Gossamer by Lois Lowry


Gossamer by Lois Lowry

The Littlest One isn’t really sure what she is.  She’s not a human—maybe something like a fairy?  While she might not understand herself yet, she is learning what her people do every night—alter the dreams of humans.  Through the guidance of Thin Elderly, will this tiny being be able to mend the lives of a sad, alone woman and her angry adopted son?  Can she fight the evil forces of nightmares in order to heal their wounds?

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level: 5.7

Teaching Suggestion

Can be used for a whole-class read-aloud


Piteously, emerged, grudgingly, pleasant, gossamer, stealthily, fastidious, phenomenon, horde, bestowal, stirred, fluttered, ancient, imperiously, dissolved

Before-Reading Strategy

In order to help students connect with the text and increase comprehension, have students participate in a Think-Pair-Share.  Can you remember any dreams you’ve had?  What about nightmares?  Have you ever wondered where they can from?  Do you think it is possible for you to control your dreams?

Writing Activity

Have students explore what dreams really are.  Compare and contrast this scientific research versus what happens in the novel.  Could there be any truth to this story?  Students might also focus on the differences between a non-fiction text structure and a narrative text structure.

Web Resources

Lesson Plan Using Glogster


This is an excellent idea for a lesson plan that integrates technology into the classroom.  Using Glogster.com students can create their own dream fragments just like the Littlest One.

Oregon’s Children Theater


This website document offers several lesson plans for teaching this novel.  Among the ideas included are create a free-verse poem and the use of art to represent a character.  Not only do these lesson plans integrate techniques for reading comprehension but some of them cross several areas of discipline such as science and art.

Lois Lowry’s Official Site


As Lois Lowry’s official site, this can be used to obtain more information regarding her books.  It can also be used for students to explore so of her other works.  Included are videos and speeches for both her books and her career as an author.

Lowry, L. (2006). Gossamer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


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