1) Read short articles about boycotts (both in the past and more recent) and create a Tagxedo using important words from the articles. I found articles on Tween Tribune and in our state databases. You can see in the picture below that this student read about Claudette Colvin and created a bus shaped Tagxedo using words from the article.
2) Preview books about segregation and the Civil Rights Movement, find pictures about events and people from the time period and create a photo collage using Picmonkey.com. Students found the site easy to use and were able to explore many images from this time period.
3) Complete a sharecropping math worksheet and writing activity. I found this activity online and used it as a model. Few students were able to earn money at the end of the activity, which illustrated the vicious cycle of sharecropping. The reflection questions on the back helped students put themselves in the sharecroppers' shoes.
4) Watch a Discovery Education United Streaming video featuring interviews of those that grew up in a segregated South and those from sharecropping families. While watching the movie they enjoyed mini cornbread muffins (a food mentioned in the book).
The students were able to create several nice products, both collages and word clouds. Their reflections were thoughtful and reactions to the video were empathetic. I believe this was an excellent way to prepare them for reading the book. I look forward to hearing from the teachers about how the students are able to connect these activities to the novel when they begin reading this week.
Have you ever had a book/literary cafe? I would love to hear your ideas.