest/saddest moment.

  • Compare and Contrast
    Use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast Cecil's life before and after his father left the farm to fight in the Civil War.

  • Integrate Art
    Contact your school's art teacher and brainstorm ideas that would integrate art and the book Cecil's Story. Some suggested materials include clay, pastels, or paper collage.

  • Letter Writing
    Create a list of the emotions that Cecil may have been feeling at various points throughout the story. Have students use this list to pretend they are Cecil and write a letter to either his father, mother, or both.

  • Activities to Honor Heroes
    Tell your students about how heroic soldiers are. They will enjoy this activity in which they collect information about their heroes.

  • Sequencing Practice
    After they have read the story, have students break down the book into three parts: beginning, middle, and end. Use the graphic organizer to help with this activity.