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Lesson Plan

Literature as a Catalyst for Social Action: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges

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Literature as a Catalyst for Social Action: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Seven 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Joy F. Moss

Joy F. Moss

Rochester, New York

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Printouts

Websites

Preparation

 

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY

  • Response Journals

  • Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (Scholastic, 1999)

  • The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles (Scholastic, 1995)

  • The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2001)

  • The Royal Bee by Frances Park and Ginger Park (Boyds Mills Press, 2000)

  • Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard (Simon & Schuster, 2000)

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STUDENT INTERACTIVES

Story Map

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Story Map

The Story Map interactive is designed to assist students in prewriting and postreading activities by focusing on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution.

 

Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

 

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PRINTOUTS

Additional Literature Resources/Collection of Biographies

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WEBSITES

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PREPARATION

Read aloud relevant segments (for example, the first twenty pages with photographs) in the autobiography of Ruby Bridges, Through My Eyes, as well as The Story of Ruby Bridges (Robert Coles), a picture story book about this African American who, as a six-year-old child, became a pioneer in school integration when she broke a racial barrier to enter an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960. Ruby Bridges’s story introduces students to the meaning of segregation and “barriers” that have separated American citizens from one another and to individuals who helped to break these barriers. It is important for students to explore the concept of social barriers, since it is this central concept that links the stories selected for this unit. The story of Ruby Bridges provides an historical context for the picture book that will be read aloud in the second session of this instructional unit: The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson. Background information about Ruby Bridges and Jacqueline Woodson can be found online at http://www.rubybridges.com/story.htm and http://www.jacquelinewoodson.com/ respectively.

Teachers will note that most of the session activities revolve around prompting questions for critical discussions on the books to be read. Each book, therefore, will be approached systematically, but all should feel free to adapt the question lists to best fit your and your students' classroom needs.

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