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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 4-5:

Any Small Goodness

Any Small Goodness is the story of a young Mexican-American boy, Arturo Rodriguez, and his heartwarming journey to find the beauty and goodness in his Los Angeles neighborhood. We chose this novel for its powerful attention to some rich social and emotional themes: poverty, immigration, family, community, empathy, kindness, and optimism. Students will find themselves relating to and being inspired by Arturo’s journey; this curriculum will help students build connections between Arturo’s story and their own.


Enjoy a young Mexican-American boy’s heartwarming journey to find the beauty and goodness in his impoverished and violent Los Angeles neighborhood.

Despite his family’s struggles to make ends meet and to gain acceptance into mainstream culture, Arturo shows how a young person can be optimistic about the future, persevere through adversity, and embrace one’s familial roots. The ability to find the good in otherwise challenging situations is a valuable coping mechanism for Arturo; participating in acts of kindness and charity helps Arturo define himself, and his neighborhood, in a positive way.

Author: Tony Johnston

Our Reading with Relevance teacher’s guide breaks the novel into a series of thoughtful lesson plans. Each lesson is designed to support you to meaningfully explore the social and emotional themes of the day’s reading with your students, inspiring them to read deeply, think critically, talk openly, and write reflectively about topics that matter.

This teacher’s guide includes:

  • A facilitator’s guide with tips and resources for implementing the curriculum.
  • A map of Common Core Standards addressed through this program.
  • Ten individual lesson plans, including vocabulary, discussion questions, journal prompts, extension activities, and all handouts.
  • Two assessments to monitor student progress throughout the program.
  • Regular checkpoints to help teachers assess their students’ progress on ELA standards.
  • A culminating essay-writing unit.
  • An appendix with additional teaching resources and activities to continue exploring this novel.

Pages: 76
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”



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