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Amanda Durham

EDUC 6911
Text Set
Required novel
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Written by Mildred D. Taylor
Historical Fiction
Reading Level: 5.7
Taylor, M. D. (1976). Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
This historical fiction piece of literature follows Cassie Logan and her family
in the Deep South of Mississippi in the time of the Jim Crow laws. Cassie and her two
younger brothers find the harsh reality of what it is like for African Americans during
this time period. Although the Logans live a pretty comfortable life, the events in the
story portray some of their struggles as being African American. The Logans survive
off of their cotton field which is owned by a white man, Mr. Granger, who has no
sympathy for how African Americans are treated. Although the children are confronted
by racial injustices on a daily basis, they realize how fortunate they are in their small
rural town when they go to visit Strawberry, where they are found to be the lowest of
the low. The Logan children find how to stay below the radar and live life as they can, until their
good friend T.J. falls in to the wrong crowd. Unable to break away from the friendship, Cassies
brother Stacey gets caught up into T.J.s business with his new white friends which poses
dangerous challenges for everyone involved in both T.J. and Staceys lives. When T.J.s new
white friends set him up for the murder of another white man, Stacey and the Logan family put
their own lives on the line to try and save him from being lynched. Although the cotton field is
their own source of income and survival, Papa Logan needs to make a distraction, and sets his
own field on fire. This piece of historical fiction is a powerful resource that lets the readers see
how different life was in different parts of the world.
Poem
The Real Question
From Voices from the March on Washington
Reading level: 6th grade (10-13 years old)
Lewis, J. P., & Lyon, G. E. (2014). Voices from the March on Washington (p. 17). Honesdale,
PA: Word Song.
This novel provides poems written by those who were affected by the March
on Washington in 1963 or actual attendees who wanted to share their story. This
particular poem (which has no author) expresses the need to do the right thing. The
author of this poem describes the feeling of needing to finally take a stand and do
something, so why not go for it? The last line of the poem Why are you staying?
brings out so much emotion and lets the reader see the perspective of the writer, it
is time.

Short fiction: Picture book


Ruth and the Green Book
Written by Calvin Alexander
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Reading level: 4th grade (8-12 years old)
Ramsey, C. A. (2010). Ruth and the Green Book. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publishing Group.
Ruth and her family are traveling out of their Chicago town to go visit Ruths
Grandma who lives in rural Alabama. Soon after leaving their town, Ruth and her
family find that they are not welcomes many places such as gas stations, restaurants,
or hotels. Even though this family had the means to pay their way, they were not
permitted to these places because they are African American. For the first few days
traveling down to Alabama, Ruth and her family had to sleep in the car, use the
woods as a restroom, and eat the food they had packed in a cooler. After meeting up
with a friend who lived in Tennessee, they were able to receive some help. This man gave Ruth
and her family a place to stay for the night, food, and a copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book.
This book contained a map of the south listing places that were welcomed by African Americans.
Being so young Ruth did not understand why she and her family were only welcomed at certain
places, but she felt more at ease now that her family had a plan of where they would be going.
With the use of the Green Book Ruth and her family met friendly African Americans who were
eager to help and had a fun rest of their trip to see her Grandma.
Non-fiction #1
The Story of Ruby Bridges
Written by Robert Coles
Illustrated by George Ford
Reading level: 3rd grade
Coles, R. (1995). The Story of Ruby Bridges. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.
In 1960 African American and white children were finally allowed to receive
the same education, although not many people wanted it that way in New Orleans.
Ruby Bridges was one of four African American girls to attend white elementary
schools. Three of the girls attended one school while Ruby was sent to William
Frantz Elementary School. Parents of white children did not want their children to be
in the same school as an African American, so they did not allow their children to go
to school. Day after day, Ruby would attend the first grade with Miss Hurley and be
the only student in the room. Because most people still did not see African Americans as being
equal, they would stand outside the school and shout to Ruby telling her she was not worthy of
attending a school where white children should be going. Everyday Ruby would face a mob of
protesters hoping to break her down and force her out of school, but she still went, every day.
Ruby did not let the views and insults from others hinder her education, and she made it through,
soon graduating from William Franz Elementary and then eventually from high school.

Non-fiction #2
Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
Written by Susan Goldman Rubin
Reading leve: 10th grade (would use sections as a read aloud, or just reference photos)
Rubin, S. G. (2014). Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Johor
Bahru, Malaysia: Holiday House Inc.
This piece of text follows African Americans who were involved in the Civil
Rights Movement. Each chapter within this book contains events of the summer of
1964 and what the aftermath meant for African Americans. Through this text, factual
events are told along with photographs to support the individuals point of view.
Non-fiction #3
March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World
Written by Christine King Farris
Illustrated by London Ladd
Reading level: 4th grade (8-12 years old)
King-Farris, C. (2008). March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World. New York,
NY: Scholastic Inc.
This non-fiction text follows the life of Martin Luther King Jr. from his birth
to his journey as a civil rights leader. From the point of view of Martins sister,
Christine who followed him through his passion for making this world a more equal
place for the human race, she tells his story. This book allows the reader to follow
Martin Luthers journey through specifying the locations he traveled to and from,
specific dates, and describing the events he took part in and their implications.
Through Christine Kings standpoint she creates a description that allows the reader
to feel as though they were part of Martin Luther King Jr.s road to help African Americans earn
equality.
Summative assignment
NYSCCELA
RL5.2
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters
in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic;
summarize the text.
RL5.6
Describe how a narrators or speakers point of view influences how events are described.
a. Recognize and describe how an authors background and culture affects his or her
perspective.

ITSE Standard
Standard 1: Creativity & Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovate products and
processes using technology
a. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
b. Create original works as a mean of personal or group expression
This summative assignment will be completed by students when they have finished the
reading of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, participated in their literature circle groups, and
contributed to class discussions. Students will have explored the idea of inequality of the human
race specifically in relation to African Americans in the 1950s/1960s. Through the various texts
used in class to initiate the topic and spark conversations, students will have had ample exposure
to the main question of the unit: what impact does the main character or authors perspective and
situation have on the story? The summative assignment for this project is for students to create
their own story using the web tool PowToon.
Criteria:
Create own story using PowToon (http://www.powtoon.com/)
The main character is facing some sort of inequality issue
Follow the main characters story/life
Include at least 3 challenges/issues/situations that the main character faces because of their
difference
Students will share their story creation with the class after completion
***The main characters difference does not have to be that they are a minority

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