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Book study of the other side of the fence

  • After selecting and reading one or more books in this collection, the students record their personal responses in their Journals and write about the nature of the barriers they identified, connections with shared texts, and insights and discoveries derived from their independent reading experiences;
  • As a group they explore ways that they could take action to break barriers they have identified in their own worlds and to build bridges from what is to what could be;
  • What action does Song-ho take to break through this barrier?
  • At the conclusion of Session Six the students were asked to respond to two questions in their Journals;
  • As a group they explore ways that they could take action to break barriers they have identified in their own worlds and to build bridges from what is to what could be.

Lewis 2001 is not news for some of you, but for me, it is the perfect newly discovered introduction to the civil rights segment of my Youths Who Change the World unit, a unit that explores how youths throughout history used their voices to speak out against socially unjust worlds. In the civil rights segment of this unit, we read Teen Freedom Fightersa gripping historical play from Scholastic Scope.

Thanks to the generous folks at Scopeyour students can walk beside the courageous youths who brought about the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Other Side is perfect for introducing a difficult topic: Understanding segregation is necessary for my sixth graders to grasp the motivation behind the youthful voices that came together to change the world.

  • Discussion Questions Discuss the importance of the setting;
  • What did you learn about this author that would help you answer this question?
  • What did you learn about this author that would help you answer this question?

The Other Side introduces the topic through exploring the power of symbolism in literature and the real world. And that, she certainly accomplishes.

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Who can walk away from this and not see a great opportunity to teach middle schoolers how to develop a voice in their world? On page after page, the fence is portrayed as a silent, yet powerful representation of segregation, a topic that the young girls in the story struggle to make sense of.

The symbolic illustrations and the actions of the young girls require students to think deeper, beyond the literal meaning of the text and images. As the story unfolds, we are reminded that sometimes a solution is so simple, as simple as sitting together as friends perched on a fence, grasping a better view of the world.

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson After reading the picture book, students engage in small-group discussions to answer the deep-thinking questions below: Discussion Questions Discuss the importance of the setting. Why do you think the author chose to tell the story from the perspective of a young black girl? What does the fence symbolize?

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

What gives Clover the courage to speak to Annie? Why is sitting on the fence considered an act of resistance? Reread the first page. What do you think Clover means by this? At the end, all the girls sit together on the fence. What message does this create? We consider how a fence could represent other social injustices we might face in our world and how we can use friendships to overcome these challenges.

If you are looking for other picture books to introduce a Civil Rights unit, check out the wonderful books below. They are an awesome addition to any middle school classroom library. We March by Shane W.

  1. Did this note change the way you viewed this story? How do individuals in this story break barriers caused by racial and gender stereotypes and prejudice?
  2. The Other Side is perfect for introducing a difficult topic.
  3. Session Four The reading and writing experiences prior to this fourth read-aloud session serve as preparation for the study of Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys, a picture book by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, who was inspired to write this story by childhood stories of her grandfather.

Evans is a great resource for introducing Martin Luther King Jr. With Freedom on the Menu by Carole Boston Weatherford, students can further explore peaceful protesting and courageous actions that symbolize the desire for equality.

  • Who can walk away from this and not see a great opportunity to teach middle schoolers how to develop a voice in their world?
  • After selecting and reading one or more books in this collection, the students record their personal responses in their Journals and write about the nature of the barriers they identified, connections with shared texts, and insights and discoveries derived from their independent reading experiences;
  • Students can experiment with narrative elements such as character and setting using the interactive Story Map provided.

White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman is another great book to teach symbolism. Coleman portrays a young girl's confusion that leads to an innocent protest. The white socks and the response of the community symbolically speak louder than words.

A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson explores how the sweet smell of roses metaphorically represents smell of freedom in the air.