RESOURCES

Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott

Updated: Sep 8

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK LESSON PLAN

GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES 2-5


INTRODUCTION

This lesson is a guided reading experience designed to accompany Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott. Lesson content, written by Zapoura Newton-Calvert, was designed to start or deepen anti-bias conversations in families and other learning communities.


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OBJECTIVES

This guided reading lesson is designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist teaching 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 Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards (focused on Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action) serve as guides for our work.


ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION ONE: CH 1-5


SUMMARY

Jaxon ends up spending the day with someone he thinks is his grandma...until he finds out that she’s actually a witch. In section 1, Jaxon is dropped off at Ma’s house and starts to notice some unusual things: a squirrel that seems to be trying to send a message, a paper bag that moves on its own, and a large book about the lizards of Madagascar. Jaxon soon realizes that there’s more to Ma than meets the eye.


YOUTUBE READ ALOUDS

Chapters 1-3 Read by the Author

Chapters 2-5 Read by Miss Annie of Beebe Library


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • In the first few chapters, the mystery of who Ma is and why Jaxon has been dropped off at her apartment unfolds. We learn little bits and pieces about the identities of Ma, Jaxon, and Jaxon’s Mom Alicia. Can you list the characteristics and identities of these characters that we learn in the first five chapters? What mysteries about who these characters are remain? IDENTITY DOMAIN #3


ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION TWO: CH 6-7


SUMMARY

Jaxon ends up as Ma’s temporary apprentice, intending to help her get the dragons back to a place with magic. But he ends up alone in the Guardhouse and back in Brooklyn, relying on Ambrose for advice.


YOU TUBE READ ALOUD

Chapters 6-7 Read by Miss Annie of Beebe Library


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • Where in space, time, and/or your imagination would you like to travel if you were able to go into the magical Guardhouse? USE YOUR RADICAL IMAGINATION!

ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION THREE: CH 8-9


SUMMARY

Jaxon realizes he can’t complete his mission alone, so he reaches out for advice from his friend Vik, who brings along his sister Kavi. He then connects with Ma’s replacement, a man named Trouble (Trub). And as if Jaxon hasn’t had enough surprises in the day, he finds out that Trub is actually his grandfather.


In conversation with Trub, Jaxon finds out more about his mother, his ancestral legacy, and his relationship with magic. Traveling in a magical guardhouse once more, Trub and Jaxon end up on a magical planet that mirrors the beauty of Madagascar.


YOUTUBE READ ALOUD

Chapters 8-9 Read by Miss Annie of Beebe Library


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • Remember when Jaxon found The Wondrous Lizards of Madagascar by L. Roy Jenkins in Ma’s apartment at the beginning of the story? Here we learn a little bit more about Madagascar, the supercontinent Godwana, and how the continent of Africa is “the...cradle of civilization.” Trub tells Jaxon, “When humans began to migrate, they took magic with them all over the world” (110). The author mixes facts about geography and migration with the idea of magic. How does this make you feel about Madagascar? What would you like to know more about when it comes to Godwana, Madagascar, and the origin of humanity? What are you most curious about? IDENTITY DOMAIN #2 and DIVERSITY DOMAIN #8

ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION FOUR: CH 11-END


SUMMARY

When Jaxon finds Ma, she is getting her hair braided by Sis, a guardian, in the company of L. Roy Jenkins himself! Jaxon is relieved to be so near the completion of his mission, but to his embarrassment, when he takes out the dragons to give to Ma, he finds that one is missing! How will Jaxon make this right? He’ll have to connect back into his roots and forward into the present in order to find the missing creature.


YOUTUBE READ ALOUD

Chapters 11-END Read by Miss Annie of Beebe Library


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • As Jaxon learns more about what will have to be done to find and return the missing dragon, he and Ma are on a walk surrounded by magical Baobab trees. Do a little research about the Baobab tree’s symbolism. Where do they grow? What do these trees represent in stories and to people who live on the same land as they do? How does that connect to what Jaxon is learning about himself as he goes on this magical adventure? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #8


WHAT'S NEXT?


RESOURCES/ACTIVITIES (included in full-length lesson plan)


READ NEXT

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