Soaring Soren in the Classroom

 School visit in Craven County, NC

School visit in Craven County, NC


If you are a teacher, librarian, school principal or PTO interested in bringing Soaring Soren to your classroom or library ...

Soaring Soren makes a wonderful lesson for elementary school children. On this page you will find lesson ideas, links to helpful media to use in lessons, as well as information on author visits. Please see Awards  and Reviews on this website for book reviews and awards.


In addition to the lesson ideas on this page, visit this link for AKC Public Education for lesson plans based on Soaring Soren. There are three lesson plans, all tied to Core Curriculum Objectives and geared for age groups K-1st Grade, 2nd - 3rd Grade and 4th - 5th Grade. 

Lesson ideas:

1. Watch the book trailer in advance to build excitement:


2. Read the book

3. Watch the video "Meet the Real Soaring Soren" to see the real Soren in action:

4. Discuss the book

Some possible reading comprehension questions:

  • What did Soren think he would become when he first set out for the United States?
  • What changed Soren's plans to be a show dog? How did Soren feel about not being able to be a show dog in the beginning of the story? How did his feelings change by the end of the story?
  • What does "potential" mean? What potential did Deb think Soren had and why did she think that?
  • Why do you think Soren liked agility? What made him want to learn agility?
  • Why did some people think Soren could not do agility? How did that make him feel? Why do you think he kept trying anyway?
  • Why was agility more difficult for Soren than for some other dogs?
  • Name some agility obstacles. What agility obstacle was the toughest for Soren to learn?
  • What did Soren and Deb do to overcome the challenges they faced?
  • What was Soren's favorite treat when he got something right in training? What food did he like even better than that?
  • What two things did Deb tell Soren he needed to do to earn his championship?
  • What did Deb get Soren as a gift for earning his championship? Why do you think Deb got Soren a collar with flying pigs on it?
  • What was Soren's job on their agility team? What was Deb's job? What made Deb and Soren a successful team?
  • What is a memento? What memento did Soren and Deb get to keep to remember their championship?

Some topics for additional discussion or for a writing project:

  • What goals and dreams have you achieved or do you hope to achieve in the future?
  • What obstacles have you faced, or do you think you might face?
  • How did you or will you overcome those obstacles?
  • Who supports you in reaching your goals? How do those people make you feel?
  • Have there been times when others have not supported you? How did that make you feel?
  • How can we be supportive of others as they try to achieve their goals?
  • What sports or activities favor certain physical attributes? (e.g., Basketball favors tall players)
  • Can you succeed in a sport or activity if you don't have the ideal traits required? What would help you succeed?
  • What sports or activities can we do with animals?
  • Have you ever trained an animal to be a good pet or for an activity or sport? How?
  • How is trust important in training an animal? How can we build trust with an animal?
  • How is teamwork important in sports and in other activities, like school and work?
  • What are the ways we can be a good teammate?

5. Use this coloring page as a class activity or a take home activity for students.

Other ideas

Help children learn about agility with this fun overview of the sport: "Soren Explains Agility" (click to open a pdf file)

Soren Explains Agility


Create your own art project. Some ideas ...

  • Draw Soren doing your favorite agility obstacle
  • Draw a picture of yourself with Soren doing something you enjoy
  • Make a poster of Soren with a slogan that highlights an important message from the book
  • Create a cover for a children's book about your own dream or goal
  • Learn about how authors and illustrators collaborate: Working with a partner, students each write a brief story. Then they exchange stories with their partners, and each partner illustrates the other partner's story. Teams should work together to agree on the illustrations and ensure the illustrations capture what the author hoped to convey.

Create your own writing project. Some ideas ...

  • Write an essay based on any of the discussion questions listed above, or your own related topic.
  • Write a book report on Soaring Soren.
  • Learn about how authors and editors collaborate: Working with a partner, have each student write an essay. Exchange with their partners, who will read the essay and comment, with attention to making the story better or more clear, ensuring the story flows, deciding if the characters are interesting and realistic, recommending improvements, noting any errors in spelling or grammar, etc. Then each partner rewrites his own essay based on feedback.

Oy, Elephants! in the Classroom

More coming soon! In the meantime, please feel free to download, print and share these coloring pages based on the book--created by illustrator Morgan Spicer (c). Enjoy!

OyElephants_ColoringPage_1 copy.jpg
OyElephants_ColoringPage_2 copy.jpg

School or Library Visits

I reside in NJ and I'm happy to discuss school or library visits if you are in the area. Please contact me at and let me know your location, the number/length of sessions you'd like, ages/grades of participants and if you would like:

  • A reading of the book
  • A discussion about the book
  • A presentation on the process to create a children's book (writing, editing, rewriting, collaboration between an author and editor/illustrator, book design)
  • A presentation on training dogs in general, and/or training and competing with dogs in agility
  • Pre-order signed books for delivery at the event
  • A book signing at the event (an order form can be provided in advance of the visit to facilitate this)
  • Would you like a dog to visit as well? Please let me know and I can try to arrange this.