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February 09

Author Matt de la Peña was born today.

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Author Matt de la Peña was born today.

Grades 8 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

Matt de la Peña is known for his young adult novels such as Ball Don't Lie and We Were Here that depict teens whose lives are shaped by the stresses of poverty and neglect.  He also collaborated on A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis, a book for younger readers illustrated by Kadir Nelson. "Last Stop on Market Street," written by Matt de la Peña, is the 2016 Newbery Medal winner.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Share with students de la Peña’s essay Sometimes The 'Tough Teen' Is Quietly Writing Stories.  Have students read and discuss the essay in groups, focusing on questions such as

  • What attitudes toward literacy (reading and writing) does de la Peña convey?
  • What stories does he tell to get these points across?
  • How does he craft or structure the stories to make them both interesting and effective in communicating the points?

Then invite students to write a literacy narrative of their own, selecting a few key stories to shape into an essay that conveys a point they wish to make about reading and/or writing in their own lives.

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RELATED RESOURCES

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Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Joining the Conversation about Young Adult Literature

Students create a persuasive case calling for the adoption of a particular young adult literature title into their school's language arts curriculum by writing letters or speeches.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Exploring Language and Identity: Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" and Beyond

Students explore the idea of "different Englishes" by reading Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" and writing literacy narratives about their own use of different language for different audiences and purposes.

 

Grades   8 – 11  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

"Three Stones Back": Using Informational Text to Enhance Understanding of Ball Don't Lie

Students engage in a close reading of a passage from Matt de la Pena's novel Ball Don't Lie before researching important background information to assess the accuracy of the claims made by a character.