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Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Henry Brown is a slave who longs for freedom. After being torn apart from his family as a child, Henry works on a tobacco farm and has a family. Henry loses his wife and children, who are sold at a slave market. Knowing he will likely never see them again, Henry risks his life to become free. With the help of friends, he ships himself in wooden crate to Pennsylvania, to freedom. Students will be enthralled listening to story of a man who will risk everything for the chance to be free.
Designed to be done whole group, this lesson can be done in one class period, or broken down over two days. Extensions can be done at a different time of your choosing. This could also be used in small groups, or in a different format of your choosing; questions included in this lesson are targeted to lead students to describing how the main character solves his problem in order to infer the theme.
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The lesson objective is: Students will be able to determine the theme of Henry’s Freedom Box by analyzing how the character responds to the problem.
At the end of the lesson, after students participate in discussion about how Henry solves his problem, they will be independently assessed by writing in response to the prompt: What theme can be inferred after reading Henry’s Freedom Box? Students will use text evidence and information gathered from the discussions to answer the prompt.
In addition to determining the theme (the lesson’s main objective), extension skills and strategies include: visualizing, sequencing and retelling, characterization, identifying cause and effect relationships, inferring the meaning of vocabulary words, and more!
In the lesson plan, target questions are posed along with expected student answers and scaffolding questions to support students as needed. The scaffolding questions are designed to help students organize their thinking and understanding in smaller chunks to reach the target question.
The essential question, objective, and questions are in the lesson plan, but also in a printable format to be projected or posted for the lesson.
This lesson focuses on 8 key vocabulary words. Other vocabulary words may be pertinent for your students; included are blank vocabulary cards so that you can customize for your students’ needs.
-Lesson Plan page with text’s big idea, essential question, objective, vocabulary list, assessment, and teacher language related to the objective
-Theme anchor chart for students to reference anytime
-Teacher's questioning guide with stopping points, questions, expected answers, and possible scaffolding questions
-Template to print questions/vocabulary on post-its and place in the book before teaching for easy reference. Please note: on each post-it, you will find (for the corresponding page) key vocabulary, the main lesson plan questions and scaffolding questions.
-Quick print form of the questions to be projected/posted for students during read aloud
-Optional graphic organizer with lesson questions for students to collect their own thinking during the read aloud
-Assessment (2 differentiated variations for students’ varying abilities).
Extensions and Extras to continue the learning:
-8 vocabulary cards and 4 blank cards
-Student vocabulary graphic organizer to infer meaning of words and phrases and provide context clues (answer key included)
-3 vocabulary 4-square activity options
-Students practice the strategy of visualizing. On the movie reel, students sketch the five most important events from the story. Then, label their sketches with key words from the text.
-Students complete a story map for Henry’s Freedom Box independently or in pairs. After, students use their story map to practice orally retelling the story with a partner.
-Students summarize the story using vocabulary words. Differentiated options are included.
-Students consider Henry’s actions throughout the events of the story to complete a characterization graphic organizer.
-Students identify cause and effect relationships in the story. Differentiated options are included.
Please let me know if you have any questions!
Check out other intermediate Read Aloud Lesson Plans in my store!