L Capone Does My Shirts By: Gennifer Choldenko

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l Capone Does My Shirts

By: Gennifer Choldenko

Unit Created by Dianna Naglieri,

Samantha Neader,

Katelyn McMillan,

and Clare Byrnes

We decided to read Al Capone Does My Shirts because it is a very interesting look into the history of prisons which is a perspective most fifth grade students don’t have much experience with. It is a fictional book in nature, but accurately incorporates many historical US events and people. It is intriguing to students because it is about Alcatraz Island and the famous gangster Al Capone which could inspire students to find more information in their free time. The main character Moose is a boy only two years older than the fifth grade students who will read the book. It deals with a lot of situations that they probably deal with themselves. He is juggling friends, school and a unique home life. The content would appeal to boys because there are criminals and baseball, but would also appeal to girls because of the relationships between Moose and the other children on the island. There is also a sequel to this book called Al Capone Shines My Shoes. If students enjoyed this book they could become interested enough to read the second one.

The reading level for this book is AR 3.5, but because of the content it is considered a fifth through sixth grade book. This book received the Newberry Honor Book because of the relationship between Moose and his sister Natalie who is portrayed as having the characteristics of autism. This book also is related to the standard course of study because in fifth grade students are learning about US history and its politics, people, families and how they have changed over time. This book discusses all of these concepts because Moose has a unique family life and there are examples of politics with Warden Williams and his daughter Piper who are almost like dictators of the island. This book is an enjoyable experience for all, ties into many concepts of social studies and geography and can even lead into the study of many other concepts.

Weekly Unit Outline
Week One

Day One

Before reading outline

  • Look at the front and back cover to make predictions (individual)

  • What I noticed about these areas (small group)

    • Three stations that will represent different things from Alcatraz

      • What life was like as a convict pictures and books will support this

      • What it was like to work at Alcatraz, what the uniform looked like what they did. Pictures, books and videos will be supplied at this station.

      • What the prison and island its self looked liked. The students can find out the structure and layout of Alcatraz by looking at maps and aerial views of the prison.

      • Students will complete their area 1, 2, and 3 chart describing the similarities and differences they found in those three areas and how they relate to one another and what they found at each station.

  • KWL chart about the book (individual)

  • Make predictions about what may happen in the book (individual)

Read chapters 1-3 (pages 4-21)

Day Two

Read chapters 4-5 (pages 22-34)

  • Character sketcher (three different character sketchers)

  • Internet Workshop

Day Three

Read chapters 6-8 (pages 35-52)

  • Vocabulary table one

  • Vocabulary Venn Diagram

  • DED dialect

Day Four

Read chapters 9-11 (pages 53-71)

  • Acrostic Poems

  • Letter to Al Capone

Day Five

Read Chapters 12-14 (pages 78-89)

  • DRC

  • Vocabulary table two

  • Present Acrostic poems

Week two

Day one

Read Chapters 15-18 (pages 90-108)

  • Wanted Poster

  • Character Map

Day Two

Read Chapters 19-20 (pages 109-122)

Day Three

Chapter 21-22 (p125-134)

  • Character sketch of Al Capone’s mother

  • Authors craft- similes.

Day Four

Chapters 23-25 (p 135-146)

  • Journal Entry- individual- response to p.141-142 from “Hey, Nat” to end of chapter. What do you think 105 is and why do you think that?

  • Vocabulary Table four

  • Synonyms and antonyms

Day Five

Chapters 26-29 (147-164)

  • Journal entry- did your predictions match up?

  • Group discussion- should Moose tell his parents exactly what happened or stay with his story of a con noticing Natalie? Why? What would you do?

  • Second Reader’s Theatre

Week Three

Day One

Chapters 30-33 (p. 165-185)

  • DED- Has Natalie changed at all or is she still the same as before? How?

Day Two

Chapters 34-36 (186-198)

  • Write a script of how Natalie’s interview would have gone, (small groups).

  • Have groups perform their script as a skit.

Day Three

Chapters 37-End (p 199-215)

  • Read aloud Chapter 37. Whole class discussion- Would you ask Al Capone?

  • Letter to Al Capone asking for help.

  • Finish reading.

  • Compare Moose’s letter to yours.

Day Four

After Reading

  • Read Key points of the Authors note

  • “So What Happens Next?”

  • Literature Circle questions- as whole class discussion to check for understanding.


Before you read: Please look at the front and back cover of Al Capone Does My Shirts and write down your predictions about the following questions:

etting time and place
: When and where do you think this book takes place at?


List who you think some of the main characters are going to be in the story?


Problems and solutions: What do you think will go wrong in the story? How will it be solved?


Name: ________________________

Look at each station and describe what you notice in each area. Is that area similar or different to the other areas you have been to? How do the areas relate to one another?

Area 1

Area 2

Area 3


Please complete a KWL chart on Alcatraz and Al Capone. Write down as many things that you know about Alcatraz and what its purpose is. Then write down as many things about Al Capone that you know. When you are done completing the “know” column then start writing down questions you would like answered in the “want to know” column. This can be anything about Alcatraz or Al Capone that you hope to find out by reading the book. Leave the “L” column blank for now.




What I know

What I want to know

What I have learned

Name: ____________________

What do you think is going to happing in the book? Use the title to make predictions about the rest of the book.

Here are a few questions to help you get started!
Why is Al Capone doing shirts? And what does it mean to be doing shirts? What do you think this title means?
Who do you think is talking about Al Capone doing their shirts? Would it be a prisoner or someone on the island?

Why is the title just focused on Al Capone? Why might this be significant to the story?

Character Sketcher 1
You are invited to learn more about Natalie. Please take notes on how Natalie acts and looks.

  • To begin, reread the following passages, determine “descriptive words” that capture Natalie’s personality and explain why the words describe Natalie.

  • Reread page 22 and 23. Which words describe Natalie?______________________________________________

  • She acts_____________________because_____________________


Focus on page 22 paragraph five and six.

  • Reread page 26 paragraphs one through five. Which words describe Natalie?_____________________________________

  • She acts ____________________because_____________________


  • Reread page 28 paragraphs 3through six. Which words describe Natalie?_____________________________________

  • She acts _____________________because_____________________


In this novel, the descriptions of the characters are not stated explicitly. It is up to the reader to use context clues to make their own assumptions of how the characters look. Based on what you have read so far, draw a picture of Natalie and in a paragraph, provide an explanation of why you believe she looked this way based on what you have read. Include page and paragraph numbers for evidence.

Draw your picture in the space below.

Character Sketcher 2

You are invited to learn more about Moose. Please take notes on how Moose acts and looks.

  • To begin, think about “descriptive words” that capture Moose’s personality and try to find passages in Chapter 4 and 5 that show how Ma is acting. Think about why or how those words describe Moose in the passages. Remember these will be implied traits. Use the traits below to help you.

  • Choose 3 of the following traits and find passages in Chapter 4 and 5 that demonstrate Moose acting:









  • On page _______ paragraph _______ Moose acts ______________________________________ because/when _________________________________________________________________


  • On page _______ paragraph _______ Moose acts ______________________________________ because/when _________________________________________________________________


  • On page _______ paragraph _______ Moose acts ______________________________________ because/when _________________________________________________________________


In this novel, the descriptions of the characters are not stated explicitly. It is up to the reader to use context clues to make their own assumptions of how the characters look. Based on what you have read so far, draw a picture of Moose and in a paragraph, provide an explanation of why you believe he looked this way based on what you have read. Include page and paragraph numbers for evidence.

Draw your picture in the space below.

Character Sketcher 3
Your job as Character Sketcher is to identify a character’s actions (traits) and explain or prove these traits, identify the character’s goal (which is what the character wants to do or accomplish), identify the problem and solution in the reading, and complete an artistic impression of the character.
You need to be aware that the character traits you will choose will be implied character traits. In other words, they are not directly stated in the passage. You will want to use descriptive words for your character traits. You do NOT want to use words like good, bad, nice, and mean. Be sure to use your “Descriptive Character Traits” page for help.
Sometimes the solution to your character’s problem will not be in the section of the book that you are reading. In this case, you will need to come up with a possible solution for you character’s problem.
When you begin artistically representing your character, try to use any physical descriptions from the text to help you. Your “artistic impression” of the character will probably be on a separate piece of paper. The next page gives you an example of how your paper may look with the character information.
Select any character you have encountered so far that you have not done a character sketcher for do complete this for. Determine this character’s implied charcter traits and list them in the boxes below then provide the proof from the book that shows this trait.

Implied Character Traits (3)

  1. (Trait) _________________ p.______ par.________

(Explanation or proof of trait)



  1. (Trait) _________________ p.______ par.________

(Explanation or proof of trait)



  1. (Trait) _________________ p.______ par.________

(Explanation or proof of trait)


Character’s Goal: _______________’s goal is to
Problem: _______________’s problem is

Solution or Possible Solution: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Internet Workshop:

The Most Comprehensive On-line Archive of Alcatraz History…

Using this worksheet you will be guided through the following site to learn more about life on Alcatraz. http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/mainpg.htm You may need to use other sections of the site to help you complete the questions. Use all hints given to gather information about each question.

Al Capone (Hint: Al Capone was a famous inmate)

In the beginning, what glamorized nickname was given to Al Capone by the public?

By 1929, how much was Al Capone’s empire worth?
How long did it take to convict Al Capone?
Why was Al Capone sent to Alcatraz?
What happened to Al Capone?
Inmate Daily Life (Hint: Look at the inmate’s daily routine, figure out some rules and regulations the inmates had to follow, use the inmate roster to figure out possible people an inmate might run in to)

If you were an Alcatraz inmate, what would a typical day in your life be like? Briefly describe how you would spend your day. Include rules you might have to follow, people you might run in to, jobs you might do, and times for everything.

Escaping Alcatraz (Hint: Read about escape attempts, look at the island diagram and the cellhouse diagram)

How would you try to escape Alcatraz? Using ideas from some escape attempts, plan your own escape from Alcatraz. Describe how you might change an escape attempt so that it might work or, using the maps, come up with your own escape attempt and give reason why it will work even though so many other didn’t.

Name _______________________

Vocabulary Table 1

In the table below find child friendly definitions for each of the words.


Page Number




Example: to take money or property dishonestly for one's own use.











For homework on a separate sheet of paper write a sentence for each of these words.

Name _______________________

Vocabulary Venn diagram

In the space provided below create a Venn Diagram with the words EVASION and EMBEZZLE.

Evasion Embezzle

Double Entry Diary

Dialect within Al Capone Does My Shirts

You are invited to complete a Double-Entry Diary for this section of the book. You will look for specific instances in which the dialect is present. You will write down the passage in which you find it and write your response to it. Remember to write down the quotation or passage and the page number on the left side of your paper. On the right side of your paper, write your response or personal reactions and connections to what was written in the left column. You must include at least 3 passages with responses.

Here’s an example to start with:


and Page Number:

“No, sir. I mean yes, sir, I want to join you, but no, sir, I don’t like tea.” Page 36


This passage makes me think Moose is very nervous. He is stumbling over his words a lot. The dialect present in this passage is the overly-proper way in which Moose is addressing the Warden. It is an example of being around someone who is of importance and respect.

Double Entry Diary

Quotation/Passage and Page Number:



crostic Poem

Create the following acrostic poem about responsibility from Moose’s point of view. Think about some of the responsibility that he might have at this point in the book.

R _________________________________________________________________

E __________________________________________________________________

S __________________________________________________________________

P __________________________________________________________________

O __________________________________________________________________

N __________________________________________________________________

S __________________________________________________________________

I ___________________________________________________________________

B __________________________________________________________________

I ___________________________________________________________________

L ___________________________________________________________________

I ____________________________________________________________________

T ___________________________________________________________________

Y ___________________________________________________________________


Wletterriting a Letter

You are invited to write a letter from Moose Flanagan’s point of view to Al Capone. Be creative and think about some things that Moose may want to tell Al Capone. Be true to the character, setting, and story, and be sure to include the necessary parts of a friendly letter. Brainstorm your ideas here and then begin your letter on a separate piece of paper. Remember to write neatly and take your time! Here are a few questions for you to consider before you begin:

  • What might Moose want to tell Al Capone?

  • What are some things that Moose has in Common with Al Capone?

  • What is the significance of Al Capone playing baseball? He is any good?

  • How is Moose feeling at this time in the book when he is writing the letter?

Data Retrieval Chart

List fascinating facts for each category of information.  Be sure to continue this chart as you read and discover new information.

Books/ Short Summary of Book

History or facts about Alcatraz

Life as a prisoner on Alcatraz Island

Life as a child on Alcatraz Island

Life working on Alcatraz Island

Al Capone Does My Shirts

By: Gennifer Choldenko


Children of Alcatraz

By: Claire Rudolf Murphy


Daily Prison Life

By: Joanna Rabiger


Internet Website

Alcatraz History



Name _______________________

Vocabulary Table 2

In the table below find child friendly definitions for each of the words


Page Number














For homework create an ORIGINAL sentence for each of the words.

Name ___________________________

Word Network

Think of people, places, activities and feelings that come to your mind when you hear the word Asylum.

Could any of the other words from the list be linked to asylum?

Your job is to create a Wanted Poster for a prisoner on Alcatraz Island.
Use the Computer to look up a prisoner that you would like to research and then put your information on the separate sheet of paper provided for you. Answer all of the questions bellow about your prisoner.

You will create an artistic representation of the suspect and then complete the following information for the wanted poster:


Character name

Time and Place Last Seen

Physical Description

How he acts



Where he hangs out

Suspected Whereabouts

Reward amount

You can use another sheet of paper if you run out of room.

Character Map-Moose Flanagan

Please use the following pattern to create a character map; brainstorm ideas and connections associated with Moose Flanagan. Fill in the bubbles with things you know about him. You may also want to include specific character traits and emotions or actions that define him. Please explain your choice of words in a few sentences outside the bubbles.

“I Poem”

Write an I Poem from the point of view of Moose Flanagan. Try to get inside your character; help the reader identify with the character’s thoughts, actions, emotions, and personality. If possible, include personification and similes in your poem. You may wish to use the format presented below. If you would like, you can use your own format.


I am (two special characteristics you have)
I wonder (something you are actually curious about)
I hear (an imaginary sound)
I see (an imaginary sight)
I want (an actual desire)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)


I pretend (something you actually pretend to do)
I feel (a feeling about something imaginary)
I touch (an imaginary touch)
I worry (something that really bothers you)
I cry (something that makes you very sad)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)


I understand (something you know is true)
I say (something you believe in)
I dream (something you actually dream about)
I try (something you really make an effort to do)
I hope (something you actually hope for)
I am (the first line of the poem repeated)

Name _______________________

Vocabulary Table 3

In the table below find child friendly definitions for each of the words


Page Number














For homework create an ORIGINAL sentence for each of the words.

Readers Theatre

As a group you will perform a theatrical reading in front of the class. Each member of your group will be assigned a role from the passage.

You will be performing the scene where Warden Williams finds out about Piper’s plan to use the convicts as a laundry service.

Your passage will begin on the second paragraph on page 113 with the line…

“It’s so silent in the room, I can hear the air go in and

out of peoples noses.”

And ends at the end of page 116.




Warden Williams






Character Sketcher

Teresina Capone
You are invited to learn more about Al Capone’s Mom. Please take notes on how Teresina acts and looks.

  • To begin, reread the following passages, determine “descriptive words” that capture Mrs. Capone’s personality and explain why the words describe Mrs. Capone.

  • Reread page 131 paragraph eight. Which words describe Al’s Mother?______________________________________________

  • She acts_____________________because_____________________


  • Reread page 131 paragraphs eleven through page 132 paragraph four. Which words describe Al’s Mother?_____________________________________

  • She acts ____________________because_____________________


  • Reread page 132 paragraph five through page 133 paragraph four. Which words describe Al’s Mother?_____________________________________

  • She acts _____________________because_____________________


In this novel, the descriptions of the characters are not stated explicitly. It is up to the reader to use context clues to make their own assumptions of how the characters look. Based on what you have read so far, draw a picture of Teresina Capone and in a paragraph, provide an explanation of why you believe she looked this way based on what you have read. Include page and paragraph numbers for evidence.

Draw your picture in the space below.

Name _______________________

Vocabulary Table 4

In the table below find child friendly definitions for each of the words


Page Number














For homework create an ORIGINAL sentence for each of the words.

Name _______________________

Alike and Different

Find synonyms and antonyms for each of the words.










See if the synonyms will fit into the sentences you will write for homework.

Readers Theatre

As a group you will perform a theatrical reading in front of the class. Each member of your group will be assigned a role from the passage.

You will be performing the scene right after Moose finds his sister with the convict and runs into Piper.

Your passage begins on page 150 at the bottom with the line…

“You were chewing out Natalie. You were yelling at her,” Piper says.

And it ends at the bottom of page 153.






Teacher’s Resource for Similes
Similes in Chapter 22:
p. 130 “Rocky’s whole face is red like butcher meat.”

P 132 “When she sees Rocky, her whole face seems to light up like somebody flicked a switch in her head.”

P 133 “Mrs. Capone takes Rocky in her arms and rocks him gentle and wide like a large cradle.”

P. 133 “Almost immediately, as if by some spell, Rocky stops crying”
See if students can find more or make their own! Have them pick a character in the story to be and create a simile about their experience in the book so far!

Double Entry Diary

For this Double Entry Diary, keep note on passages that show how/if Natalie has changed since we first met her.

Quotation/Passage and Page Number:


Letter to Al Capone – I need your help

Write a letter as Moose Flanagan to Al Capone asking for his help with getting Natalie into Esther P. Marinoff.

  • What is it that you want Al Capone to do?

  • What should you mention that would convince him?

  • How should he respond?

So What Happens Next?”-

    • Option 1 you can write a letter to Natalie as any of the children in this story (Moose, Piper, Theresa, Annie, or Jimmy), one year after this book ends telling them what has happened since she left for Ester P. Marinoff. If you feel that she is not there, explain why. Use your knowledge of life on Alcatraz that you learned from this book and from other resources. And remember…What ever happened with Al Capone? Are you going to tell her?

    • Option 2, if you believe that Al Capone really did have an effect on Natalie getting into Ester P. Marinoff, write a letter to Al Capone thanking him and explain all of the wonderful things that the school has done for her. Don’t forget to compliment his mother! AND write a letter BACK from Al to Moose! What would ole’ Scarface have to say?

    • Option 3, if letters are not your thing, you can write either a sequel short story or the next chapter or two to this story. What do you think would have happened if this book was longer? Use the information you have learned throughout this unit!

Name _____________________

Vocabulary Assessment

Matching: Match the word with its meaning.

  1. Wheedles ______

  2. Stewing ________

  3. Hordes ________

  4. Switchback ______

  5. Skirmish _______


  1. a minor dispute or contest

  2. a great number of people

  3. to gain or get by coaxing or flattering

  4. a zigzag road, trail, or section of railroad tracks for climbing a steep hill

  5. to become excited or worried

Circle the best choice of the bold word in each sentence.

  1. The convicted-felon had been to prison three times already.

  1. Criminal c. Guard

  2. Warden d. Janitor

  1. My new haircut is an affliction of mine.

  1. Pride c. Pain

  2. Humor d. Happiness

  1. Sheila is very possessive of her new best friend Carla.

  1. Hurtful c. Relaxed

  2. Uncaring d. Over-protective

  1. Because of my bad smell, I repel most people.

  1. Attract c. Love

  2. Disgust d. care for

Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. Give a synonym for WHEEDLES.

  1. Give an antonym for CONNIVING.

  1. Give a synonym for PELTING.

  1. Give an antonym for IRRITATING.

Make up an original sentence for the following words. The sentence should show your understanding of the word.

  1. Ventriloquist

  1. Diagnosis

Literature Circle Questions

Use the questions and activities that follow to get more out of the experience of

reading Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko.

1. How does Moose Flanagan sleep during his first night on Alcatraz Island?

2. After Natalie has spent just one night at the Esther P. Marinoff School, Mr. Purdy

calls the Flanagans to let them know that Natalie isn’t ready for the school. What reason

does he give for sending her back home?

3. Who is “105,” and why does this person cause Moose so much anxiety?

4. Describe Moose’s first contact with Piper Williams, the warden’s daughter. What is

Piper like, and how does Moose react to her?

5. What is it about Natalie’s behavior that makes it difficult for her family to live with


6. Why do you think it is so important to Mrs. Flanagan to keep celebrating Natalie’s

tenth birthday? And how does Moose get her to change her mind about this?

7. Imagine that, like Moose, you had a sibling who lived with a significant disability or

condition like autism. How would your life be different? Do you think you would relate

to your sibling like Moose relates to Natalie?

8. Moose finds himself both attracted to Piper and very suspicious of her. If you could

give Moose some advice about how to handle Piper, what would you say? How do you

think Moose ought to respond to her?

9. As Moose obediently helps his sister off the boat as they head to school, he thinks to

himself, “Good Moose, obedient Moose. I always do what I’m supposed to do.” (p. 28) Is

this true?

10. Mrs. Flanagan tells Moose: “You’re better with Natalie than I am.” (p. 180) What

does Moose do for Natalie that their mother does not? How does Moose treat Natalie?

And how do Moose’s friends on Alcatraz play a role in helping Natalie?

11. From the beginning to the end of the novel, which characters seem to show signs of

changing? How do they change? Do you think these changes will last?

12. How did Natalie really get accepted to school? What made Mr. Purdy suddenly

decide to open another school? Did Moose’s letter to Al Capone make a difference?

Describe two or three possible scenarios to explain what may have happened.

13. Imagine the Flanagan family after Natalie has left to attend Mr. Purdy’s new school.

How will Moose’s life change when Natalie is away at school? Will his relationship with

his parents be different with Natalie out of the house?

14. Is Mrs. Flanagan a good mother to Moose? Is she a good mother to Natalie? Why

does she treat her children so differently? Is she right in being this way?

15. Based on the title of the book, what did you think this book would be about before

you read it? How was the story different from what you originally expected?

Note: These literature circle questions are keyed to Bloom’s Taxonomy as follows:

Knowledge: 1-3; Comprehension: 4-6; Application: 7-8; Analysis: 9-11; Synthesis: 12-

13; Evaluation: 14-15.


Al Capone Does My Shirts

Activity/ Criteria

Your points/ total points possible

Pre-reading activities

  • Thought is apparent when making predictions

  • All components are complete



  • All columns are complete

  • The “w” section offers good questions


Vocabulary activities 1,2,3,4,5,

  • Definitions are child friendly

  • Activities are correct and complete


Character sketchers 1-4

  • Good artistic representation of character

  • Good use of descriptive words

  • Page numbers are included

  • Traits fit the character




Acrostic Poems/character map

  • Traits represent character well

  • Bubbles are complete

  • Explanation of word choice is present


Letter to Al Capone

  • Letter is written from Moose’s perspective

  • Written in a friendly letter format


Wanted Poster

  • Representation is creative and thoughtful

  • All information is answered about the prisoner which they researched


I poem

  • Written from Moose’s point of view

  • Follows the correct format or creates their own interpretation


Authors Craft

  • Comes up with at least one appropriate simile

  • The simile relates to one of the character’s lives

  • Can explain what a simile is


Journal Entry Individual Response

  • Shows thoughtfulness and relevance to the topic

  • Referenced the novel when making their predictions

  • Reflected back to their journal after information was presented


Script of Natalie’s Interview

  • Portrays Natalie’s character traits

  • Is written creatively

  • Students participate equally

  • Natalie’s joke is included


What happens next

  • Shows knowledge of life on Alcatraz

  • Uses creativity and imagination

  • Keeps character traits consistent to how they were in the novel


Vocabulary Assessment


Additional Resources


Do Not Pass Go. Written by Kirkpatrick Hill. 2007. Margaret K. McElderry Books.

We picked this book because it follows a boy whose father is taken to prison. It tells how the boy deals with his father being a criminal and the hardships of his family. It also shows a different side to some of the people we consider criminals because the boy idols his father. It gives a different perspective about criminals than most students have ever thought about.


Life In Prison. Written by Stanley “Tookie” Williams. 1998. Morrow Junior Books.

We chose this book because it shows what prison is like from the inside. It is written by a man who started a gang, killed people, stole, and used drugs. He thought of prison as just an experience he was going to have and never knew that it would change his life. He wrote the book to encourage young readers to lead a better life than he did.

Crime and Detection: Daily Prison Life. Written by Joanna Rabiger. 2003. Amber Books Ltd.

We chose this book because it is an inside look at prisons and life in prisons. It tells what prisoners eat, do with their free time, type of work they do and where they live. It shows the differences between prisons like state and federal prisons or male or female prisons. It also has great visuals for students to see the inmates.

Al Capone and The Roaring Twenties. Written by David C. King. 1999. Blackbirch Press, Inc.

This is a great book for students to look at to learn more about Al Capone and the time period that he lived in. It tells about his what was going on during his career as a gangster and how criminals worked back then. It also has great pictures that will pique student interest about the Twenties.

Children of Alcatraz: Growing Up On The Rock. Written by Claire Rudolf Murphy. 2006. Walker and Company.

This is our informational text to go along with Al Capone Does My Shirts. It is overflowing with information about the children who grew up on Alcatraz island. It tells about their interaction with the convicts, where they lived, where they played, etc. It is a great resource that students can use to compare to Choldenko’s version of life on the island.

Russell Is Extra Special: A Book About Autism for Children. The author of this book is Charles A. Amenta. 1992. Magination Press.

We chose this book because it is a child friendly description of autism and give a lot of facts to help children understand it better. It is never fully stated in the book, but it is assumed that Moose’s sister Natalie is Autistic.

Cities of the World: San Francisco. The author is Deborah Kent. 1997. Children’s Press.

We chose this book because it gives an overview of the history of San Francisco which is the city where Alcatraz is located and Moose goes to school.

Gangsters, Swindlers, Killers and Thieves. The book has no one author, but was edited by Lawrence Block. 2004. Oxford University Press, Inc. Pages 26- 31.

This section of the book describes the life and gangster career of Al Capone one of the most famous criminals in American History. Since he is a part of the book we thought it would be important for the students to learn more about him.

Child Friendly Sites




Standard Course of study

Social Studies

Competency Goal 2 The learner will analyze political and social institutions in North America and examine how these institutions respond to human needs, structure society, and influence behavior.

Competency Goal 4 The learner will trace key developments in United States history and describe their impact on the land and people of the nation and its neighboring countries.

4.02 Explain when, where, why, and how groups of people settled in different regions of the United States.
formats used from: http://candace2009.wordpress.com/

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