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RESOURCES

How to Make Friends with the Sea by Tanya Guerrero

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

MIDDLE READER READING GUIDE

PREVIEW

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




WELCOME

This is a reading guide designed to accompany author Tanya Guerrero’s middle reader book How to Make Friends with the Sea. We recommend that teachers or other grown up co-readers 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 reader(s) 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, classrooms, and other learning communities.


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Find the book at your local library, or purchase the book from the Reading Is Resistance Book Shop. 10% commission goes back into our organization for operating costs, and another 10% is donated to independent bookstores.


THEMES

FRIENDSHIP, IDENTITY, FAMILY, MENTAL HEALTH


HOW WE DESIGN OUR READING GUIDES

This reading guide is designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist reading and learning for the grown up and young reader(s). Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and possibilities for action around racial justice in our communities. We hold the belief that anti-racist practice 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.


PREVIEW 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, who has traveled a lot with his mother, and 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 for Chiqui and he starts to open up to her and make connections with some neighboring kids, Happy and her siblings, as well.


DISCUSS

  • IDENTITY.3-5.3: List all of Pablo’s group identities that we learn about in this book.

  • IDENTITY.3-5.3: 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?

REFLECT

Grown ups, use any of these resources to support an exploration of group identities:

  1. Make sure you touch on race and ethnicity as part of this exercise.

  • IDENTITY.3-5.3: List all of your group identities that you know of right now.

  • IDENTITY.3-5.3: Does it ever happen that one of your identities is either perceived by other people or perceived by you to be more prominent than others? Why? What is the impact of this?

PREVIEW NOTE

The full-length lesson plan contains four sections of discussion questions and reflections in addition to resource links, activity suggestions, and recommended next reads.


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