RESOURCES

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK LESSON PLAN

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

INTRODUCTION

ABRIDGED or FULL-LENGTH?

What we include in this blog post is the abridged version of the lesson plan. If you'd like access to the full-length lesson plan with complete lists of discussion questions and extended resources and learning activities, please request above. All lesson plans are free.


WELCOME

This lesson is a guided reading experience created to accompany Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson. 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 1-12


SUMMARY

Ryan, whose name means “king” and “leader” is 9 years old. Getting through the transition of a move to a new smaller house in her North Portland neighborhood is hard, but with ideas for creative recipes and a mysterious cookie tin in the back of her closet, she finds herself involved in new adventures.


Moving isn’t the only challenge that Ryan faces; having to give an Easter speech in front of her entire church community and going to a slumber party with her friend Amanda’s new friends from Lake Oswego present their own challenges. But with positive affirmation from her Grandma and her mom, Ryan faces all of this with resilience and confidence.


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • This book starts out with a discussion of Ryan’s name. Her name means “king” and “leader” and she is often misgendered by teachers who think of “Ryan” as a “boy’s name.” Ryan goes on to wish that substitute teachers would get notes on how to pronounce names in the class correctly in order to make kids feel more comfortable and seen. Why is being called by the correct name and with the right pronunciation so important? Does your name have a special meaning? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #7


ABRIDGED GUIDED READING LESSON PLAN

SECTION TWO: CH 13-END


SUMMARY

In the second half of the story, Ryan follows the mystery of the hairpin from the hatbox, searches for a talent to showcase at the 4th grade talent show, makes painfully hot chicken wings to get back at her brother, and finds ways to be optimistic even when the world literally rains on her parade.


SAMPLE DISCUSSION QUESTION

  • What are some of the ways Ryan “makes sunshine” even when things are hard? What are ways that you can “make sunshine” in your own way? RADICAL IMAGINATION

WHAT'S NEXT?


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


READ NEXT

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  • Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott ARLHAPTER BOOK LESSON PLA

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