From Black Boy
Walking Tall in Memphis, Tennessee
This is a short story by Richard Wright which appeared in the previous edition of Elements of literature 3. It was omitted in the new edition, but my students loved the story so much that I resurrected it and have reprinted it here for you. Richard Wright's father has abandoned his family and now young Richard is the man of the house and must venture onto the streets of inner city Memphis, Tennessee in order to buy food for the family. The problem is that each time he tries to do this he is beaten up and robbed by a gang of boys. He is afraid to go out again and begs his mom to let him back in the house. She refuses knowing that her son must stand up to the boys both as a rite of passage into manhood and as a necessity for the family's survival. The climax is exciting and again this short story will be a favorite with your students as well.
This activity packet includes
1) The text of the story
2) A Comprehension questions and quote activity with answer sheets
3) A vocabulary activity called, "Word Detective." where students act as vocabulary detectives as they try and determine the meaning of new words. First they use contextual clues to guess the meaning of new words from the actual in passages of the story. Then they l use a thesaurus or dictionary to check comprehension, find synonyms, and determine parts of speech for each word. An answer sheet is included
4) A vocabulary activity where students write sentences in context using the new words.
You and your students will love this story.