Cindy Benabderrahman's Reviews > Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
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's review
Apr 03, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-4-children, edu-543-lit-4-children-project, poetry
Recommended to Cindy by: Dr. Mary Capriotti
Recommended for: ages 10+
Read in April, 2009 , read count: 1

In the mid-1930’s, Billie Jo finds that her life begins to fill with tragedy, and she keeps a free-verse journal, documenting the miserable circumstances facing her family in the face of the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma. When she loses her mother and her baby brother, and her hands are burned badly, she feels she has lost everything, and she’ll never fulfill her dream of becoming a pianist. Everyone else is leaving Oklahoma for the world beyond the dusty prairie, and all Billie Jo has left is her father, a bunch of heartache, and her strong will to survive. When everything is as empty as the prairie, she shows two simple emotions—courage and love—and then the weather changes, bringing back the rains that will heal both that tragic landscape and her heart.

USAGE: Read, React, Research, Respond
Students will read Out of the Dust and then explore research techniques. First, they will explore the historical references within the text to select reasons that might have illustrated man’s contributions to the Dust Bowl. Then, they will use teacher-selected primary and secondary source materials to research and explore these ideas and events. They will then prepare a brochure that illustrates the causes of the Dust Bowl, the effects of the Dust Bowl, and a timeline of important events of the mid 1930’s. Students will employ poetry, exposition, visual Literacies, non-fiction, and other styles of writing to complete this assignment. They will learn how to provide MLA-Style in-text citations as well as compose a list of references. They will demonstrate paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, and delivering information in different ways.


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