How we treat people really matters! Both of these books teach a lesson on the importance of kindness and acceptance. Both lend themselves perfectly to teaching students to identify the author’s message. If you need a lesson on comparing books by the same author, these are the two you need.
THE OTHER SIDE by Jacqueline Woodson
This touching story tells of a black girl named Clover who has been told she is not allowed to cross the fence to the other side. Her protective mother says it’s not safe. The fence separates white people and black people. During the summer, a white girl named Annie begins to sit on the fence each day. She watches Clover and wishes they could play together. Clover becomes curious about the girl and the fence. She walks closer to Annie and they begin to chat. Clover has a group of friends and she asks one of them, Sandra, if she and Annie can jump rope with them. She says no. Eventually, they all play together. As they are all sitting on the fence together, Annie says, “One day, somebody’s going to come along and knock this old fence down.”
EACH KINDNESS by Jacqueline Woodson
When a new girl named Maya was introduced to the class, she was immediately scorned because of her ragged clothes. She sat next to Chloe and smiled, but Chloe did not smile back. At recess, Maya tried so hard to get the other girls to play with her. She finally gave up and played alone. One day, Maya didn’t come to school. That day, the teacher taught a lesson on kindness. “Each little thing we do goes out into the world like a ripple.” When Chloe found out that Maya would not be returning, she was remorseful about the way she had treated her. Now she’ll never have a chance to show kindness to her.
ACTIVITIES FOR THESE BOOKS
Start by introducing the vocabulary for the story. I created 8 printable cards for each book. I like to use a projector and project the pdf of the cards. This allows time for discussion of each word.
The cards have the definition, a sentence example, an image representing the word, and synonyms.
After reading each book, follow up with an engaging PowerPoint lesson. Each slide leads to valuable discussion opportunities. The lessons focus on determining theme, point of view, character traits, and genre.
There are a total of 18 printable worksheets. Seven for each book and 4 for comparing the books.
Activities for comparing books by the same author.