The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13

Classroom 13

The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13
by Matthew J. Gilbert and Honest Lee
Illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy

Readers Theater

Book Trailer

Author Interview

Related Activities & Resources:

Informational Resources:

Author Information:

Matthew J. Gilbert author information:

Honest Lee author information:

Illustrator Information:

Joelle Dreidemy information:

Activities & Resources:



Caring for a cow:


Use a translating app to have students write Hugo’s chapter in English. You may also have students translate into their home language as appropriate.

Learning french for children video (1:13) :


Video teaching probability (2:06):

Divide students evenly into 4 groups – red, blue, green, and yellow. Hand each student a slip of paper with a dot that corresponds to their group color. Have one of each paper left over to put into a hat. Have students figure out the probability of having their color chosen.

Discuss the probability of being struck by lightning. Use the NOAA website to help:


Article explaining the cloning process:

In the story, Triple J pays scientists to clone him so that he can have a break. Think about how you would use clones in your life. Write a wish list of characteristics for scientists to create clones of you.

Create a natural cure for Emma’s cat allergy. Write a list of ingredients for your special elixir. Create a “sample” of your cure to show your audience.

NASA Kids’ Club:

NASA Solar System sites for kids:

Social Studies:

Set up a map with countries labeled. Blindfold students and play pin the tail on the map. Whichever country the student pins the tail on, he or she will find a dessert they would be willing to try. Students will then write out a recipe for this dessert.

Create a charity for which you would want to raise money. Include the name of your charity, the purpose, and other important details you want others to understand about your charity.

Global landmarks memory game:

MakerSpace Activities:

Using items found in the makerspace station, recreate Ximena’s house and yard with her rented world monuments.

How to make a rocket (1:43):

Draw out plans for the design of a rocket and make a list of items used to create it. Construct a rocket out of makerspace station items.

Write a play in which you time travel to a different time period. Explain where you go and why you chose that time. Include multiple characters, the setting, and other plot points.

Using the play you created, make a video of your time travelling play.

Discussion Questions:

Do you agree that Ms. Linda is “unlucky?” Explain. Use support from the text.

Even though the clerk at the gas station was not very polite to Ms. Linda, do you think she should thank him for making her purchase something to get change? What is your reasoning?

Should Ms. Linda share her winnings with the clerk at the gas station? Explain.

If you were Ms. Linda, would you have decided to share your winnings with the students? Explain.

What would you do if you won the lottery? Why?

How would your life change if you won the lottery? Explain.

Do you agree with the class’ decision to exclude Santiago Santos from the winnings? Why?

Would you consider giving Santiago Santos a portion of your winnings? Explain.

Think of one of the students with whom Ms. Linda shared her winnings. What would you have done to prevent one or more of the obstacles that student faced after spending the money?

William is characterized as being very suspicious. Do you think he was right to feel that way? Explain and use text evidence.

How much of any of the lottery winnings do you feel should go to a charity? Explain your answer.

If you discovered that you were allergic to the item on which you spent all of your lottery winnings, what would you do?

What are your thoughts about the importance of comic books? Explain.

If you had a twin (or have a twin), would you do what Mya and Madison do with their money? Explain.

What did Yuna do with her money? How do you know?

If you were to hire a television family to be your family, which show cast would you choose? Why?

What do you think of Ms. Linda’s spending of her portion of the lottery winnings? Explain.

How do you think the money might change the relationships the students have with their friends outside of Ms. Linda’s class?

If you knew someone who won the lottery, what would you say to persuade him or her to give you a portion of the winnings?

How does Ms. Linda’s character change from the beginning of the book to the end? Use the book to explain your answer.

Book Talk Teasers:

Hand out created Library Lotto tickets to students. Once seated, have a “drawing” and call out the winning numbers. Have one of the tickets be the “big winner” and tell students that the grand prize is $1,000,000,000.00. Ask the student with the winning ticket if he or she would be willing to split it with everyone in the room.

Read the Readers Theater.

Read Alikes:

Lottery winners:

Donoghue, Emma. The Lotterys plus one. When Sumac Lottery’s estranged grandfather comes to live with her and her large family in their sprawling Victorian home, Sumac quickly realizes he’s not the easiest person to get along with. But can she help him find a home where he belongs? (Novelist).

Grunwell, Jeanne Marie. Mind games. Each of the six members of Mr. Ennis’s Mad Science Club presents a report of his or her experiences working on a science fair project to investigate ESP, which resulted in their winning the Maryland lottery. (Novelist).

Haworth, Danette. A whole lot of lucky. When twelve-year-old Hailee’s family wins the lottery, her life changes in unexpected–and not always good–ways. (Novelist).

Higgins, Chris. My funny family saves the day. A hilarious and heart-warming young series about the chaotic life of the Butterfield family. (Novelist).


Baylor, Byrd. The table where rich people sit. A girl discovers that her impoverished family is rich in things that matter in life, especially being outdoors and experiencing nature. (Novelist).

Chace, Rebecca. June Sparrow and the million-dollar penny. Forced to leave New York City to move in with her aunt in South Dakota, once-wealthy orphan June comes across her mother’s coin collection and determines to find a rare penny worth one million dollars so she can return to her life of privilege. (Novelist).

Grimes, Nikki. Rich. Free is excited about a local poetry contest because of its cash prize, but when he and Dyamonde befriend a classmate who is homeless and living in a shelter, they rethink what it means to be rich or poor. (Novelist).

Gutman, Dan. The million dollar shot. Eleven-year-old Eddie gets a chance to win a million dollars by sinking a foul shot at the National Basketball Association finals. (Novelist).

Zia, Farhana. Child of spring. Basanta longs for the beautiful ring worn by her young mistress, but when it comes into her possession, she realizes that it’s not the wonderful possession she expected. Increasingly aware of the struggles of her less privileged friends, Lali and Bala, she finds a way to improve their lives and entertain their community and the beautiful ring takes on new meaning. (Novelist).

School children:

Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine’s letter. When her favorite teacher goes away and leaves a strict substitute behind in his place, Clementine is torn between putting in motion her sneaky plan to coax Mr. D’Matz back to school and leaving him be to enjoy his adventure. (Novelist).

Sachar, Louis. Sideways stories from Wayside School. Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story. (Novelist).


Gilbert, Matthew J. and Honest Lee.  Illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy. The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13.  Little, Brown and Company, 2017. School Library Journal (February 1, 2017)
Gr 2-4-Twenty-eight billion dollars seems like a ridiculous amount of money to win and spend. When unusually unlucky teacher Linda LaCrosse wins the lottery and agrees to share the winnings with her students, one would think her luck was about to change for the better-except it doesn’t. Told in short chapters, with each one devoted to a winner, the story of how the characters spend their wealth gets more outrageous as the plot progresses. From buying all the cats in the state to accidentally freeing the money in a hot-air balloon, most of the kids somehow manage to burn through their cash rather quickly and rather unluckily. Even the class hamster is in on the action. Elementary schoolers will find the humor in each situation, though it may not give them a strong grasp of how much a billion dollars is really worth. VERDICT This first installment in a new series is a light and funny pick for confident chapter book readers.-Vivian Ho, Port Washington Public Library, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.  Reprinted with permission from School Library Journal , 2017.