The Watsons go to Birmingham

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by jaszmyn, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    Feb 5, 2011

    Our novel study in my fifth grade class will be "The Watson go to Birmingham-1963". I ordered a teachers companion for the unit, but it hasn't gotten here yet. I was wondering if there is anyone out there that has done this unit before and you would like to share any great ideas? thank you
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 5, 2011

    I would definitely start with introducing the time period to the students as well as talking about racism.

    We do a unit poster where the students find examples of respect and disrespect with this novel.
     
  4. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2011

    I did a unit on this book in my practicum in college. If I can find everything, I would be more than happy to send you the couple of lesson plans and things that my partner and I created, otherwise I will give you a list of the activities we did later.
     
  5. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2011

    Send me a PM and I will send you any documents I have for it -- I taught this novel last year with 8th grade. I also have a Thorndike Press PDF 25 page teacher's guide that I can send you.

    To start off the unit we watched "3 Little Girls" it's about the bombing that happened in Birmingham -- too graphic for 5th grade, though. We also put names of Civil Rights Heroes in a hat and each student did a research assignment on a different person. While doing the research part we started the novel.
     
  6. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2011

    We did a station activity with stations about different topics that the students were interested in (music, school, etc.) and there were 2 stations for each of the topics, 1 was 1960s and 1 was 2000's. There were also stations about Alabama and Michigan. The students had to fill out a "scrapbook" with a page for each topic and a page each for AL and MI. On the topic pages the top was 1960's, bottom was 2000's and in the middle was where they wrote what was similar. AL and MI pages asked for information about populations in 1960 and 2000, largest cities, etc.

    We also did a skit-type activity where 1 group had the march on Washington and the other group had the church bombing and they had to teach the other group about their topic through their skit (we had about 8 kids per group, no more than 20 in the entire class).
     
  7. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    Feb 6, 2011

    I'm doing this novel later this year as well!
     
  8. pyramidreading

    pyramidreading Rookie

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    Mar 30, 2011

    There is a good online video interview with Christopher Paul Curtis that you can use to preview the novel/author. There is also a lot of information online about the bombing of the church and the three girls who died. I always started my unit with these things and left the students wondering the whole time if Joetta will end up being one of those three girls.
     
  9. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    Mar 31, 2011

    Pyramid - can you give the interview link?
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Apr 4, 2011

    I kept youtube handy while we read this. We listened to songs that were mentioned, watched bits of tv shows mentioned, etc. We also spent a whole day comparing costs of food today and food then (in the chapter they go to the store for Momma). We then compared the prices of other things in 1963 to today. There are websites with lists, and then we compared on Amazon Fresh with prices of food today, but you could probably just look through a store flier from the paper or something.

    Also, we mapped each character in the story as we read. So we discussed everyone in depth. I did a map with the family relationships and friendships, which we added to throughout the story. We also did compare/contrast with today and 1963, and so forth.

    It was a great book and unit. Normally I wouldn't do it in 3rd/4th but we're going to the play. I'm really glad we did it!!
     
  11. pyramidreading

    pyramidreading Rookie

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  12. dannyboy

    dannyboy Companion

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    Apr 13, 2011

  13. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    May 1, 2011

    Pyramid - I see the 9 episodes of the interview, but not anything on The Watsons...?? Is there a Watsons' one?
     
  14. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

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    May 1, 2011

  15. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    May 7, 2011

    Need a good writing prompt for pre-reading chapter 2.

    I used "Would you rather be extremely intelligent or popular" the other day. Need something engaging enough that the students won't whine, or stop after writing 2 sentences - thinking they've finished!
     

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