PICTURE BOOK READING GUIDE
GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES K+
This is a reading guide designed to accompany Daveena Kenny, Shatyia Givens, Jocktavious Montford, and Geralyn Hooks’s picture book Breonna Marches Through Time. We recommend that grownups read the focus book and the reading guide content BEFORE reading with young readers. This guide will help you prepare your own questions for your young readers and choose vocabulary, history, and other related topics to integrate into your learning and discussion.
Lesson content was written by Zapoura Newton-Calvert and was designed to start or deepen anti-racist and anti-bias conversations in families and other learning communities.
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There is currently no read aloud available for this book; however, you can purchase Breonna Marches Through Time from Shout Mouse Press and support the amazing work they do with young underheard writers and illustrators.
It’s the summer of 2020 and Breonna, an 8-year-old Black girl living in Washington DC, is not having her usual summer full of community fun and ice cream. Instead, her family is sticking close to home as they watch tensions and protests between protestors for Black Lives and police.
What else makes her summer a little bit unusual? Breonna finds that she can time travel, first visiting the 1955 sit-ins led by teacher Clara Luper and her 8-year-old-daughter Marilyn Luper Hildreth and then visiting a possible future. Both time travel experiences inspire Breonna to take a leadership role in the movement for Black Lives happening now.
Time travel fiction gives the characters and the reader an opportunity to imagine their own timeline anew, to get direct inspiration from the past, and to be forewarned by possible futures. This book is no exception. Breonna is able to connect back to a legacy of young Black leaders in the movement for racial justice and to activate her own voice in a new way by seeing her own family as an integral part of the movement in the present and future. Activating young readers’ imaginations around seeing themselves in history and understanding their connectivity is a powerful step in raising young revolutionaries.
HOW WE CREATE OUR DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
This guided reading lesson is designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist reading and learning for the student and the facilitator. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial equity in our communities. We hold the belief that being anti-racist is a process of learning (and unlearning) over time.
The Learning for Justice Social Justice Standards (focused on Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action) serve as guides for our work.
LEARNING FOR JUSTICE STANDARDS REFERENCED
The Learning for Justice Standards and Domains referenced in this lesson are for Grades K-2. This book, however, can be used with a wide range of ages. Standards and Domains featured in this lesson are as follows:
RADICAL IMAGINATION: “Radical: forming the root; Imagination: the force that creates seeds of emergence”
DIVERSITY DOMAIN, Standard #8: I want to know about other people and how our lives and experiences are the same and different.
JUSTICE DOMAIN, Standard #13: I know some true stories about how people have been treated badly because of their group identities, and I don’t like it.
JUSTICE DOMAIN, Standard #15: I know about people who helped stop unfairness and worked to make life better for many people. ACTION DOMAIN, Standard #16: I care about those who are treated unfairly
ACTION DOMAIN, Standard #17: .I can and will do something when I see unfairness -- this includes telling an adult.
ACTION DOMAIN, Standard #19: I will speak up or do something if people are being unfair, even if my friends do not.
ACTION DOMAIN, Standard #20: I will join with classmates to make our classroom fair for everyone.
READ + DISCUSS QUESTIONS
Look at the front cover of the book. What do you notice? From the title and the picture, what do you imagine the book is about? RADICAL IMAGINATION
Breonna lovingly describes her typical summer as full of time with family, community events, and ice cream. Name one food, one friend or family member, and one activity that are part of your best “typical summer.” DIVERSITY DOMAIN, STANDARD #8
After Breonna tells us that it is not a typical summer, we see illustrations of her neighborhood. What do you notice? What are you curious about? DIVERSITY DOMAIN, STANDARD #8
Breonna can see members of her community marching for racial justice as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Watch 60 Second Texts (Good Trouble) from Woke Kindergarten.
Watch 60 Second Texts (And Martin) from Woke Kindergarten.
Describe what you see in the illustration in Breonna Marches Through Time and in the 60 Second Texts “Good Trouble” and “And Martin” from Woke Kindergarten. Who do you see in the pictures?
Do you see people alone or together in groups? How might working in groups sometimes be more powerful than working alone? JUSTICE DOMAIN, Standards #13 & 15
One of the marcher’s signs in the story reads “No Justice, No Peace.” What do you think that means? ACTION DOMAIN, STANDARDS #17, #19, & #20
How would you feel if suddenly you realized you had time traveled to the past? What about it might be exciting? What about it might be scary? RADICAL IMAGINATION
Breonna can tell that she’s traveled back in time to before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when she sees “Whites Only” signs. What did this mean at the time? What do you know about segregation in the U.S.? JUSTICE DOMAIN, STANDARD #15
When Breonna sees Marilyn speaking to other young people in the church to fight segregation, Breonna is in awe and says, “How can someone so small hold so much power?” What is the power that Marilyn has in that moment? How can you as a kid also use your power for change? Can you name other kids or adults (famous or not) who speak up for change? JUSTICE DOMAIN, STANDARD #15
When she hears Marilyn’s idea about sitting down at the “whites only” lunch counter, Breonna describes her power and says that her breath is taken away. How do you feel when you hear this idea? Why do you think Marilyn has this idea?ACTION DOMAIN, STANDARDS #16 & #17
Breonna is transported away from 1955 and into the future 2025. When she hears protesters chanting “Say His Name. Brandon!” she realizes that they might be talking about her big brother. Why might they be saying Brandon’s name? How does this make Breonna feel? How does this make you feel as the reader? How does this moment inspire Breonna when she gets back home to the present? ACTION DOMAIN, STANDARDS #20
The story ends with a scene of Breonna’s family joining the Black Lives Matter Protest, where Breonna steps up to the microphone and says, “I am ready to make a change and get our community back...Are you?” How does this scene make you feel? Are you ready to make a change and get our community back? What could you share your voice in the next week? ACTION DOMAIN, STANDARDS #19 & #20
RESOURCES & ACTIVITIES
These are optional resources that can extend your learning started in the focus book. Take some time to peruse, enjoy, imagine, and learn.
NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE
No Justice, No Peace (from Viewpoint Magazine)
A Restorative Perspective (from the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice)
BLACK LIVES MATTER
60 Second Texts (Black Lives Matter) from Woke Kindergarten
60 Second Texts (Good Trouble) from Woke Kindergarten
60 Second Texts (And Martin) from Woke Kindergarten
Black Lives Matter” Campaigning for Racial Justice from Oregon Public Broadcasting
Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters from Learning for Justice
SEGREGATION IN THE U.S.
LEARN MORE ABOUT MARILYN & CLARA LUPER
Katz Drugstore Sit Ins: https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/katz-drugstore-sit-ins/
ART ENGAGEMENT IDEAS/EXAMPLES
Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson
Together We March by Leah Henderson
What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book by Laleneña Garcia