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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Other Side By: Jacqueline Woodson

Theme: Friendship
Grades 2-6
The Other Side written by: Jacqueline Woodson is a powerful story about children, and how some differences make friendships grow stronger, rather than tear them apart.

John Newberry Honor Book 2006 
Mitten Award Finalist 2005 
SIBA Book Award Nominee 2006 
Civil Rights for Kids 
Summary and Review:
The Other Side takes place in a small rural town, where Clover, the African American girl lives next to a fence that segregates her town from the white population. Clover is curious about the fence after her mother told her never to cross it, as there was danger on the other side. However one day Clover notices a girl on the other side. For the length of the summer, all they do is stare at each-other on opposite sides of the fence. Finally the both find the courage to introduce themselves, and instead of breaking their parents' rules by climbing over the fence, they both settle for sitting on top of it. As Clover's friends see her sitting beside the white girl on the fence, they look at her strangely, however soon enough the fence becomes just a mere post in the ground and the friendship becomes the foundation for something beautiful.

1. Vocabulary
-Write the word segregation on the board. Ask you students if they have ever heard or seen this word. Discuss the idea of segregation and the role of race during the 1950's. Make a BKWL with your class determining everything they know about segregation, everything they want to know, and after reading, everything they've learned about the subject. Under the "B" Column provide students with important background about the Civil Rights Movement to further their thinking.


1. Reader's Response:
-Clover and Annie made friends very slowly. How do you make friends? What do you say? What do you do? How do you act? Do your friends look and act like you?
2. Story Quilt
-Students will make a story quilt with the elements: Main Characters, Setting, Plot and Theme. Review the story elements with the students and have them write a short paragraph (4-5 sentences) for each element. Students will then illustrate a picture depicting each element.
3. Walking in Someone Else's Shoes
-Students will write a journal taking on the perspective of one of the main characters. Students will write about what they see on the other side of the fence and their feelings about the other child.
-Students will also incorporate why we should not judge people by their appearance and what it means to be a friend.

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