RDG 6319 Foundations of Reading, Summer 2016 discussion

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The Watson's Go to Birmingham

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message 1: by Nickole (new)

Nickole Castillo | 39 comments I actually had to read this book in high school. It is a great book with a lot of history about the church bombing in Birmingham and the civil rights movement. This is a book that I will definitely use in my classroom. I also want to read this book aloud to my students when we talk about the civil rights movement. There are many great writing reflections that students can do. I am glad I reread this book. (:

-Nickole Castillo


message 2: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Weaver | 39 comments I really enjoyed how the author contrasted the north and the south during this time period. The use of dialogue was very effective in allowing the readers to really get to know the characters (especially Mrs. Watson and Grandma Sands). I thought including the epilogue added a lot of value to the novel allowing students to understand its historical context.


message 3: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Weaver | 39 comments Nickole wrote: "I actually had to read this book in high school. It is a great book with a lot of history about the church bombing in Birmingham and the civil rights movement. This is a book that I will definitely..."

I think it would be a great way to supplement a Civil Rights study. I didn't include this in my original post, but I thought the sibling dynamics were see develop throughout the novel.


message 4: by Nickole (new)

Nickole Castillo | 39 comments Kimberly,
I agree with you. It was very interesting as well to see the environment change after the Watsons moved to Birmingham. Even though students probably don't experience such a dramatic change when they move, they do experience an environment change after moving. This is something I feel students could relate to.

-Nickole


message 5: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Thornton | 19 comments This is a great book that gives you insight into the differences of the North and South during the civil rights era. It also highlights on one of the many tragedies during this time. I love how Byron's character develops in this story. I can't possibly imagine the fear when the bomb went off that the family experienced. This is a great book to help our students understand what life was like then. I think that students could emphasize with the characters depending on the age relating it to some things that are happening today.


message 6: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Thornton | 19 comments Kimberly wrote: "I really enjoyed how the author contrasted the north and the south during this time period. The use of dialogue was very effective in allowing the readers to really get to know the characters (espe..."

I also enjoy the dialogue in this story. It really helps to visualize the setting and characters.


message 7: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Thornton | 19 comments Nickole wrote: "I actually had to read this book in high school. It is a great book with a lot of history about the church bombing in Birmingham and the civil rights movement. This is a book that I will definitely..."

I agree there are a lot of writing activities you could have students complete with this book. I think that will help them to feel more connected to the book


message 8: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Weaver | 39 comments Victoria wrote: "This is a great book that gives you insight into the differences of the North and South during the civil rights era. It also highlights on one of the many tragedies during this time. I love how Byr..."

I agree - the characters would be very relatable for adolescent readers. This book would definitely spark great discussions. I would be interested to hear students comment on how incidents like the church bombing could have been prevented and/or can be prevented in the future.


message 9: by Robyn (new)

Robyn | 18 comments Wonderful story. I like the humor Kenny uses and how it captures his thoughts. This story can provide an opportunity to talk about the Civil Rights movement and a timeline could be used to put it together. Students could also compare racism the Watson family encounter to what exist today.


message 10: by Robyn (new)

Robyn | 18 comments Victoria wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "I really enjoyed how the author contrasted the north and the south during this time period. The use of dialogue was very effective in allowing the readers to really get to know the..."

I enjoyed the dialogue in this story too. I was able to hear the characters talk.


message 11: by Nickole (new)

Nickole Castillo | 39 comments Victoria, Kimberly, and Robyn,

I think the dialogue in this story would be good examples for a writers workshop. This book can be used for many different topics, and that's why, to me, it is such a great book!

-Nickole


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