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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 4-6:


This novel explores how Frannie, an outspoken 11-year-old girl, comes to develop a keen understanding of difference when a new kid, who is different from all the other kids in her class, appears at her school.  We chose this book for its courageous exploration of important social and emotional themes: race, disability, grief, adoption, and hope. This curriculum will inspire students to build connections between Frannie’s transformative life story and their own.

Feathers tells the story of Frannie, a sixth grade girl who is looking for a little hope in the world. Frannie lives on the side of the highway where African-Americans reside; she wonders about the other side of the highway, where the white people live. One day, a white boy joins her class. He is teased, and the other kids start to call him Jesus Boy, a nickname he decides to keep. Meanwhile, Frannie’s brother Sean is navigating adolescence while deaf and struggles with feeling disconnected from both the white world and the hearing world. Set amongst the culture and conflicts of a 70s-era urban city, Frannie encounters some enlightening experiences and finds hope in many different places.

Author:  Jacqueline Woodson

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.
  • Eight 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: 68
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”


Companion Student Workbook:


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