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Background For Teachers:
Student Prior Knowledge:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Daily Classroom Preparation
As discussion is conducted about the story each class period, write the comments/answers about each character on a whiteboard/chalkboard.
At the end of the day, compile the most common answers and write them on the poster paper. Display the posters, so that students may refer to them daily as future chapters are read.
Paul Fleischman is a Californian who likes to read while he enjoys his morning cup of coffee and a bagel. Frustrated when he couldn’t find a copy of the local newspaper, he picked up a free new age newspaper and was “instantly rewarded.” There he found an article about a psychotherapist who used gardening as therapy. She mentioned that doctors in ancient Egypt prescribed walking through a garden as a cure for the insane. “That’s the line that set the hook deep,” he stated in an interview. From there, he began to develop memories, ideas, and newspaper stories. Interviewing others who have experienced therapeutic gardening, he began to develop the various characters for his new book, Seedfolks. It is set in the present where the story is told from the points of view of 13 different multicultural characters. The setting is a patchwork of plots in the community garden. Several characters are developed from his association with people and their experiences, while others are completely fictional. “For me, the ancient Egyptians were right. A stroll through a community garden leaves me happy and hopeful, cheered by the sight of what we can accomplish together.” (Paul Fleishman, www.harperchildrens.com).
After reading this introduction to the class, begin reading the first chapter in Seedfolks. The procedure for the remaining 12 chapters should be the same.
Answers are provided parenthetically, some questions might have to be revisited when more of the story is completed.
Read Ana’s story to or with the class. Upon completion, ask the questions associated with Ana’s chapter. Write responses on the board under the column for Anna.
Story Closure for Day One
Reed Gonzalez's story and discuss the questions.
Read Leona's story with the class. Write the responses to the questions on the board.
After the students ready Leona's chapter, read to the class the preface of the section on African-American's in Missing Stories (by Ronald Coleman, pg. 65) to give students a better understanding of the history of African-Americans in Utah.
Have students break up into cooperative learning groups and assign each group a story. The stories used in this lesson are: Frances Leggroan Fleming, Mrs. Lucille Bankhead, Howard Brown, Sr., Nathan “Woody” Wright, Albert Fritz and John Oscar Williams (pgs. 70-120).
Students should read their stories in a “round-robin” method. Each group is responsible for answering several questions about their story and to share this information with the class.
After each group has read their stories, answered the questions and presented their findings to the class, assign a journal writing assignment using Pastor Frances A. Davis’ quote on page 73.
Students should spend time writing in their journal about the meaning of this statement. Have several students share their writing with the class. This should lead to a class discussion of this passage.
Day Two Closure
After reading Sam’s chapter, assign the students to read from Missing Stories the story of Joel Shapiro (pg.153). Discuss as a class Mr. Shapiro’s experiences and how they related to other stories of Jewish American citizens. Many students have previously studied Night and The Diary of Anne Frank.
Read to the class, the picture book, When Jessie Came Across the Sea, by Amy Hest and JP Lynch.
Place on an overhead a picture of Mr. Shapiro (www.dev.uen.org/mcst/gallery.html) and have students “free write” questions they would ask him about his life. Each student should then share with the class one question they would ask.
Introduction of the Writing Assignment
Tell students they are to become part of the garden. This could be as one of the un-named characters we have/will learn about, a fictional story about themselves, or a real experience they have had placed in the setting of the garden in Cleveland. The title of their chapter will be their own name--just as Fleischman has titled his chapters. Their story will be the 14th chapter to the book.
Students should begin thinking of how they can become "involved" in this community. Rough drafts of stories will be due on Day Five, when a peer edit will be conducted. Further directions on peer editing and a sample "chapter" will be given on Day Four.
Read Nora's story and discuss the questions, placing the answers on the board in the column for Nora.
Day Four Closure
After reading Maricela's chapter arrange the desks in the classroom into a large circle and read as a class (each student reading one paragraph) of the story of Epiefanio Gonzales (Missing Stories pg. 445).
Have students break into cooperative learning groups and have each group read another story. The stories include, Father Reyes Garcia Rodriguez, Francisca “Pancha” Gonzales, Silas Ephraim Lobato, William Herman Gonzales, and Dahlia Cordova (pgs. 449-504). Each group should answer the following questions:
After each group has presented to the class the answers to the above questions,have a class discussion about the final two paragraphs of Dahlia Cordova’s story on page 503-504 of Missing Stories.
Peer Editing Activity
Day Five Closure
Read the final chapter by "Florence" and answer the questions and record the answers on the board in the column for Florence.
Day Seven (may carry over into Day Eight)
When the student stories have been compiled into book form, pass them out to each student so that they have their own copy. Allow time for several students to share their stories. Discuss the emotions and changes that have taken place throughout the study of this book.
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