The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Hugo cabret brian selznick audiobook

Standards and Objective

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g. a character’s thoughts, words, or actions)

Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Students will describe the characters in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, paraphrase and summarize events in the book.

Tales2go Titles

  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick


The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a thrilling, mysterious story with beautiful drawings. If you have a copy of the text, we recommend that students are able to view the pictures during or after listening on Tales2go. If you don’t have a copy of the text, your students can use their imagination to visualize while listening.

Georges Melies’ video A Trip to the Moon has an important role in the title. Have your students watch the video to gain some background information before listening to the story. You can also read more about him here. After listening, students should compare the title to the video.

In your classroom, this can be used as a read aloud, during small group lessons or as individual listening (SSR, DEAR, etc.) It can of course be used during the Daily 5 or other literacy rotations. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Listen to 20-25 minute portions per day. Start with a read aloud for days 1-2. Then days 3-4 can be within the small groups (yes, all groups will be listening the same title, but with a group on the same level they can discuss with.) Then the last few sessions can be a read aloud again.
  • Throughout the title, students should keep track of new vocabulary words using a vocabulary organizer or in a notebook.
  • When listening to the title, make note of the daily routines of Hugo. How do they change and why?
  • Make predictions about Hugo throughout the chapters with reasoning (don’t just say “I think this will happen…” but explain WHY you think that.)
  • “Exit slip” ideas after each lesson include:
    • Write a summary of the section you listened to (make sure to do a mini-lesson if students are struggling with what a summary is.)
    • Paraphrase the section of the title you listened to.
    • Draw a series of events or “comic strip” of the section you listened to.
    • Discuss with a partner or group the character traits of Hugo then turn it in together.
    • Write what the “problem” is in the story, and anything that surprises them.

If you choose to have your students complete a full book report or do an assignment outside of school, remember they can listen to Tales2go at home if you have a building license so make sure they know how to login.

Extensions and Variations

Students can write their own fiction story about an invention. Include pictures/drawings just like Hugo had.


Vocabulary organizer

Character traits organizer

Information about the title and author

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