Book 2 - Chapter 1

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Isabelle slams Hugo's fingers in the door which leads to Aunt Jeanne to meet Hugo. Her initial response isn't a good one since she knows that he stole toys from the Old Man's Toy shop. After Hugo thought it was necessary to share the picture the mechanical man drew, Aunt Jeannne started to cry and wanted to make sure that the children didn't share any of this information with Papa Georges. Why doesn't Aunt Jeanne want Papa to find out about the drawing? The mechanical Man?

Completed Chapter 7

Friday, February 19, 2010

First, we would like to apologize for not posting anything last week. Some 40 inches of snow was dropped in our area in a matter of 5 days. All of this now gave us a small, mini break last week from Wednesday to Friday (which we now have to make-up later on this year).

We just finished chapter 7, Ashes and were left with many questions and wondering many great things. We want to know your thoughts on whether or not the Old Man still have Hugo's notebook or was that what was in the handkerchief?

I can promise you that next week we will catch up by reading aloud several times to get us back on schedule. If we don't have any snow, that would put us finishing chapter eleven or twelve by next week. I hope to have a voicethread post during this week so we can explore a different way to post comments.

After Chapter 3

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We just finished reading about Hugo taking care of the clocks in the Paris Train Station. His uncle is responsible for teaching him how to take care of the 37 clocks throughout the station. We never actually see this uncle but he also has a pile of checks that have never been cashed. Where did the uncle go? Where is Hugo living? What about his parents? These are all questions my class had after reading this chapter. This post I would like to comprise a list of questions that you or your class had after reading this chapter or the next few chapters. By the end of this week, we should have read through Chapter 6/7.
If you are a class following this blog and project, I would love to hear suggestions for future posts, where you are from and any other ideas that your classes might have.

Finally, we see people from all over the country (and a few from outside) visiting the blog. Please, Please join in on the blog and project.

Here We Go - First Assignment

Monday, January 25, 2010

Here we go with what I hope will be a fun and interesting project for all the students and teachers that are involved. The first thirty or so pages of Hugo are pictures/illustrations. Great illustrations but when you have to show two pages, then flip the page, view two more pages, you often don't get the full effect or do you. Brian Selznick has made it possible to watch by turning the opening pages into a video. The three questions you are to think about and answer after watching the video and before moving on to the next part of the book are :

  1. Why does the boy keep looking behind him?
  2. Who is the older man and what role does he play in the story?
  3. What importance will clocks have in our story?
Below is the video link to the video. Teachers, If we could have individual students comment rather then whole classes, it would make the discussion more meaningful for all that are involved. Once you have commented on the blog, be sure to check back and see what other students are thinking about the opening scene.

Book Blog Set

Friday, January 8, 2010

Well after messing up last year by reading this wonderful book to my students and then trying to do it again with the blog in place, I have fixed this issue. My students have no idea what lies ahead for them with this book, project and possible collaboration that may take place.
I am planning on starting this the first week in February. The opening scene has a video that I will post as an alternative for the students. Students are to make predictions on three questions based upon this opening scene. Please try and stop after this opening picture scene and have the students make predictions. They will want you to read on but getting these predictions early will help motivate the students to really think. Most likely you will have to show the video twice or follow it up with the actual book because the students really get hooked.
It is up to each individual teacher if they want their students to post on their own or go ahead as a class. In my eyes, it would be nice to see what each student is thinking and try to create a lot of discussion amongst the students.
Finally, spread the word. I can promise you it will last through the entire book this year, with at least one post per week. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via comments on the blog or my email,

Let's Try This Again

Saturday, August 8, 2009

After putting thought into what went wrong last year with this idea, I am now able to let you know what went wrong and how I am going to fix it for this upcoming school year.

My mistake was very simple in that I had already read Hugo to my students in the beginning of the year and to try and read it again in February and keep their attention wasn't fair. To make matters even worse, most of the students were reading it on their own. You live and learn from your mistakes.

With that being said, I am going to hold off reading Hugo to the incoming class until February 1st, 2010. We will try this again as a collaborative project. I will be sure to keep it updated, moving along and interesting for everyone who participates. Please pass the word on to other classes that might be interested and I will be sure to remind everyone via twitter, facebook and old fashioned email in December and January.

Thanks for understanding and the best of luck this coming school year!

Join us for the 2009 Project!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hello. Would you like to join us for our 2009 The Invention of Hugo  Book Blog Project? This is the first year of this project but we have many great ideas planned.   We are scheduled to do the book blog project between February 23 through April 3rd.  

If you would like to join us - either an entire class, just yourself, a couple of students would love to read, etc. - just e-mail Erik Wittmer at

We have had interest from several classrooms around the country and would love to have you join us.


Erik Wittmer