Obviously, any teacher could do an entire unit on this book, but here are my few suggestions for those of you who also have a scripted reading program you have to teach as well.
Lesson: Similes and Metaphors
I love this idea because it is so simple, but fun because you get to read excerpts from Bridge to Terabithia! I would suggest using this lesson as guided practice or independent practice after already teaching the definition of similes and methapors. Katherine Paterson uses tons of examples of similes and metaphors throughout the entire book and it is a perfect way for students to practice identifying them. A one week period of time would be perfect because students would get the jist of the book while also getting enough practice in. Give students a copy of the book or make copies of chapter one. Ask students to hunt for similes or metaphors that they find in this chapter. Students should record their findings in a graphic organizer "T" to practice sorting the difference between these two literary devices. After sorting, discuss the meaning behind the similes and metaphors and record answers. Students can repeat this process throughout the different chapters in the book. Differentiate this lesson by putting students in pairs or groups on some days while also asking them to work on it as homework. Have a morning share-out to review students' answers and record on a poster at the front of the room.
Lesson: Character Analysis through quotations
A lot of the lesson plans on my blog are centered around 5th grade standards, but you can absolutely tailor them for your grade level. Character Analysis in a work of fiction is a rather large standard for 5th grade and quite difficult. The key is finding an exciting story for the kids to make a connection with and they secretly analyze the characters without really knowing it. There are three different chapters that stand out in my mind that I can see my students enjoying. The first chapter I would use for the boys in my class and it would be the scene when Jess loses the running match to Leslie and everyone starts laughing. You can ask questions like, "How would that make you feel?" What direct quotations describe his feelings and why? The second chapter I would use for my girls and it would be the scene when Leslie finds Janice Avery in the bathroom crying. You can ask questions like, "Why does Leslie comfort Janice even though she dislikes her?" "What direct quotations describe Leslie's new feelings towards Janice?" You can even bring up inferencing in this situation because you are making an inference about why Leslie feels sorry for Janice all of the sudden.
Lesson: Friendship Character Building
I am ALL about investing my students to work as a team and not individually. I see this book as a perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of friendship. For this lesson, you would need to do a bit more reading of the book, but you could hold an amazing discussion in class about the wrongs and rights of friendship. You can even then practice role playing different common situations that occur for kids at this age.