What is the immigrant experience?
SEED 1 – ELLIS ISLAND
PLAN 1 – ANGEL ISLAND
SEED 2 – DRAGON’S CHILD
SEED 3 – THE LOTUS SEED
PLAN 2 - VIETNAM
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Lesson seeds are ideas that can be used to build a lesson aligned to the CCSS. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.
When developing lessons from these seeds, teachers must consider the needs of all learners. It is also important to build checkpoints into the lessons where appropriate formative assessment will inform a teachers instructional pacing and delivery.
This lesson continues the study of the immigrant experience. Students will have the opportunity to read and interpret a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award, Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai.
Excerpts from reviews ~ This book is inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration. Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.
This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny."
It is 1975. As Saigon is about to fall to communism, Hà and her family are torn between staying in their beloved Vietnam and fleeing for safety to America. The book gives us a look into the lives of refugees – the struggles and hardships they face, making a difficult decision to leave their home and adjusting to a new life in a strange land. Hà tells her family's story through verse and in a journal format. The story is based on the author's childhood.
Note regarding text complexity: A number of factors were taken into consideration when selecting this anchor text. The Quantitative Measure is at a Lexile level of 800, within the 5th grade level range. Reader and Task factors such as motivation, familiarity with the topic, and associated tasks were also considered as appropriate for this age group. Finally Qualitiative Measures were examined and it was determined that the text structure, the knowledge demands, and the levels of meaning can be easily addressed and taught through the lesson sequence.
Provide instructional scaffolding and options for demonstration of knowledge. For suggestions go to www.marylandlearninglinks.org
Suggested Reading Chunks
Pages 1-22, 49-69, 73-111, 115-138, 139-167, 168-187, 189-215, 217-234, 237-260
Possible Vocabulary instruction: Continue to use Beck's approach to vocabulary development as stated earlier in the unit. The following are just a few samples for explicit instruction. Depending on your group, you may choose these or select other Tier 2 or 3 words.
Others: gaunt, monsoon, persuade, disrupted, obvious,
www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/.../RWT186-1.pdf (handout coming soon)
"You have discovered many things about this book and we have not even started reading. Because the book is written in verse, like a poem, like a journal, even like a novel, you may have to read it more slowly than you are used to in order to really get the true feeling, meaning, and emotions expressed. We will have a chance to discuss the language and the events together."
Many say poetry should be read aloud. This oral re-reading activity may be repeated several times throughout the novel to practice fluency, collaboration, and deepen comprehension. Be sure to demonstrate ways to do this. For example, alternate reading stanzas, pairs read, select specific lines to be read chorally, read with specific pauses, pacing, inflections and intonations.
Reading Chunks 139-167, 168-187, 189-215, 217-234, 237-260
Continue assigning chunks of text for homework and in class reading. Revisit text to deepen understanding in guided settings and structures. Continue to discuss descriptive phrases, vocabulary, the writing style, as well as the challenges, changes and experiences the family has during 1975.
Read/ Revisit Samples
Review the term simile and how the author has used these to convey the message richly. Display the sample simile "eggs explode like smears of snot on our front door" (p.162). Recall the incident from the book and discuss the feelings /mood that are conveyed from this simile. Examples:
Have the students fold paper into four squares. The students will use the book to locate 3 other similes that vividly paint a picture of the mood and feelings. Each simile will be written in one of the squares, illustrated, and write what feelings and/or ideas the simile conveys. Display finished products and conduct a gallery walk.
Writing Prompt samples
Discussion - Periodically revisit some of the following praises for this book as discussion/writing starters.
"Open this book, read it slowly to savor the delicious language. This is a book that asks the reader to be careful, to pay attention, to sigh at the end." (Kathi Appelt, bestselling author of Newbery Honor Book The Underneath)
"Based in Lai's personal experience, this first novel captures a child–refugee's struggle with rare honesty. Written in accessible, short free–verse poems, Hà's immediate narrative describes her mistakes—both humorous and heartbreaking; and readers will be moved by Hà's sorrow as they recognize the anguish of being the outcast." (Booklist)
"The taut portrayal of Hà's emotional life is especially poignant as she cycles from feeling smart in Vietnam to struggling in the States, and finally regains academic and social confidence. An incisive portrait of human resilience." (Publishers Weekly)
"An enlightening, poignant and unexpectedly funny novel in verse. In her not-to-be-missed debut, Lai evokes a distinct time and place and presents a complex, realistic heroine whom readers will recognize, even if they haven't found themselves in a strange new country." (Kirkus Reviews)
"American and Vietnamese characters alike leap to life through the voice and eyes of a ten–year–old girl—a protagonist so strong, loving, and vivid I longed to hand her a wedge of freshly cut papaya." (Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People)
"Lai's spare language captures the sensory disorientation of changing cultures as well as a refugee's complex emotions and kaleidoscopic loyalties." (The Horn Book)
"Hà's voice is full of humor and hope." (School Library Journal)
"In this free-verse narrative, Lai is sparing in her details, painting big pictures with few words and evoking abundant visuals." (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)
RF.5.3a Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication partners, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.
RF.5.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
RF.5.4a Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
RF.5.4c Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding rereading as necessary
RL.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RL.5.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
RL.5.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
RL.5.9 Compare and contrast stories in the same genre on their approaches to similar themes and topics.
RL.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
W.5.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience (Grade specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1- 3 above).
W.5.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
W.5.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
W.5.9b Apply grade 5 Reading standards to information texts (e.g., Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons an evidence support which point(s)”.
W.5.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Speaking and Listening
SL.5.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly
SL.5.1a Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL.5.1b Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
SL.5.1c Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
SL.5.1d Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
SL.5.4 Report on a topic or text or present an opinion sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.