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The Watson’s Go to Birmingham

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1 The Watson’s Go to Birmingham
Chapters 1-4

2 Essential Question: What are the drawbacks of prejudice and the positive aspects of diversity?
Journal Writing Topic - What does being prejudiced mean to you? Chapter 1 Writing Time

3 Journaling Topics- Choose 1
If you were Kenny Watson, how would you feel about your brother Byron’s behavior? If you were Joetta, what would it mean to have your big brother be called a juvenile delinquent? Have you ever been in an uncomfortable situation where you felt pressured to act a certain way? Tell about a time that you went along with the crowd, despite feelings that you shouldn’t. In just a few sentences, pretend you are Kenny and summarize what happened in Chapter 1. Focus on the main parts of this chapter. Journaling Topics- Choose 1

4 Chapter 1 Check Details-
How does Byron earn the nickname “The Lipless Wonder?” Characters’ Perspectives- How does Momma feel about living in Flint, Michigan? When Momma tells Dad that the people in Birmingham are friendlier than they are in Flint, Dad laughs and says, “Oh yeah, they’re a laugh a minute down there. Let’s see, where was that ‘Coloreds Only’ bathroom downtown?” What does Dad mean by this? What is the point he is trying to make? Chapter 1 Check

5 Chapter 1 Check Make Inferences-
Hambone scared Momma into thinking there were no black people in Michigan. Why would this bother Momma? In Chapter 1, Kenny plays along with Byron and Buphead’s Surviving the Blizzard test. On page 11 he says, “I made up my mind that no matter how hard they threw me in that snow I was going to get up laughing.” Why would Kenny do this? Do you agree with his choice? Chapter 1 Check

6 1. List the names of the members of the Watson family.
2. 4 or 5 people in the family were born in Flint, Michigan. Which one was not and where was he/she born and raised? 3. Who is the narrator of the story? 4. Why did mom cover her mouth when she laughed? 5. Where were the Watson family going since it was so cold at their house? 6. Why were Byron and Kenny scraping ice from the Brown Bomber? 7. What happened to By and why? 8. What did Byron and Buphead do to Kenny when they were outside? Chapter 1 Questions

7 Context Short Version of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech
GK9_aw Write one thing you learned from today’s vocabulary, video clip, or reading. Context

8 Essential Questions: What are the drawbacks of prejudice and the positive aspects of diversity?
Journal Writing Topic - Are you prejudiced and whom are you prejudiced against? Chapter 2 Writing Time

9 Chapter 2 Check Cause and Effect
What caused teachers to treat Kenny differently than other kids in the school? What effect did this special treatment have on Kenny? Make Inferences Why would Kenny’s smartness make him enemies of other students? Why did Byron show Kenny how to squint and look at people sideways, but then sometimes called him Cockeye Kenny himself? Chapter 2 Check

10 Chapter 2 Check Characters’ Perspectives
How does Kenny feel when people call him Poindexter, egghead, or Cockeye Kenny? Explain. Evidence What does the bus driver think of the way Larry Dunn treats the new boy on the bus? Chapter 2 Check

11 Chapter 2 Questions 1. Who was the school bully in the story?
2. What happened to the bully on the school bus? 3. What did Kenny do that made him proud of himself, ashamed of himself, and afraid of By all at the same time? 4. What was Kenny’s nickname? 5. What was Kenny’s savior that came on the bus in raggedy clothes? Chapter 2 Questions

12 On page 28, Kenny says a “miracle” happened: He was sent a savior
On page 28, Kenny says a “miracle” happened: He was sent a savior. Why does Kenny view the new Southern boy as his savior? Do you agree with Kenny’s judgment? Unlike Kenny, many people would not choose to ignore the teasing, but would instead stop the reading, studying, etc. so that the teasing might stop. Have you ever ignored being teased by your peers in order to do the right thing? Explain your situation and how it made you feel about yourself. Journaling- Choose 1

13 Essential Question: What are the drawbacks of prejudice and the positive aspects of diversity?
Journal Writing Topics - Who would you consider to be your personal savior? How does he/she save you in your time of need? Chapter 3-4 Writing Time

14 On the playground Kenny and Rufus have an interesting conversation about a squirrel. What does Rufus say to Kenny that is so surprising? In this chapter, Kenny figures out that there are two things wrong with Rufus. What are those two things? Why did Rufus save half of the sandwich Kenny gave him for later? Why would he? Chapter 3 Check

15 1. Most people want their savior very close to them
1. Most people want their savior very close to them. Why did Kenny want his personal savior as far away from him as he could be? 2. Why did Rufus take part of Kenny’s lunch? 3. What games did Kenny and Rufus play at lunch? 4. Why did Kenny not play with LJ anymore? 5. People made fun of Kenny because of his cross-eyes. Why did they make fun of Rufus? (list at least 2) 6. What caused Rufus to get mad at Kenny? 7. Kenny thought he and Rufus were secret friends. How did Kenny feel when Rufus got mad at him? 8. How did Rufus and Kenny get back together as friends? Chapter 3 Questions

16 When Rufus tells Kenny that he thought Kenny was different, what did he mean by this? In what ways was Kenny “different” from others? Why was this important to Rufus? When Kenny laughed at Rufus on the bus, he did not have the courage to stand up to Larry Dunn. Can you think of a time when you needed courage in order to make a good decision? Explain what happened and talk about how courage helped you. Can you think of ways in which your family practices and beliefs are different from those in other neighborhoods, towns, or even countries? Journaling- Choose 1

17 1. Why did Momma dress her children in so many layers of clothing?
2. How did Byron get Joey to quit whining and crying about having to wear so many winter clothes? 3. Kenny gave Rufus his first pair of gloves. Then, Kenny’s second pair was stolen. Who stole them? What happened to the stolen gloves while the thief had them? 4. What happened to the thief? Chapter 4 Questions

18 In Chapter 4, we learn that Momma is overly concerned about how cold it can be in Flint.
Average Weather for Birmingham: atology/monthly/graph/USAL0054 Average Weather for Flint, Michigan: atology/monthly/graph/USMI0295 Weather Update!

19 Chapter 4 Check Evidence
Rufus figures out that Larry Dunn stole Kenny’s gloves. What evidence does he have to prove it? How does Kenny react when he realizes he only has one glove? In this Chapter we learn that Larry Dunn is poor. What evidence supports this inference? Chapter 4 Check

20 Journal Writing Topic: Pretend you are Kenny and summarize what happened in Chapter 5.
Chapter 5 – Writing Time

21 Journaling Topic – Choose 1
Sometimes people can laugh at things other people think are very serious. For instance Byron makes fun of Momma’s story of the fire she experienced when she was a young child. Write about why you think that is. Explain how people can tell the difference between something that is funny and something that is serious. In this Chapter, Kenny knows that Byron is playing a dangerous game, but he chooses not to snitch on his big brother. Think of a time that you know a friend or sibling was doing something dangerous. How did you react? How did the situation unfold? I you could go back, what would you do differently? Journaling Topic – Choose 1

22 Do You Think Byron will ever play with fire again? Why?
Kenny notes that “Momma’s horrible snake woman voice came out again…” Why does this alarm Kenny? And why would Momma have such a voice? Chapter 5 - Check

23 Do You Think Byron will ever play with fire again? Why?
What is Kenny’s perspective on the punishment that Byron is to receive from Momma? Why is Kenny terrified when Momma tells him to go get the matches? What was Momma’s reaction when she caught Byron playing with fire in the bathroom? Chapter 5 - Questions

24 Why did Joetta Keep blowing out the matches when Momma was trying to burn Byron’s finger?
Momma know first hand how dangerous fire can be. What happened when she was a little girl? What kind of reaction did this story get out of the different Watson family members? What evidence do we have that Byron did not take Momma’s fire warnings very seriously? Chapter 5 - Questions

25 Chapter 6 - Check Discuss: What caused the mourning dove to die?
What effect did the bird’s death have on Byron? What lesson, if any, do you believe Byron learned from the dove’s death? Chapter 6 - Check

26 Journal Prompt – Choose 1
Characters’ Perspective Kenny says, “I really wished I was as smart as people thought I was, ‘cause some of the time it was real hard to understand what was going on with Byron.” What made Kenny feel this way? Kenny tries to comfort Byron after he gets sick, and in response Byron throws green apples at Kenny, calls him a “punk,” and tells him to leave. Why would Byron behave like this? Do you know of someone who has made an unkind decision that you felt was wrong? Did the person apologize or try to make things right again? What is an example of a time that you have needed to forgive someone for something you thought was wrong? Journal Prompt – Choose 1

27 How do you think Byron’s parents will react when they find out that he signed for “free food” in the form of cookies at the grocery store? Byron and Kenny are both bothered by the idea of being on welfare. What parts of the book let us know this? Do you thin Byron is a good person? Explain your reasoning. Chapter 6 - Questions

28 In just one sentence, pretend you are Kenny and summarize what happened in Chapter 7. Focus on the main parts of this chapter. Chapter 7 – Check

29 Chapter 7 – Informational
Conk -just-hair-the-conk/ Chapter 7 – Informational

30 Journal Prompt – Choose 1
Consider the following passage from Chapter 7: Byron had gotten a conk! A process! A do! A butter! A ton of trouble! His hair was reddish brown, straight, stiff and slick-looking. Kenny uses several terms to describe the same thing. Given the context of the sentences, what is Kenny talking about? Why Would Byron straighten his hair? What do you think motivated him to do this? Journal Prompt – Choose 1

31 Momma and Joetta are both upset by Byron’s new hairstyle, but for different reasons. What are the different reasons? Dad ends up shaving Byron’s head. Considering the fact that the story takes place in 1963, how do you think Byron felt about being bald-headed? What do you think might have been discussed during the “adult-only” talk between Momma and Dad? Chapter 7 - Questions

32 4. What do you thin that Dad might have to get back to Grandma Sands about?
5. Do you think it was fair of Dad to shave Byron’s head? Explain 6. What does it mean to be fair and just? When troublesome situations happen, how can we be sure to treat all people fairly? Chapter 7 - Questions

33 What is Kenny’s favorite song to play on the Ultra Glide?
Momma and Dad had threatened to send Byron to Grandma Sands’ house many times, but the kids never believed it would really happen. Kenny lists three good reasons to believe that his parents were bluffing? What are the reasons? What are the reasons that Momma gives why Byron had to stay with Grandma Sands? Chapter 8 - Check

34 Chapter 8 - Informational
Favorite Song of Momma and Kenny v=iyzCccndc2w v=PtTC3pGBjs4 Objects from the 1960’s s+from+the+1960’s Chapter 8 - Informational

35 When Dad first surprised the family with the new Ultra-Glide, what was Momma’s reaction? And why did she react this way? Eventually, Momma changes her attitude and joins the family fun outside with the Ultra-Glide. What made her change her tune? Grandma Sands tells Momma that stuff on TV isn’t happening near her and that it’s safe and quiet in her neighborhood. Why would Grandma say this? Chapter 8 - Questions

36 Why would this matter so much to Momma?
How do you think the Watson children will like Birmingham? Chapter 8 - Questions

37 Journal Prompt – Choose 1
Given what we know is happening in Alabama during the time that the Watson’s decide to visit Birmingham, do you recommend that the family go? What advice would you give them about the trip? Imagine you are Grandma Sands. Write a letter to Byron explaining how he will be expected to behave at her house in Birmingham. Describe how Birmingham will be different from Fling. When you are faced with problems in your life, how does it make you feel? What do you do when you feel that you can’t change your situation? Do you feel that there is anything that you are able to do to change your situation, even if it is something small? Do you believe that there is any way that you, one person, could work to change some of the problems in your life? How? Journal Prompt – Choose 1

38 Why did Momma and Dad make Byron sleep in their room the night before the big trip?
What would have given Momma and Dad the impression that Byron may try to run away? Chapter 9 - Check

39 How does Kenny really feel about sending Byron to Grandma Sands’ house for the summer?
Why doesn’t Joetta like the angel that Mrs. Davidson gives her? Why would the color of the angel’s face be a problem for Joetta? Why did Momma have the whole trip to Birmingham planned? Why would Momma and Dad decide that sending Byron to Birmingham for the summer is a good idea? Chapter 9 - Questions

40 Journal Prompt – Choose 1
Pretend that you are Kenny and Byron and respond to what Dad said. What questions would you have about the south? How would you react to Dad’s joke? Joetta put the angel that Mrs. Davidson gave her as a gift in her sock drawer because she didn’t like it. Have you ever received a gift that you didn’t like? How did you react and what did you do? How would you feel if you were separated from your peers or denied certain rights because of the way you looked or because of a set of beliefs you had? What are ways that diversity actually makes our lives better? Can you think of examples of how differences among people have improved a situation? Journal Prompt – Choose 1

41 Kenny knows that once Momma falls asleep Dad plans to drive much further than her schedule would allow. How does Kenny figure this out? Why are the Watson children frightened when the family stops in Tennessee? Momma takes out her notebook and announces: This is the Appalachia Mountains. We’re over six thousand feet above sea lever, this is higher than we’ve ever been before. What does “sea level” mean and how is it relevant to Momma’s point? Chapter 10 - Check

42 Map of the Appalachian Mountains:
media/3/ DBECEB58.gif Chapter 10 - Information

43 Why doesn’t Dad want to stick with Momma’s plan to take several days to drive to Birmingham?
Why is Momma angry that Dad has not followed the driving schedule? Why do you think that Byron was so nervous about being near the Appalachian Mountains, especially in the dark? Chapter 10 - Questions

44 Journal Prompt – Choose 1
At this point in the story, with which character do you most closely identify? Why? What makes you similar to that character? Write about a time that you were someplace that gave you a “creepy” feeling and you just couldn’t wait to get away. What are some unfair stereotypes that you can think of? Have you ever been stereotyped? How did that make you feel? How do stereotypes affect others? What are ways that we can avoid making stereotypes? Journal Prompt – Choose 1

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