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After we came back from Spring Break, we started our final CIA unit of the school year, Glory Be. I was afraid that my students would have forgotten some of the important ideas that we had learned about segregation and the Civil Rights movement from our Martin Luther King Jr CIA unit. My class proved me wrong yet again! It was almost as if during the time between the two CIA units the ideas were marinating within them and becoming part of who they are now. Even in the early stages of reading Glory Be students have shared why they think segregation is wrong and how they would have felt if they were around at that time, as well as how it must feel for people to be treated differently today. These have been some of the happiest moments in my teaching career.

Teaching Genre

I’ve come to believe that teaching the students about the genre of a book before actually reading the book is extremely important. It helps set the stage and provides a road map for what will probably happen in the book. As we were talking about how Glory Be is a historical fiction book, the students had their genre charts in their books and I had my handy dandy genre chart that I purchased last year from Read Side By Side. This time we did things a bit different. We wrote down our ideas and what we knew about the book already from the blurb on the genre chart. We wrote down what we knew about the characters and setting. We also wrote down how the story was similar to The War with Grandpa as the character was going to change over time.

As suggested, we read aloud the book Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles. Wow! This really got my class talking and sharing ideas. My class couldn’t believe how they would fill a swimming pool with tar because they didn’t want black people to use it. This book was perfect for practicing making predictions. We made predictions numerous times during the read, and then at the end of the book. I told my class to remember this book as it would be helpful as we read Glory Be. I’ve found that if I ask students to remember aspects from an outside reading or an extra video that it helps form the connections, and to see the purpose behind reading or watching the video.


Written by Dawn Smith --- 3rd Grade Teacher