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Use the novel Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen and poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes to help readers make text-to-text connections.
What is Included
In this packet, there is a copy of the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes. After reading, there are analysis questions that align with Common Core standards on the poem (theme, figurative language, character analysis, etc.) and also an open-ended question requiring students to make connections to the novel. There is an answer key for the multiple choice questions. This activity would ideally fit in when reading the chapters where Cole is trying to survive on the island but struggling to do so.
The other activity included is intended to be completed at the end of the novel. Students will recreate Hughes’ poem as though they are Cole writing to a new kid entering the Circle Justice program. They want the themes established and tone of their poem to be same as Hughes’ poem. There is a brainstorming handout for their own poem, a template to create their poem, a template to create a final draft that can be displayed, and a rubric for the final draft and presentation of the poem. A mini-lesson on presenting may be needed if this is new to your students!