Lesson 4: Caveman

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How do differences make each person unique?

Facts and Definitions

  • A fossil is any remains, impression, or trace of a living thing of a former geologic age, such as a skeleton or footprint.


  • Identify and discuss different rocks, including their role in geologic formations and distinguishing geologic regions. (S)
  • Use oral and written language to answer open-ended questions. (LA)
  • Analyze characters, including their traits, feelings, relationships, and changes. (LA)
  • Write to record ideas and reflections. (LA)


  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • coffee grounds
  • cold coffee
  • colored pencils or markers* (Activity 2 - Option 1)
  • flour
  • items to imprint for fossils
  • journal
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mixing bowl and spoon
  • modeling clay* (Activity 2 - Option 2)
  • salt
  • waxed paper

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed


Ask your child who the Warden and Mr. Pendanski are and what their roles are at the camp. Discuss whether digging holes is a good idea for boys who have committed crimes. Ask your child if she can think of anything better the boys could do at Camp Green Lake.
Reading and Questions
Materials: Holes by Louis Sachar, journal
Today your child will read Chapters 8-12 in Holes. Assign four of the questions below for your child to answer in her journal and use the remaining questions in a discussion.
  1. What is a yellow spotted lizard?
    A poisonous lizard that lives in the desert.
  2. What is the wreck room?
    It is a place where the boys hang out when they are finished digging. Everything in the wreck room is falling apart.
  3. What nickname did the boys give Stanley? Why? Do you think it was a good choice? Why or why not?
    Caveman. Answers will vary.
  4. What did Stanley find when he was digging his second hole? Why did Stanley not get the day off?
    A fossil. Mr. Pendanski told him the Warden was not interested in fossils.
  5. Why do you think the other boys let X-Ray be their leader?
    Answers will vary.
  6. How were the boys at Camp Green Lake similar to and different from other boys?
    Answers will vary.
  7. What did Zero tell Mr. Pendanski he wanted to do with his life? Why would he say this?
    Dig holes. Answers will vary.
  8. Do you like Mr. Pendanski? Why or why not?
    Answers will vary.