Document 271956

 The Watsons Go to Birmingham ~ 1963
by Christopher Paul Curtis Literature Guide Developed by Angela Antrim For Elementary Solutions® ISBN: 1-­‐938913-­‐48-­‐5 ISBN 13: 978-­‐1-­‐938913-­‐48-­‐8 Digital ISBN: 978-­‐1-­‐938913-­‐49-­‐5 © 2012 Secondary Solutions. All rights reserved. A classroom teacher who has purchased this guide may photocopy the materials in this publication for his/her classroom use only. Use or reproduction by a part of or an entire school or school system, by for-­‐
profit tutoring centers and like institutions, or for commercial sale, is strictly prohibited. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, translated or stored without the express written permission of the publisher. Created and printed in the United States of America. The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 Literature Guide
Table of Contents
About This Literature Guide .............................................................. 4 How to Use Our Literature Guides ......................................................5 Exploring Expository Writing: Author Biography .............................. 6 Comprehension Check: Author Biography ..................................................................... 7 Exploring Expository Writing: Historical Context ............................. 8 Comprehension Check: African-American Life in the South in the 1960s .................... 9 Exploring Expository Writing: Historical Context ............................ 10 Comprehension Check: Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s ........................................ 11 Exploring Expository Writing: Historical Context ............................ 12 Comprehension Check: Racial Violence in the South .................................................... 13 Exploring Expository Writing: Emotional Issues ............................. 14 Comprehension Check: Dealing with Trauma, Grief, and Loss ................................... 15 Thematic Elements of Racism and Prejudice .................................... 16 Examine Your Feelings ................................................................................................... 16 Literature Focus: Allusions and Terminology ................................... 17 Vocabulary List .................................................................................22 Vocabulary List with Definitions .................................................................................. 24 Chapters One – Three ....................................................................... 27 Note-Taking and Summarizing Sample: Chapter One ................................................ 27 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Two ............................................................ 28 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Three .......................................................... 29 Comprehension Check .................................................................................................... 30 Literature Focus: Point of View ..................................................................................... 31 Language Focus: Dialect ............................................................................................... 33 Chapters Four – Six ......................................................................... 36 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Four ............................................................ 36 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Five ............................................................. 37 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Six ............................................................... 38 Comprehension Check .................................................................................................... 39 Literature Focus: Using Quotations and Drawing Inferences .................................... 40 Language Focus: Verb Tense and Agreement .............................................................. 43 Chapters Seven – Eight .....................................................................45 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Seven .......................................................... 45 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Eight ........................................................... 46 Comprehension Check .................................................................................................... 47 Literature Focus: Character Interactions..................................................................... 48 Language Focus: Vocabulary in Context ....................................................................... 51 Chapters Nine – Eleven..................................................................... 53 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Nine ............................................................ 53 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Ten .............................................................. 54 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Eleven ......................................................... 55 Comprehension Check .................................................................................................... 56 Literature Focus: Figurative Language .......................................................................57 Language Focus: Spelling, Punctuation, and Capitalization ...................................... 60 Chapters Twelve – Thirteen ............................................................. 62 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Twelve ........................................................ 62 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Thirteen ...................................................... 63 Comprehension Check .................................................................................................... 64 © 2012 Elementary Solutions 2 The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 Literature Guide Literature Focus: Theme ............................................................................................... 65 Language Focus: Synonyms and Antonyms ................................................................ 67 Chapters Fourteen – Epilogue ......................................................... 69 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Fourteen ..................................................... 69 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Fifteen ........................................................ 70 Note-Taking and Summarizing: Epilogue .................................................................... 71 Comprehension Check .................................................................................................... 72 Literature Focus: Story Structure ................................................................................. 73 Language Focus: Identifying Parts of Speech .............................................................. 76 Quiz: Chapters One – Three .............................................................. 78 Vocabulary Quiz: Chapters One – Three ...................................................................... 80 Quiz: Chapters Four – Six ................................................................. 81 Vocabulary Quiz: Chapters Four – Six ......................................................................... 83 Quiz: Chapters Seven – Eight ........................................................... 85 Vocabulary Quiz: Chapters Seven – Eight ................................................................... 87 Quiz: Chapters Nine – Eleven .......................................................... 88 Vocabulary Quiz: Chapters Nine – Eleven ................................................................... 90 Quiz: Chapters Twelve – Thirteen ..................................................... 91 Vocabulary Quiz: Chapters Twelve – Thirteen ............................................................ 93 Quiz: Chapter Fourteen – Epilogue .................................................. 94 Vocabulary Quiz: Chapter Fourteen – Epilogue .......................................................... 96 Final Vocabulary Test ...................................................................... 98 Final Exam ..................................................................................... 101 Final Exam: Multiple Choice ........................................................... 104 Pre-Reading Activities and Ideas .................................................... 108 Post-Reading and Extension Ideas .................................................. 109 Essay and Writing Ideas .................................................................. 111 Project Rubric A ............................................................................................................ 112 Project Rubric B ............................................................................................................ 113 Response to Literature Rubric ...................................................................................... 114 Sample Agenda ............................................................................... 116 Teacher Notes ................................................................................. 119 Summary of the Novel .................................................................... 120 Answer Key..................................................................................... 123 © 2012 Elementary Solutions 3 The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 Literature Guide About This Literature Guide
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© 2012 Elementary Solutions 4 The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 Literature Guide How to Use Our Literature Guides
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© 2012 Elementary Solutions 5 The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Exploring Expository Writing: Author Biography
Christopher Paul Curtis
Christopher Paul Curtis was born in Flint, Michigan, on May 10, 1953.
He was the second oldest of five children born to Dr. Herman Elder
Curtis, a foot doctor, and Leslie Jane Curtis, a teacher. Curtis grew
up in Flint, Michigan, and remained there until 2009. He had always
loved to read, but lamented that while growing up he had difficulty
finding books with African-American characters similar to him.
After graduating from Flint Southwestern High School, Curtis remained in Flint where
he went to work at a General Motors car factory and also enrolled in the Flint branch of
the University of Michigan. While completing his college degree, the author worked for
13 years in “the jungle” at the Fisher Body Flint Plant No. 1. “The jungle” refers to the
area of a plant where large pieces of sheet metal are welded together to form the body of
a car.
While working in the factory proved physically difficult, it did offer Christopher Paul
Curtis time to read and write. The car assembly line was designed for two men to
alternate installing doors on every other car for about 60 cars an hour for eight hours.
Instead of maintaining this pattern, Curtis and his coworker decided that they would
alternate working 30-minute increments, with each of them welding every car in that
time period. Then, each of them had half of every hour free for leisure time. With his
time, Curtis read and began writing.
When he began writing seriously, Curtis took a year off from his job at the factory to
create The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. During this time, the author spent his
days in the Children’s Room of the Windsor Public Library writing the book by hand and
having his son, Steven, type the drafts into a computer at night. When Curtis’s debut
novel was published in 1995, it was named a Newbery Honor Book, Coretta Scott King
Honor Book, and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, among
other awards.
Christopher Paul Curtis enjoys modeling his characters after people he knows.
Characters in Curtis’s Bud, not Buddy sprang from his grandfathers Earl “Lefty” Lewis,
a pitcher in the baseball Negro leagues, and Herman E. Curtis, Sr., a big band leader
during the Depression. With this book, the author won the Newbery Medal and the
Coretta Scott King Author Award, the first book to win both prestigious awards.
In addition to these two novels, Christopher Paul Curtis has also published Bucking the
Sarge (2004), Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money (2005), Mr. Chickee’s Messy Mission
(2007), Elijah of Buxton (2007), and The Mighty Miss Malone (2012).
Today, Mr. Curtis has three children and lives in Detroit, Michigan. In his free time, he
enjoys reading, playing basketball, and collecting old record albums.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 6 The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 Literature Guide Name Period Comprehension Check: Author Biography
Directions: Using the article about Christopher Paul Curtis, answer each question
using complete sentences.
1. Name four books written by Christopher Paul Curtis and the year in which they were
published.
2. Describe how Christopher Paul Curtis’s background and family have inspired his
writing.
3. Examine how Curtis’s work environment helped him become a writer.
4. Infer why Christopher Paul Curtis took a year off from working in the car factory
when he began writing seriously.
5. Using the Internet, research the Coretta Scott King Award. For what is it awarded?
What are some books and authors who have won the award?
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 7 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Exploring Expository Writing: Historical Context
African-American Life in the South in the 1960s
In the 1960s, African-Americans in the southern United States lived
in sharp contrast to white citizens in the region. African-Americans'
limited access to jobs and healthcare diminished their quality of life,
while Jim Crow laws and segregation forced African-Americans to
experience daily discrimination and racism.
Across the United States in the 1960s, African-Americans
experienced a lower standard of living than white Americans.
Unemployment rates for blacks were twice as high as unemployment rates of whites,
and African-Americans with jobs still earned half as much as white Americans with
similar jobs. A lack of income forced individuals and families to cut expenses, including
healthcare, which meant that African-Americans lived an average of seven years less
than whites. Due to limited financial resources and opportunities available to them,
African-Americans also had less education than whites. Only fifty percent of AfricanAmerican students graduated from high school, and only one-third completed college.
These factors led to a repeating cycle of low income, diminished education, and
decreased quality of life for African-Americans.
While African-Americans throughout the United States suffered, individuals and
families in the South endured the greatest indignities due to the Jim Crow laws that
legalized segregation across in the region. Instituted in the 1870s after the Civil War,
Jim Crow laws, named after an older, black man in a popular song, enforced a “separate,
but equal” mentality across the South. This “separate, but equal” approach legalized
specific restaurants, water fountains, schools, restrooms, and public transportation
where African-Americans were allowed. Thus, African-Americans were not welcomed in
numerous neighborhoods, public gathering places, and religious or social organizations
across the South. This legalized segregation thus led to inferior living and educational
conditions for African-Americans. While white students enjoyed high-quality school
buildings with new supplies, black students frequently attended poorly maintained
schools with minimal books and resources. Even when they were allowed to intermingle
on venues such as public transportation, blacks were forced to sit or stand in the back of
the bus even if there were seats available in the white section. Thus, whites were always
allowed a seat, while even elderly African-Americans were forced to stand if a white
person needed a seat on a bus.
While this discrimination persisted and was ingrained throughout the South, many
African-Americans, supported by groups of white Americans, grew increasingly
intolerant of this situation and began to demand equality during the Civil Rights
movement of the 1960s.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 8 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period Comprehension Check: African-American Life in the South in
the 1960s
Directions: After reading the article about African-American life in the South during
the 1960s, answer the following questions using complete sentences.
1. List three ways in which the quality of life for African-Americans differed from
the quality of life for white Americans.
2. Contrast the treatment of whites and blacks on public transportation in the
South.
3. Examine how Jim Crow created unequal living and educational conditions in the
South.
4. Infer what the word “segregation” means in the following sentence.
This legalized segregation thus led to inferior living and educational
conditions for African-Americans.
a. pointing out the specific qualities of a race, class, or group of people
b. showing prejudice against a specific race, class, or group of people
c. separating a race, class, or group of people through discriminatory
means
d. singling out a race, class, or group of people for special treatment
5. Assess what you believe to be the most unfair aspect of African-American life in
the 1960s.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 9 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Exploring Expository Writing: Historical Context
Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s
As the United States recovered from the Civil War of the 1860s, many
white Americans tried to hold on to their control by enacting laws and
policies designed to segregate African-Americans and prevent them
from gaining any political power. While African-Americans citizens
endured and tolerated the unequal policy of “separate, but equal,”
repeated calls for change culminated in the Civil Rights Movement of
the 1960s.
The first major legal challenge rose in Topeka, Kansas in 1954, when a group of AfricanAmericans brought a case before the United States Supreme Court challenging the
policy of racial segregation in public schools. The ruling in the Brown v. Board of
Education included the famous statement that “separate, but equal is inherently
unequal” and heralded the start of the integration in schools.
The next year, elderly African-American seamstress Rosa Parks sparked an uprising
when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama.
Her choice to challenge the segregation of public transportation led to her arrest, which
African-Americans challenged by refusing to ride buses in Montgomery until they were
desegregated, allowing citizens to sit wherever they wanted on a bus. This boycott was
led by local minister Martin Luther King, Jr. and brought him to the forefront of the
Civil Rights Movement.
As the movement moved into the late 1950s and the 1960s, stalemates occurred between
the federal government’s rulings to desegregate schools and public transportation and
the states that were supposed to enforce the ruling. When a black teenage girl attempted
to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, the governor of the
state called out the National Guard to prevent the teen from entering the building.
Finally, United States President Dwight Eisenhower ordered federal troops to escort the
girl into school. The scene repeated over and over throughout the South as AfricanAmericans endured jeering and threats from whites as they attempted to gain an
education.
As African-American citizens and their white supporters continued to lobby for full
racial integration, riots and marches frequently occurred across the country. The 1960s
saw riots in Maryland, New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit, and New
Jersey, while marches in support of the rights of African-Americans occurred in
Mississippi, Alabama, and Washington, DC, culminating in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s
famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. Freedom Riders, white and African-Americans
riding on the same buses, also traveled throughout the South challenging segregation
laws and frequently being attacked and arrested in the process.
Change did occur on the federal level through laws, acts, and court rulings. In 1962, the
Supreme Court ruled that all public transportation must integrate, and the United States
military began the desegregation of federal troops. The 1964 Civil Rights Act ruled that
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 10 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period restaurants and other public establishments must serve blacks and whites, while the
1965 Voting Rights Act disallowed preventing anyone the right to vote based on the
color of his skin.
While the 1960s saw the legal end of segregation, it took several more decades for the
United States to fully integrate its society.
Comprehension Check: Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s
Directions: After reading the article about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s,
answer the following questions using complete sentences.
1. List three of the legal rulings that ended segregation in the United States.
2. Discuss how Rosa Parks’s actions sparked the movement to end the segregation
of public transportation.
3. Show how state officials tried to defy the federal laws ending segregation.
4. Explain the meaning of segregation as used in the sentence:
While the 1960s saw the legal end of segregation, it took several more
decades, however, for the United States to fully integrate its society.
5. Generalize why the South became the center of the fight to end segregation.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 11 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Exploring Expository Writing: Historical Context
Racial Violence in the South
During the 1960s, the United States was engulfed by the Civil Rights Movement. While
the supporters of Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated for civil rights and racial equality
through nonviolent resistance, some white Southerners used violent means to fight
against them.
In an effort to inflict fear in the African-American population, some whites lynched
black citizens. Lynching, the illegal murder of someone by a mob, began in slavery when
plantation owners would kill a slave by hanging him. Thus, the lynching served to
punish the slave and warned other slaves against aberrant behavior. In the South of the
1950s and 1960s, lynchings were used by extremists to “warn” individuals against
inappropriate behavior or advocating for civil rights. In one well-known lynching, 14year-old African-American Emmett Till was attacked and shot by a mob in 1955 for
whistling at a white woman. Even though the state of Mississippi arrested two
individuals for the murder, they were found “not guilty” when the case went to trial.
Extremists opposing racial equality also used homemade bombs to inflict damage to
locations where African-Americans gathered. The most well known bombing occurred
on Sunday, September 15, 1963, at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham,
Alabama. This church often hosted meetings of civil rights leaders, including Martin
Luther King, Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, and served as a key location in the effort to
register African-American voters in the city. During Sunday morning services when the
church was full of worshippers, a car carrying four white men pulled up to the church
and planted a bomb under the front steps. At 10:22 a.m., it detonated, killing four girls
between the ages of 11 and 14 while they were attending Sunday School.
This bombing, as well as numerous other acts of violence in the South, can be traced to
the Ku Klux Klan, a group that began soon after the Civil War with the goal of
maintaining white supremacy in the South. From its inception, Klan members wore
white robes and hoods covering their faces while engaging in activities designed to
intimidate and frighten African-Americans, as well as immigrant groups. Members of
the Klan burned crosses in the yards of African-Americans, defaced homes and
property, communicated threats, and attacked individuals, among other activities. They
also carried out increasingly violent attacks, including the 1963 church bombing in
Birmingham, Alabama.
While some white Southerners used violent means such as lynchings and bombings to
incite fear in the African-American population, not everyone agreed with their means or
their cause. Throughout the South and the nation, numerous white Americans
supported and stood by African-Americans as they fought for racial equality.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 12 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period Comprehension Check: Racial Violence in the South
Directions: After reading the article about racial violence in the South, answer the
following questions in complete sentences.
1. Tell of two specific examples of racial violence that occurred in the South in the
1950s and 1960s.
2. Summarize the tactics and goals of the Ku Klux Klan.
3. What is the author’s main purpose in writing this article about racial violence in
the South?
a. to inform the reader about the history of the Ku Klux Klan
b. to persuade the reader to advocate against racial violence
c. to provide the reader with some historical background of the South during
the 1950s and 1960s
d. to describe life in the South during the 1950s and 1960s
4. Examine why members of the Ku Klux Klan chose to bomb the Sixteenth Street
Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
5. Infer why the white men decided to bomb the church on a Sunday morning.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 13 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Exploring Expository Writing: Emotional Issues
Dealing with Trauma, Grief, and Loss
Over the course of one’s life, almost everyone must deal with the trauma of a dangerous
or frightening event or grief from losing a loved one. Often, these issues work hand-inhand when a traumatic event suddenly rips a family member from our lives.
When a person experiences a traumatic event, be it an individual event such as a car
crash or a larger-scale event such as a natural disaster, it takes time for his mind and
body to heal from the painful and sometimes disturbing memories. Immediately after
the event, the affected person typically goes into a state of shock where he is dazed, does
not fully understand what has occurred, and feels disconnected from the world around
him. As the person begins to process the event and his feelings surrounding it, he may
become irritable or angry, experience flashbacks to the event, or feel physically ill. These
symptoms may also reoccur more strongly if the person finds himself in a location
similar to the one where the event occurred, such as riding in car after a serious
automobile accident.
Individuals who experience particularly violent events including natural disasters such
as tornados, assaults or other physical trauma, war, or a bombing or terrorist attack can
suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD sufferers tend to avoid
situations that remind them of the traumatic event or may overreact to daily stimuli,
such as a war veteran inadvertently associating the normal sound of a train with a
bombing endured during the war. Coping with and recovering from PTSD takes time
and psychological treatment to teach someone how distinguish between regular stimuli
and those from their traumatic experience. Some individuals even use trained service
dogs to help them remain calm and control their emotions during their recovery.
Individuals also experience emotional trauma and grief when a loved one suffers a
serious injury or dies. Grief can also result from any major life experience including a
change in family structure, moving, changing schools, or a negative change in one’s
health. The grieving process differs from person to person and situation to situation. For
some people it may take months, while other individuals may need years to process their
loss. Individuals experiencing grief typically first feel angry about their loss and then
guilty that they may have caused it in some way. To heal and begin to fully live again,
someone must first accept the loss and be willing to feel the emotional pain associated
with it. When a child experiences grief, he may temporarily become depressed and lose
interest in his regular activities, withdrawing from his friends, and wanting to spend a
lot of time alone. With love and support, however, individuals can recover from their
grief and regain a zest for life.
Over time, all individuals suffering from trauma and grief can form new lives in their
new situations, but it can take a long time and may require the support of friends, family
members, or even a trained counselor or psychologist.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 14 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period Comprehension Check: Dealing with Trauma, Grief, and Loss
Directions: After reading the article about dealing with trauma, grief, and loss,
answer the following questions in complete sentences.
1. Describe how a person may act immediately after experiencing a traumatic event.
2. Summarize some experiences that may cause a person to suffer from PostTraumatic Stress Disorder.
3. Explain how a child may process or experience grief.
4. Contrast how a person who is in shock acts with how a person suffering from
PTSD may react to a loud sound.
5. __________ Which of the following best defines “grief”?
a) a feeling of hopelessness
b) becoming frightened of situations similar to those previously experienced
c) deep sorrow or distress
d) experiencing flashbacks of traumatic experiences
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 15 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Thematic Elements of Racism and Prejudice
Examine Your Feelings
For the following questions, think honestly about your feelings and responses regarding
each one. You do not have to share your responses with anyone.
•
•
•
•
•
When you meet someone new, do you make assumptions about the person based
on his/ her race or religion?
Do you choose friends partially or wholly based on their race or religion?
When consulting a doctor, dentist, or other professional, does it matter to you if
the person is a different race from yourself?
Do you have neighbors who are a different race or religion than you? How do you
feel about this? If you do not have neighbors of a different race, how would you
feel if someone of a different race moved next door to you?
How would you feel if you went to a social gathering and were the only person of
your race there?
?????
Discuss
In small groups, discuss the following questions. Remember to be respectful of people
whose opinion may differ from yours.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
What is racism?
What is prejudice?
What are some examples of racism or prejudice in our society?
How do you think that people of color felt if they lived during times of
segregation?
Have you ever felt that someone incorrectly assumed something about you based
on your appearance or race?
How can racism or prejudice cloud our view of our world and the people in it?
What are some specific ways that we can combat racism or prejudice in our
everyday life and the places we go?
Combat Racism and Prejudice in Our Lives
•
•
Create posters or banners pledging to resist racism and prejudice.
Sign your name pledging to try to stamp out racism and prejudice in our society.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 16 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Literature Focus: Allusions and Terminology
Chapter One
• juice (1) – liquid or tears in a person’s eyes
• slob (1) – saliva
• Jack Frost (1) – sprite-like fictional character which represents winter; Old Man
Winter
• cutting up (3) – joking around
• Christian name (4) – first name
• hambone (4) – bone found in a ham
• hot second (4) – very short amount of time
• Mitch-again (5) – imitation of a Southern person saying, “Michigan”
• icebox (5) – small, non-mechanical item used for cooling food before the use of
modern-day refrigerators
• ‘Coloreds Only’ (5) – sign seen during segregation which marked the facilities for
African-Americans
• “snake in the grass” (6) – sneaky person who may attack without warning
• punk (7) – slang for a young person who tends to get into trouble
• square (8) – nerd; person who follows the rules
• Empire State Building (9) – 102-story skyscraper in New York City
• boogers (12) – mucus that comes from a person’s nose
• flypaper (13) – paper coated with a sticky substance for catching flies
• knucklehead (14) – slang for a person who is stubborn or does senseless things
despite being told otherwise
• Nar-sissy (15) – refers to the Greek mythological figure Narcissus who stared at his
reflection so long that he died
Chapter Two
• flunked (20) – repeated a grade
• buck (21) – one dollar bill
• Langston Hughes (22) – African-American poet who lived from 1902 – 1967
• “taking some of the fire out of your eyes” (24) – glaring or looking angrily at
someone
• egghead (25) – in this case, slang for a highly intelligent person
• “Give my regards to Clark, Poindexter.” (27) – Byron’s way of telling Kenny
that he will be skipping school at Clark Elementary that day; Poindexter refers to a
nerdy person.
• nappy-headed (30) – slang, often rude term, used to refer to the hair of an AfricanAmerican person
• “nan one of y’all’s” (30) – not one of you is
• panning (30) – making fun of or teasing someone
Chapter Three
• jabbering (33) – talking quickly
• yakking (34) – talking nonstop
• “lookit there” (36) – Look there!
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 17 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period •
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atomic bomb (38) – a very powerful bomb that gets its power from nuclear fission
hand grenade (38) – a small explosive bomb thrown by hand
brontosauruses (39) – large four-legged dinosaurs having a long neck and a long
tail
radioactiveness (39) – emitting dangerous rays or substances
“worm with a hook in it” (40) – something intended to attract a person’s interest
or attention
Tyrannosaurus rex(40) – big dinosaur with large teeth and short arms that
walked on two legs
triceratops (40) – four-legged dinosaur with a bony plate around its neck and three
horns on its head
“nekkid” (40) – naked; not wearing any clothes
cracked up (43) – started laughing
Chapter Four
• mummy (47) – dead body that has been prepared for burial, including being
wrapped in cloth, according to ancient Egyptian customs
• zombie (48) – a person who is half-dead; a corpse that has come back to life
• pomade (48) – ointment or gel used to fix a person’s hair
• “laughing sock” (49) – mispronunciation of laughing stock; a person who is being
laughed at and made fun of
• “down-home blood” (54) – the purportedly thin blood that people from the South
have
• windbreaker (58) – lightweight jacket
• The Miracle Worker (59) – movie about Helen Keller who was deaf, blind, and
mute
• Sugar Ray Robinson (60) – famous African-American boxer
• carp (62) – fish found in ponds and lakes
Chapter Five
• Smokey the Bear (64) – mascot of the United States Forest Service who is used to
teach citizens about forest fires
• Nazi (65) – Germans who followed Adolf Hitler during the 1930s and World War II
• patoohing(74) – spitting on something
Chapter Six
• Swedish Cremes(81) – sweet consisting of two baked cookies with icing between
them
• mourning dove (82) – light gray and brown bird found throughout North America
• genie (84) – mythical character said to grant wishes
Chapter Seven
• “a conk! A process! A do! A butter!” (87) – African-American hairstyle which
uses chemicals to relax and straighten the hair
• Bozo (88) – clown character on an American television show in the 1960s
• Mexican-style (89) – straight hair, as opposed to an African-American’s natural
curly hair
• “jive little wolves” (92) – people who try to irritate or annoy someone in authority
in an effort to take his place
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 18 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period •
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crumb-crushers (93) – children
“coming out of the woodwork” (94) – to appear after being hidden for a long
time
“Siam, His Royal Highness, Yul Watson” (98) – alludes to the musical The
King and I in which one of the main characters, the King of Siam, is played by Yul
Brenner, a bald actor
Chapter Eight
• antenna (100) – electrical device that sends or receives radio and television signals
• antifreeze (100) – a liquid added to water in a cooling system to lower its freezing
point
• “coming in on a wing and a prayer” (102) – in poor condition, but just
managing to achieve a goal
• Old Spice (106) – brand of aftershave for men
• Felix the Cat, Soupy Sales, Beany and Cecil, The Rae Deane Show, and
Betty Boop (106) –children’s television shows, popular during the 1950s and 1960s
• record player (109) – electronic instrument for playing phonograph records
• phonic (110) – relating to sound
• Walter Cronkite (111) – American broadcast journalist who served as the anchor
of the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981
• jive (112) – foolish talk
• high-fidelity (113) – reproduction of sound that closely resembles its original
• slick (114) – clever at attaining one’s ends by sometimes using deceptive means
• bass fiddle (116) – large, low-pitched string instrument, also referred to as an
upright bass
Chapter Nine
• “Yakety Yak” (122) – song by The Coasters with the line, “Yakety Yak, don’t talk
back.”
• Negro (122) – African-American
• hillbilly music (126) – country and western music; bluegrass music
• snitch (130) – to tattle or inform someone about another person’s actions
• expressway (133) – highway around or between cities
• Upper Peninsula (133) – land between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan in the
northern part of Michigan
• ace of spades (134) – a suit of a deck of cards that is black and resembles an
upside-down heart
• United Auto Workers (136) – organization of people who work in automobile
factories
• Tiger Stadium (136) – home stadium of the Detroit Tigers professional baseball
team
Chapter Ten
• Detroit (138) – a city of about 1.2 million people in southeast Michigan
• Toledo (138) – a city of about 350,000 people in northwest Ohio
• flusher (139) – handle used to flush a toilet
• Sears catalog (140) – a magazine-type book which shows the items sold by Sears
department store
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 19 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period •
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outhouse (140) – a small building separated from a house containing a seat over a
pit which serves as a toilet
dope (141) – illegal drugs
Plymouth (143) – large American-built car popular in the 1960s
Lexington (143) – a city of about 200,000 people in northern Kentucky
Chattanooga (143) – a city of about 170,000 people in southeast Tennessee
Cincinnati (144) – a city of about 400,000 people in southwest Ohio
Appalachia Mountains (144) – mountain range that extends from southern
Quebec to northern Alabama in the eastern part of North America
organ (145) – musical instrument consisting of one of more sets of pipes sounded
with compressed air, a keyboard, and pedals
cusses (146) – uses inappropriate, foul language
crackers and rednecks (146) – slang for uneducated white people who live in the
southern United States
Chapter Eleven
• ettu, Brute? (150) – allusion to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar meaning “and you?”
• vittles (152) – food
• traplines(152) – snares used to catch wild animals
• “coon pie fuhbruk-fuss” (152) – raccoon pie for breakfast
• salty (152) – irritated, angry
• stubbles (152) – short, rough growth of a beard
• “sour-faced, middle-age midgets” (153) – tired, unhappy children
• mugs (153) – faces
• prairie dogs (154) – burrowing rodents that live in colonies in the Midwestern
United States
• Hoover vacuum (154) – brand of vacuum cleaner
• troll (156) – short, misshapen fantasy creature who lives in a cave
• rabies (156) – infectious disease of animals which causes lockjaw and foaming at
the mouth
• Godzilla (158) – giant fictional dinosaur who destroys entire cities
• King Kong (158) – giant fictional gorilla who scales skyscrapers and attacks
humans
• Frankenstein (158) – fictional monster who is brought to life by lightning in Mary
Shelley’s novel Frankenstein
• Dracula (158) – fictional vampire in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula
• Bobo Brazil, the Sheik (158) – professional wrestlers
• Bambi (161) – fawn who is orphaned in Disney’s Bambi movie
• Captain Kangaroo (161) – main character of a children’s television show that was
popular in the 1960s and 1970s
Chapter Twelve
• Joe Louis (163) – American professional boxer considered to be one of the greatest
heavyweight boxers of all time
• coon dog (163) – type of hound used as a hunting dog
• stud (163) – male dog used for breeding
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 20 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period •
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The Wizard of Oz (165) – book and movie about Dorothy’s adventures in Oz and
her journey home
Wicked Witch of the West (165) – evil character in The Wizard of Oz who tries to
capture Dorothy and is later killed when a house falls on her
yakking (165) – talking loudly; gossiping
corn flakes (167) – toasted flakes made from the meal of corn used as breakfast
cereal
Chapter Fourteen
• magnolia tree (181) – large tree, typically found in the southern United States, that
has large, flat green waxy leaves and large white flowers
• igloo (181) – type of shelter built of snow and ice
• sonic boom (182) – loud sound associated with shock waves traveling through the
air faster than the speed of sound
• bobby pin (183) – flat, metal hair pin having prongs held close together by tension
• wall socket (183) – a place cut into a wall to receive a plug that makes contact with
an electrical connection and wiring
• Cain (190) – alludes to the Biblical character of Cain who is murdered by his brother
Abel; idiom meaning to behave in a boisterous manner
• sirens (190) – loud device used to warn people of an emergency
Chapter Fifteen
• Bat Fink (196) – animated television series that parodied Batman and The Green
Hornet
• Adam’s apple (200) – projection of cartilage at the front of the neck that is more
common in men that in women
• “on the blink” (203) – not working well or efficiently
• heart attack (204) – damage to part of the heart muscle when it is deprived of
oxygen
• thugs (205) – ruffians, robbers, individuals who frequently get into trouble with the
law
• double-dribbled (205) – in basketball, when a player dribbles with two hands or
interrupts dribbling to hold the ball
Epilogue
• interracial marriages (207) – marriages between people of different racial
backgrounds
• nonviolent resistance (208) – refusing to obey and reacting to an unjust law
through peaceful means including boycotts and sit-ins
• Mohandas Gandhi (208) – Hindu religious leader and advocate of nonviolent
resistance in India in the 1940s
• seamstress (210) – a woman whose job is sewing
• Montgomery bus boycott (210) – a refusal by African-Americans to ride the
public buses of Montgomery, Alabama, until they were desegregated
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 21 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 Vocabulary List
Directions: Use a dictionary to find the meanings of the following words in The
Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. Your teacher will direct you to do this lesson
either as you read each section or as a pre-reading activity. Whatever method your
teacher chooses, be sure to keep this list and your definitions to use in vocabulary
exercises and to study for quizzes and tests.
Chapters One – Three
7. fishy (66)
1. juvenile delinquent (2)
8. slitty (67)
2. blizzard (9)
9. disgusting (68)
3. tortured (13)
10. traitor (72)
4. howled (14)
11. welfare (76)
5. hilarious (14)
12. peon (76)
6. incapable (24)
13. pouted (77)
7. emulate (24)
14. munching (82)
8. cockeyed (26)
15. conscience (85)
9. punctual (28)
10. raggedy (29)
Chapters Seven – Eight
11. sniggled (32)
1. linoleum (87)
12. patient (36)
2. porcupine (87)
13. reinforcements (38)
3. clomped (89)
14. infect (39)
4. permanent (95)
15. appreciated (46)
5. mumbling (95)
6. pinnacle (103)
Chapters Four – Six
7. unveil (109)
1. mature (51)
8. dispersal (110)
2. hypnotized (54)
9. symphonic (112)
3. scrunch (55)
10. haphazardly (112)
4. embarrassing (58)
5. interrupted (58)
6. flamethrower (65)
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 22 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Chapters Nine – Eleven
Period 6. trespassing (169)
1. temptations (123)
7. stingy (170)
2. responsible (125)
8. bobbed (175)
3. eavesdropped (128)
9. halo (177)
4. encouraged (132)
10. electrocuted (179)
5. seniority (135)
6. gagged (139)
Chapters Fourteen – Epilogue
7. sanitation (140)
1. investigated (182)
8. facilities (140)
2. curiosity (183)
9. sea level (144)
3. frilly (184)
10. moaned (147)
4. flickered (185)
11. pathetic (153)
5. twitching (186)
12. whimpers (155)
6. disappearing (192)
13. blubbering (156)
7. veterinarians (193)
14. shuffled (157)
8. wobble (194)
15. puny (159)
9. reputation (196)
10. crouched (204)
Chapters Twelve – Thirteen
11. pervasive (207)
1. desire (163)
12. segregation (207)
2. wilier (163)
13. discrimination (208)
3. hilarious (165)
14. confrontations (208)
4. wringing (167)
15. courageous (209)
5. scolding (168)
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 23 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Vocabulary List with Definitions
Chapters One – Three
juvenile delinquent (2) – a young person who repeatedly violates the law and/or
displays antisocial behavior, such as skipping school
blizzard (9) – a long, severe snow storm
tortured (13) – caused intense physical suffering or pain
howled (14) – cried out loudly in pain or grief
hilarious (14) – extremely funny
incapable (24) – lacking the ability to do something
emulate (24) – to imitate or act like someone
cockeyed (26) – having an eye that squints or does not look straight ahead
punctual (28) – on time
raggedy (29) – unkempt; wearing tattered clothes
sniggled (32) – giggled and snorted through the nose at the same time
patient (36) – tolerant, calm, and understanding even if something takes a long time to
accomplish
reinforcements (38) – additional people or equipment sent to support a military action
infect (39) – to contaminate with a germ or substance that will make someone sick
appreciated (46) – to have been thankful for something
Chapters Four – Six
mature (51) – possessing advanced emotional development
hypnotized (54) – mesmerized; in a trance
scrunch (55) – to squeeze or crunch
embarrassing (58) – causing one to feel self-conscious or ill at ease
interrupted (58) – broke in on a conversation or activity
flamethrower (65) – mechanical device designed to emit a long, controllable stream of
fire
fishy (66) – questionable; suspicious
slitty (67) – containing a thin, narrow cut or opening
disgusting (68) – causing a strong feeling of dislike
traitor (72) – someone who betrays the trust of another person
welfare (76) – financial assistance given to an individual or family by the government
peon (76) – person of low social status
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 24 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period pouted (77) – looked or acted sullen
munching (82) – eating loudly
conscience (85) – inner sense of what is right and wrong
Chapters Seven – Eight
linoleum (87) – floor covering that feels like rubber and is frequently used in bathrooms
porcupine (87) – large, slow-moving, plant-eating rodent that has large quills covering
most of its body
clomped (89) – walked heavily with a stomping, trampling sound
permanent (95) – lasting or remaining without change
mumbling (95) – speaking indistinctly
pinnacle (103) – highest point of development or achievement
unveil (109) – to remove a covering from something
dispersal (110) – the act of causing something to be spread over a wide area
symphonic (112) – a blend of numerous sounds into one harmonious sound
haphazardly (112) – dependent upon chance or random activity
Chapters Nine – Eleven
temptations (123) – things that entice people, usually to do something they shouldn’t do
responsible (125) – answerable or accountable for something within one’s control,
power, or management
eavesdropped (128) –listened secretly to a private conversation
encouraged (132) –stimulated by assistance or approval
seniority (135) – priority or status gained as a result of a person’s age or length of
employment
gagged (139) – caused to retch or choke
sanitation (140) – development and use of measures to maintain cleanliness and protect
the public health
facilities (140) – something designed or built to serve a specific purpose, i.e. a toilet
sea level (144) – the plane or level corresponding to the surface of the ocean
moaned (147) – complained in a prolonged, low sound
pathetic (153) – causing or evoking sympathetic pity, sadness, or sorrow
whimpers (155) – cries with low, broken sounds
blubbering (156) – weeping noisily without restraint
shuffled (157) – walked without lifting the feet
puny (159) – of less than normal size and strength; weak
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 25 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period Chapters Twelve – Thirteen
desire (163) – wanting to do something
wilier (163) – craftier; sneakier
hilarious (165) – extremely funny or amusing
wringing (167) – squeezing or twisting so as to extract moisture or liquid from
something
scolding (168) – harsh reproof or correction
trespassing (169) – entering upon the land of another without permission
stingy (170) – not generous with money or privileges
bobbed (175) – moved up and down in a short quick movement
halo (177) – a gold circle that is frequently pictured over the head of an angel
electrocuted (179) – killed by electric shock
Chapters Fourteen – Epilogue
investigated (182) – searched out and examined the specifics in an effort to learn the
facts about something
curiosity (183) – a desire to know about things; inquisitiveness
frilly (184) – covered with ruffled fabric or lace
flickered (185) – burned unsteadily; blinked on and off
twitching (186) – moving spasmodically or jerkily without control of one’s motions
disappearing (192) – vanishing from sight
veterinarians (193) – doctors who specialize in caring for animals
wobble (194) – tremble; move unsteadily
reputation (196) – estimation or opinion in which a thing is held by the community or
the general public
crouched (204) – stooped or bent low
pervasive (207) – spread throughout
segregation (207) – separation based on race
discrimination (208) – treating a person unequally or unfairly based on his appearance,
religion, or beliefs
confrontations (208) – acts of facing others in defiance and opposition
courageous (209) – brave; facing difficulties without fear
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 26 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Chapters One – Three
Note-Taking and Summarizing Sample: Chapter One
Directions: For each chapter, fill in the chart with the necessary information. An
example for Chapter One is completed below. (Note: Except when writing the
summary, you do not need to write in complete sentences.)
(Write a description of where the action occurs.)
Setting
outside the Watson family’s home during winter in Flint, Michigan
(List and describe important information about the characters in
the chapter.)
Kenny Watson – 10-year boy who tells the story
Byron Watson – 13-year-old boy who tends to get into trouble
Characters
Joetta Watson- Kenny and Byron’s little sister
Daniel Watson – father of the Watson family
Wilona Watson – mother of the Watson family, from Alabama
(Write a 3-5 sentence summary of the chapter.)
Summary of
the Chapter
When Kenny and Byron are sent to scrape the snow and ice off the
family’s car, Kenny suspects that Byron is trying to prank him as he
has done before. Byron actually got his lips stuck to the car’s side
mirror when practicing his kissing skills. Their mother pulls Byron’s
lips off the mirror.
Prediction
of Coming
Events
(Make a prediction of what you think will occur in the next
chapter.)
Byron keeps getting into trouble and playing pranks on Kenny.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 27 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Chapters One – Three
Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Two
Directions: For Chapter Two, fill in the chart with the necessary information. (Note:
Except when writing the summary, you do not need to write in complete sentences.)
Setting
Characters
Summary
of the
Chapter
Prediction
of Coming
Events
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 28 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 Chapters One – Three
Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Three
Directions: For Chapter Three, fill in the chart with the necessary information.
(Note: Except when writing the summary, you do not need to write in complete
sentences.)
Setting
Characters
Summary
of the
Chapter
Prediction
of Coming
Events
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 29 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Chapters One – Three
Comprehension Check
Directions: To help you understand all parts of the novel, answer the following
questions about Chapters One – Three. Write your responses on a separate piece of
paper using complete sentences.
Chapter One
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Describe the weather when the book begins.
Contrast the Watson parents’ backgrounds.
Show how Mr. Watson points out some issues in Alabama.
Analyze how Mrs. Watson tries to put a positive spin on life in the South.
Generalize why Kenny thinks that Byron is playing a trick on him when he calls
for help.
6. Assess why Kenny does not fight back when Byron plays How to Survive a
Blizzard.
7. Tell how Byron would have probably reacted if Kenny had been stuck to the
mirror.
8. Describe how Byron got stuck to the mirror.
9. Examine why Kenny had to pour the water on Byron’s lips.
10. Compose a plan, besides just pulling, to get Byron’s lips off the mirror.
Chapter Two
1. Compose a word beside “kings” to describe Byron, Buphead, and Larry Dunn’s
roles at school.
2. Identify an example of Kenny’s intelligence.
3. Summarize how Byron reacts when Buphead makes fun of Kenny’s reading.
4. Show how Byron helps Kenny adjust to his lazy eye.
5. Analyze why Kenny thinks that the new kid on the bus is his “personal saver.”
6. Explain the bus driver’s comment, “Don’t you pay no mind to them little fools,
they ain’t happy lest they draggin’ someone down.” (30)
Chapter Three
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Who does Mrs. Cordell appoint to help Rufus?
Discuss how Kenny is kind to Rufus.
Examine why Kenny is hesitant to spend time with Rufus at school.
Explain how L.J. Jones steals Kenny’s dinosaurs.
How would a different reaction from Kenny have strengthened his friendship
with Rufus, rather than harming it?
6. Assess how Mrs. Watson helps to mend Rufus and Kenny’s friendship.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 30 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Literature Focus: Point of View
Point of view means the viewpoint, or perspective, from which a story is told. The
point of view influences how a reader understands a story and how he/she reacts to the
characters and their actions.
A novel may be told from the point of view of one of a book’s characters, several
different characters throughout the book, or from the point of view of a narrator who is
not part of the novel. The author can use the point of view to create a particular
emotional response from the reader toward one or more of the characters in the book.
In The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963, Christopher Paul Curtis writes the novel
from ten-year-old Kenny Watson’s point of view. Thus, we hear about the adventures of
the Watson family complete with Kenny’s insights and feelings about them.
Directions: Use your knowledge of the novel to complete the following graphic
organizers and questions. Include specific details from the text in your answers.
1. By allowing a ten-year-old boy to tell the story from his point of view, Christopher
Paul Curtis creates the incidents through the lens of a ten-year-old boy and his
reactions to them. Complete the graphic organizer with details from Chapters One
through Three that show how Kenny tells the story from his point of view. An
example has been done for you.
Kenny’s Point of View Kenny refers to Byron as a “juvenile delinquent.” (p. 2) © 2012 Elementary Solutions 31 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period 2. Since Kenny tells the story from his point of view, the reader does not gain a completely
impartial telling of the story. As most people do when telling a story, Kenny tends to
view himself as the person in the right in most, but not all, situations. Read each of the
following passages from Chapters One – Three, then tell how Kenny views himself and
the other person(s) discussed in the passage. An example has been completed for you.
Ex. “We all huddled as close as we could get because we knew Dad was going to try to
make us forget about being cold by cutting up. Me and Joey started smiling right away,
and Byron tried to look cool and bored.” (p. 3)
Kenny recognizes and enjoys that his dad likes to use humor to defuse a situation and
lighten the mood. Kenny and Joey enjoy it, but Byron thinks that he is too old for it.
a. “Dad went out to try and get the Brown Bomber started. That was what we called our
car. . . Me and Dad took real good care of it but some of the time it didn’t like to start
up in the winter.” (p.6)
b. “I said, ‘You think I’m stupid? It’s not going to work this time.’ He mumbled my
name again. It sounded like his mouth was full of something. I knew this was a trick,
I knew this was going to be How to Survive a Blizzard, Part Two.” (p.8)
c. “I knew that if my lips were frozen on something and everybody was shaking too
much to pour water on them except for Byron he’d do some real cruel stuff to me. He
probably would have ‘accidentally’ splashed my eyes until they were frozen open or
put water in my ears until I couldn’t hear anything, but not me. I gently poured a
little stream of water over the mirror.” (p.16)
d. “Teachers started treating me different than other kids when I was in the first grade.
At first I thought it was cool for them to think I was smart but then I found out it
made me enemies with some of the other kids.” (p.22)
e. “I know he didn’t think I noticed, but the big kid gave his little brother the other half
of my sandwich. I guess both of them had forgot about lunch.” (p.36)
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 32 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Language Focus: Dialect
Dialect refers to spoken language, which varies from standard language. A person’s dialect
may be influenced by the region where a person lived as a child, where he currently lives, his
age, and/or his social background. An author may use dialect to make a character sound
more life-like and to establish his social class or educational level.
Directions: Read each example of dialect from the novel. Rewrite each example so that it
makes better sense to you. Then use the quotes to draw a conclusion about the characters
in the novel.
Kenny Watson:
1. “I’m serious, Byron, I’m not doing that side too, and I’m only going to do half the
windshield, I don’t care what you do to me.” (p.7)
2. “Momma, quick! It’s By! He’s froze up outside!” (p.13)
3. I didn’t say anything to them and they didn’t say anything to me. But I was kind of
surprised that God would send a saver to me in such raggedy clothes. (p.31)
4. Use the examples of Kenny’s quotes and observations to draw a conclusion about his
background, age, and education.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 33 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period Byron Watson:
5. “You know what, square? I must be adopted, there just ain’t no way two folks as ugly as
your momma and daddy coulda give birth to someone as sharp as me!” (p.8)
6. “Doe do dat! Mom-ma! Mom-ma, hel’! Keh-ee, go geh Mom-ma! Huwwy!” (p.16)
7. “Naw, man, keep your head straight and look at me sideways. . . See? You ain’t cockeyed
no more, your eyes is straight as a arrow now!” (p.26)
8. Use the examples of Byron’s speech to draw a conclusion about his background, age, and
education.
Wilona Watson:
9. “There’s not a whole lot to tell, just a story about a young girl who made a bad choice. But
if you do tell it, make sure you get all the facts right.” (p.3)
10. “Daniel Watson! What are we gonna do? What do y’all do when this happens up he-uh?”
(p.14)
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 34 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period 11. Use the examples of Wilona’s speech to draw a conclusion about her background.
Rufus:
12. “What kind of squirrel sits out in the open like that with folks all around him? That
squirrel wouldn’t last two seconds in Arkansas. I’da picked him off easy as nothing.” (p.35)
13. “Shoot, Kenny, you think I don’t know? Why you think I came back? But remember, you
said it’s my turn to be the Americans?" (p.46)
14. Use the examples of Rufus’s speech to draw a conclusion about his background, age, and
education.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 35 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Chapters Four – Six
Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Four
Directions: For Chapter Four, fill in the chart with the necessary information. (Note:
Except when writing the summary, you do not need to write in complete sentences.)
Setting
Characters
Summary
of the
Chapter
Prediction
of Coming
Events
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 36 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Chapters Four – Six
Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Five
Directions: For Chapter Five, fill in the chart with the necessary information. (Note:
Except when writing the summary, you do not need to write in complete sentences.)
Setting
Characters
Summary
of the
Chapter
Prediction
of Coming
Events
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 37 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Chapters Four – Six
Note-Taking and Summarizing: Chapter Six
Directions: For Chapter Six, fill in the chart with the necessary information. (Note:
Except when writing the summary, you do not need to write in complete sentences.)
Setting
Characters
Summary
of the
Chapter
Prediction
of Coming
Events
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 38 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Chapters Four – Six
Comprehension Check
Directions: To help you understand all parts of the novel, answer the following
questions about Chapters Four - Six. Write your responses on a separate piece of paper
using complete sentences.
Chapter Four
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Tell why Momma makes the Watson children wear so many clothes in the winter.
Describe how Joey looks when she gets to school in her winter clothes.
Examine why Kenny cares about how many winter clothes Joey wears.
Infer why Byron tells Kenny and Joetta about trucks picking up frozen people.
How do you think Byron would have responded if Kenny and Joetta had
challenged his story about trucks picking up frozen people?
Assess why Rufus does not have any gloves.
Tell how Kenny figures out that Larry Dunn stole his gloves.
Contrast Byron’s reaction to Larry Dunn stealing Kenny’s gloves to how Byron
would have reacted if he had taken them himself.
Evaluate how Byron handled Larry Dunn stealing Kenny’s gloves. Do you agree
or disagree with the way Byron handled it? Why or why not?
Chapter Five
1.
2.
3.
4.
Explain what Byron does with the matches.
Analyze why Momma is so angry with Byron for playing with matches.
Generalize why Joey tries to defend Byron.
Evaluate Momma’s punishment of Byron. Do you agree or disagree with it? Why
or why not?
5. Tell how Joey prevents Momma from burning Byron.
Chapter Six
1.
2.
3.
4.
Discuss why Byron is embarrassed at first to go to Mitchell’s Grocery Store.
Explain what signing for the food really means.
Show what Byron likes about signing for the food.
Infer how Byron’s reaction to the bird’s death provides some insight into Byron’s
personality.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 39 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Literature Focus: Using Quotations and Drawing Inferences
When writing, authors use two approaches to convey information to the reader. At
times, a writer will explicitly and concretely state what he wants to share (i.e. It was a
cold and rainy night.). When answering a question or sharing information about the
work, be sure to accurately quote and attribute the author’s words to him. You should
also include the page number where the passage can be located in a book. If a passage is
extremely long, you can use an ellipsis ( . . .) to indicate the words in between the
beginning and ending of the passage.
At other times, an author will provide clues about a setting, character, or event and ask
the reader to draw an inference from them (i.e. The seasons were changing; the days
were growing cooler and the leaves brighter.) Here, the author asks the reader to infer,
draw a conclusion based on the clues, that it is autumn.
Directions: For each passage, provide the appropriate quote from the text and draw
an inference from it.
1.
Accurately quote the text in Chapter Four where Kenny tells his favorite part about
helping Joey out of all of her winter clothes at school.
2. Based on this passage, infer how Kenny feels about Joey.
3. Accurately quote the text in Chapter Four that says what Momma does if you have to
use your second pair of gloves.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 40 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period 4. Based on this passage, infer why Momma does this to the gloves.
5. Accurately quote the passage in Chapter Four that tells about the clothes that Larry
Dunn wears. (The passage lasts several paragraphs, so use an ellipsis for the middle
of it.)
6. Based on this passage, draw an inference about the financial situation of Larry
Dunn’s family.
7. By providing the information about Larry Dunn’s clothes, how does the author want
the reader to feel about Larry Dunn?
8. Accurately quote the passage in Chapter Five that expresses Momma’s frustration
with Byron not listening to her warnings about his actions and behavior.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 41 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period 9. Infer why Momma is so frustrated with Byron’s behavior.
10. Accurately quote the passage in Chapter Six that describes Byron’s physical reaction
to killing the bird with the cookie.
11. Infer why Byron reacts this way.
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 42 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
Language Focus: Verb Tense and Agreement
A verb expresses action or a state of being. When writing, the verb must agree in
number with the rest of the sentence. The tense of the verb (past, present, or future)
must also make logical sense in the context of the sentence.
Directions: Rewrite each of the following sentences so the verb in bold print agrees in
number (singular or plural) and tense (past, present, or future) with the subject and in
the context of the sentence.
1. Joey looked like she were hypnotized. Her mouth were open and her eyes was
bugging. (p. 54)
2. The matches was soaking wet because whenever Momma get scared or nervous
or mad her hands got real sweaty and disgusting. (pp. 67-68)
3. I do the same thing right next to him and we sits together munching. (p. 82)
4. After my arm quit hurting from his punch I goes back to the alley behind
Mitchell’s to take another look at the dead bird but it were gone. (p. 84)
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 43 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide Name Period 5. Some of them has to wear socks on their hands and some of them just has to
scrunch their arms up in the sleeves of their jackets. (p. 55)
6. Rufus knew this were some real embarrassing stuff so he sit down beside me,
looks the other way and acted like he don’t see me crying. (p. 58)
7. Byron interrupted the final rinse cycle and say, “Lemme saw them gloves.” (p.
58)
8. The whole upstairs smell like a giant match and she knew something be fishy
even before she get to the top step. (p. 66)
9. Joey climbs off Momma’s lap and Byron’s eyes gets bigger and bigger but his
traitor hands keeps him pinned to the couch. (p. 72)
10. By pouts and walk real fast up to Mitchell’s so I have to kind of run along to
keep up with him. (p. 77)
© 2012 Elementary Solutions 44 The Watsons Go to Birmingham -­‐ 1963 Literature Guide