RESOURCES

How to Make Friends with the Sea by Tanya Guerrero

Updated: Sep 9

ABRIDGED MIDDLE READER LESSON PLAN

GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES 3-8


INTRODUCTION

This lesson is divided into 4 sections that are designed to follow along with the book How to Make Friends with the Sea by Tanya Guerrero. Each section of the lesson, written by Zapoura Newton-Calvert, focuses on reading comprehension, critical thinking, and self-reflection based on the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards. There are discussion questions, reflection prompts, and activities to guide the student.


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: PP 1-94

SUMMARY + VIDEO

When the book opens, we meet Pablo, a 12-year old who is very particular about germs and food and who has traveled a lot with his mother, who works with rescued animals.


Currently living in the Philippines, Pablo and his mother end up welcoming Chiqui, a little girl, into their home. While his mom is fostering Chiqui, Pablo feels both hesitant and responsible to Chiqui and he starts to open up to her and make connections with some neighboring kids, Happy and her siblings, as well.


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • List all of Pablo’s group identities that we learn about in this book. IDENTITY DOMAIN #3

  • How does Pablo feel about holding all of these identities at once? Does any one of his group identities sometimes feel bigger than the others? What is the impact of this? IDENTITY DOMAIN #3

ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION TWO: PP 95-180

SUMMARY + VIDEO

As Pablo’s circle of friends and community opens, he is surprised to find that they help him work through his fears and phobias. And Miguel, Pablo’s mom’s boss, plans a trip to the beach — where he has an opportunity to face one of his biggest fears — the sea.


Finding out that he can try new things (surfing, a Boodle Fight dinner, being a big brother) when encouraged by caring adults and peers (and a wonderful blind dog named Lucky), Pablo begins to see himself differently.


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • Pablo is learning how to make stronger connections across differences with friends and community. What does it mean to make connections across differences? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #9

  • What kinds of actions, thoughts, and words of Pablo’s lead to these connections? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #9

  • What kinds of actions, thoughts, and words of his friends and community lead to these connections? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #9

ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION THREE: PP 180-272

SUMMARY + VIDEO

Pablo starts teaching Chiqui English at night after bedtime and they develop an even stronger bond. Because of his deepening connections both to Chiqui and Happy, he is able to try new things without being as anxious.


But just when things are looking up, Pablo’s mom says that they’re looking for a family to adopt Chiqui and Pablo does not like this idea at all.


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • Pablo is very observant about how he is treated and how others are treated. What does he notice about the way Miguel, Happy, and Chiqui treat him that helps him open up? ACTION DOMAIN #16


ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION FOUR: PP 273-END


SUMMARY + VIDEO

The trip to the beach is challenging — Pablo’s anxiety does resurface, but with Happy and Miguel’s support, he sees that he is still loved and still okay. Of course, he still has one of his biggest fears to conquer — telling his mom the truth about things and convincing her that they themselves should adopt Chiqui.


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • In the end of this story, Pablo faces his fear of talking to his mom about his anxiety, his behavior, and his needs. What prepares him for this conversation? In what way is this conversation an opportunity for Pablo to stand up for himself and for Chiqui? ACTION DOMAIN #17


ABRIDGED WHAT'S NEXT?

RESOURCES

Learning activities and resources are included in the full-length lesson plan.


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