Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Video Library, Grades 3-5
Engaging With Literature

About This Video Library

Lesson Builder

Hints for Site Leaders
Video Titles:

1. Signposts

2. Voices in the

About This Video Clip »
Featured Texts
Classroom Snapshot »
Classroom Lesson Plan »
Professional Reflection »
Teacher Tools »
Additional Resources »

3. Starting Out

4. Responding
to Literature

5. Sharing
the Text

6. Building Community

7. Book Buddies

8. Finding
Common Ground

9. Discussion

Site Map

2. Voices in the Conversation

Featured Texts

For Read-Aloud in this video:

The Color of My Words by Lynn Joseph

Twelve-year-old Ana Rosa Hèrnandez wants to be a writer so much that when she has no paper she takes her brother's notebook and fills it with her words. From a lofty perch high in her gri gri tree, she looks over her small seaside village in the Dominican Republic, oblivious at first to the developing political turmoil of her island nation.

First she must confront more personal issues — her parentage and what it means to be part of a family and a community. Gradually she comes to understand the power of her words in a country where words are often feared. When the government tries to steal the villagers' land, Ana Rosa's writing is what enables her to transcend the tragedy of her beloved brother's murder.

For Reading Clubs (Ms. Bomer's follow up to read-alouds, but not seen in the video):

Sounder by William Howard Armstrong

This Newbery Award-winning novel portrays the lives of a family of poor southern sharecroppers. To feed his family, the father resorts to stealing food and is hauled off to jail for stealing a hog. During his capture, Sounder, a coon dog that the man has raised since he was a pup, is shot and disappears, reappearing later tattered and emaciated. The son is forced to take on a man's work to help support the family. He searches for his father who has been sent to do hard labor, eventually finding him. After being maimed in an accident, the father eventually returns before he dies.

The Big Bike Race by Lucy Jane Bledsoe

It's Ernie Peterson's tenth birthday and he wants a sleek new racing bike, not the secondhand yellow clunker that is all his grandmother can afford. Ignoring the neighborhood ridicule, Ernie sets his sights on winning the junior division of the Citywide Cup. Fortunately, he meets Sonny, an experienced adult racer, who encourages and coaches him.

Yolanda's Genius by Carol Fenner

After a murder in Yolanda's school, her mother decides to move the family from Chicago to Grand River because she is worried about dangers to her children. Yolanda, a bright and thoughtful ten-year-old is devoted to her six-year-old brother, a musical genius who has trouble learning to read. Andrew plays his world musically on a harmonica given to him by his father before he died. When the family returns to Chicago to visit Aunt Tiny in June, they all attend the Chicago Blues Festival. There, Yolanda manages to get her talented brother on stage where he plays in front of blues greats B.B. King and Davie Rae Shawn.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Jeffrey Magee's parents are killed in a trolley accident when he is three, and he is sent to live with his Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan. His aunt and uncle won't speak to one another, using Jeffrey as their go-between. After eight years, Jeffrey has had enough. He screams, "Talk to each other!" and runs away — literally. He runs, searching for a real home, eventually ending up 200 miles away in the town of Two Mills, a community divided by race into an East and a West End. Jeffrey becomes "Maniac Magee" — a legend in the town — a boy who can outrun dogs, hit a homerun off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, and untie the knot no one else can undo. In his search for a place to belong, he begins to unite the town by forcing at least some of the Blacks and Whites to know each other.

You can access additional resources related to this video clip's text in the Additional Resources section.


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