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Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Read + Discuss

Picture Book Lesson Plan

GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES K+

Last Stop on Market Street
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INTRODUCTION

This lesson is a guided reading experience designed to accompany Matt de la Peña’s picture book Last Stop on Market Street. Lesson content was written by Alex Moyer as part of his work in the Social Justice in K12 Education course at Portland State University and was designed to start or deepen anti-bias conversations in families and other learning communities.


YOUTUBE READ ALOUD

Last Stop on Market Street read by author Matt de la Peña (on a city bus!)


SUMMARY

This story follows CJ, a young African American boy who rides the bus back home with his Nana after church. During their ride, CJ asks Nana many questions about why they can’t have the things other kids have, like cars; music players; and a clean neighborhood. Nana responds to each question by looking at their surroundings and situations with a different perspective than CJ, seeing what they get to experience rather than what they don’t.


In one instance, after seeing some older boys with music players get on the bus, CJ says to Nana, “sure wish I had one of those.” Nana responds with, “what for? You got the real live thing sitting across from you.” Realizing that Nana is right, and there is a man with a guitar sitting across from him, CJ asks the man to play a song and is swept away by beautiful music that fills him with a sense of “magic.”


When the song ends, CJ and Nana get off the bus and walk through their neighborhood to their local soup kitchen. CJ is at first unhappy with being back in his and Nana’s neighborhood, although, after seeing friendly faces at the soup kitchen, he realizes that he is glad to be back. The story ends with CJ and Nana going into the soup kitchen and enjoying being within their own community.


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.


TEACHING TOLERANCE STANDARDS REFERENCED IN THIS LESSON

The Teaching Tolerance Standards and Domains referenced in this lesson are for Grades K-2. This book, however, can be used with a wide range of ages. Domains featured in this lesson are as follows:


Identity

Domain #1

I know and like who I am and can talk about my family and myself and name some of my group identities.


Diversity

Domain #7

I can describe some ways that I am similar to and different from people who share my identities and those who have other identities.


Justice

Domain #14

I know that life is easier for some people and harder for others and the reasons for that are not always fair.


Action

Domain #16

I care about those who are treated unfairly.


READ + DISCUSS QUESTIONS

BEFORE READING

  • As an adult, do some prior research about economic class and be ready with child-friendly definitions and terms. Reading this article should help address any immediate questions you may have. DIVERSITY DOMAIN #7

  • How does money and community change our experiences? Look for examples of this when reading the story. DIVERSITY DOMAIN #7

  • What is your family’s understanding of money and community? How does having more or less money and community make life easier or harder? ACTION DOMAIN #16

  • Do you ever get jealous of things other people have or get to do? How does this make you feel? JUSTICE DOMAIN #14

AFTER READING

  • How do CJ and Nana see things differently? Can you think of any specific examples from the story? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #7

  • How is your life similar or different to CJ and Nana’s? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #7

  • What do you appreciate about your own neighborhood and community? What makes it unique and special? IDENTITY DOMAIN #1


ACTIVITIES & RESOURCES

  • Write a list or draw a picture of all the things in your life that you are thankful for.

  • Visit socialjusticebooks.org and pick out another book about economic class.


READ NEXT

Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña

Love by Matt de la Peña

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