Welcome back to another Literature Unit with Live Love Learn Gracefully! This week’s unit is on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. I was first introduced to this novel by a student. When she mentioned that it was one that she’s read at least five times, I just knew that I had to check it out.
This novel takes place in Mississippi in the 1930’s, during a time of segregation, hostility, inequality, and hope. In this novel you will fall in step with Cassie and her family as they struggle to pay the bills, keep their land, and some days stay alive.
Literature Unit Activities:
- Mildred Taylor. Research Mildred Taylor. Discover why she wrote Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. How is it relevant to her life?
- Point of View / Perspective: Discuss who is telling the story and how you know that. This is a great time to discuss first, second, and third person Point of View.
- Elements of Plot: After discussing the parts of plot, have your child create a plot diagram with the details from the story.
- Figurative Language: Discuss the different types of figurative language (simile, metaphor, etc.). Have your child find examples and discuss why author’s use figurative language and the impact it has on the reader.
- Types of sentences: Novels in general give ample opportunities for mini grammar lessons. Discuss the different types of sentences, when and why they are used, and have your child find examples of them in the novel. You can also have students practice writing these different types of sentences in one of the writing activities below.
- Mood: Talk about mood and how authors create mood in their writing. Identify the mood throughout the novel.
- Dialect: Find examples of dialect from the story. Discuss why the author would have used dialect in this story. What effect does it have?
- Perspective. Choose an event, scene, or chapter from the novel. Retell it from someone else’s perspective like TJ, Mama, or Little Man.
- Write a play. Choose an event or scene and turn it into a play. Study plays and their specific characteristics such as stage directions and format before you begin. Get your family involved to help you act out your play. You can even go so far as to create props and a stage.
- American History: You can create a lapbook, PowerPoint, take notes, discussions, or a Histagram specifically focusing on these topics:
- South / Mississippi 1930’s
- Share Cropping. Check out this interactive game to help your child understand Share Cropping from Pearson.
- Jim Crow Laws
- Timeline. Create a visual timeline with graphics that covers the major events in the United States from 1900-1950. Be sure to pay close attention to laws and amendments related to slavery.
- Mississippi. Create a foldable that provides facts about Mississippi (symbol, flower, tree, flag, etc.)
- Great Depression. Research / learn all about the Great Depression. Explain daily life during this time. Check out this Great Depression Unit from Family Home and Health or this video on the Great Depression on YouTube.
- Agriculture: Study Cotton Plants. Research the soil needed, parts of the cotton plant, and how cotton is harvested. Check out Gardening Know How for tips on how to grow Cotton Plants.
- Weather. In the novel, farmers relied heavily on the weather and how it affects their crops. This would be great time to study weather patterns.
- Build a Car STEM activity. Cars were a rare commodity in this novel. Challenge your child to build a car.
- Absorption. Since cotton is discussed so often throughout the novel, this would be a fun time to study absorption. Discuss absorption. Experiment with different products (paper towels, cotton balls, cotton swabs, toilet paper, paper, etc.).
- Drawing. Choose either the cotton fields or the red dirt road. Draw it as it is described in the book or how you visualized it as you read. Choose quotes from the text that describes the appearance or the significance/ it’s meaning to the characters and add them to your drawing.
- Collage. Create a collage that summarizes and highlights the big ideas in the novel. For example: share-cropping, cotton, land, segregation, Great Depression.
Unique Hashtag: RollofThunderLLLG
Pinterest Board: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Literature Unit
Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read this Literature Unit. I am sure I missed some great learning opportunities, please leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite activities are for this novel.
Check back soon for a unit on Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahblan.