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This lesson provided by:
Author:Andrea Aikerson
System: Bessemer City
School: Greenwood Elementary School
Lesson Plan ID: 33096

Disappearing Acts: Why Would a Mother Leave--Issues That Students Have Faced in the Past and Present


Use literary elements to show students' similarities and differences of today's society to the past.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

Content Standard(s):
ELA2015(5) 1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. [RL.5.1]
ELA2015(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.5.2]
ELA2015(5) 6. Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described. [RL.5.6]
ELA2015(5) 21. Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. [RF.5.4]
ELA2015(5) 24. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.5.3]
ELA2015(5) 26. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three Language standards in Grades K-5.) [W.5.5]
ELA2015(5) 28. Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic. [W.5.7]
ELA2015(5) 31. Write routinely over extended time frames, including time for research, reflection, and revision, and shorter time frames such as a single sitting or a day or two for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. [W.5.10]
ELA2015(5) 35. 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. [SL.5.4]
ELA2015(5) 36. Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes. [SL.5.5]
ELA2015(5) 38. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. [L.5.1]
ELA2015(5) 39. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.5.2]
ELA2015(5) 40. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening. [L.5.3]
ELA2015(5) 42. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. [L.5.5]
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to compare and contrast Gypsy's and Woodrow's dilemmas in life to situations taking place in the home, society, and school today.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: Greater than 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:


Book: Belle Prater's Boy

Computers for the students 


Book: Belle Prater's Boy 

Technology Resources Needed:

Students should have a basic understanding of literary elements. (Characters, Setting, Problem, Plot Events, Solution/Resolution)



1. Have a group discussion with students about dilemmas that plague today's family.

2. Talk with students about bullying in school and society.

3. While reading the novel, compare and contrast Gypsy's and Woodrow's problems within their family infrastructure.

4. Discuss the problems that Gypsy and Woodrow have about their image. This will open a discussion about self-esteem and bullying.

5. Complete study guide questions for each chapter (example study guides follow links in technology section).

6.  Have students make a prediction at the end of the novel of what they think happened to Belle.

7. Let students work in groups to have a debate about 1950s vs. today's issues that children deal with.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
Assessment Strategies:

Question and Discussion sessions with partners, group, and whole class. 

Comprehension and Vocabulary Test (example test attached)


Write a sequel for the book

Have a debate on 1950s issues vs. today's issues


There is a sequel to this book but instead of reading it have students write a sequel about what they think happened to Belle.

Conduct research on the 50's to give students an idea of what was going on in the country and world during this time, present information in a digital media form (example powerpoint,flip chart, google document, etc.).

Let students write a play based on the novel and perform it in class. 


Review literary elements with students in small group setting to ensure comprehension of text. 

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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