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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 6-8:


This novel tells the story of Castle, a compassionate, flawed seventh grader, who finds comfort and joy when he joins the track team. We chose this book for its careful exploration of some powerful social and emotional themes: poverty, bullying, sports, friendship, and overcoming trauma. This curriculum will inspire students to build connections between Castle’s redemptive life story and their own.

Ghost tells the story of Castle Crenshaw, a naturally gifted runner whose life is changed when he is recruited for his city’s elite middle-school track team.  Running isn’t new to Castle, as he has been running his whole life–first, from a father aiming a gun at him in a rage, and since from a series of problems, mistakes, and bad choices.  Joining the team is a chance for Castle to use his talents in a new way, to build community with peers struggling with their own challenges, and to benefit from the mentorship and guidance of Coach Brody–a former Olympian now passionate about fostering opportunities for a new generation of athletes.  Ultimately, track helps focus Castle and teaches him valuable lessons about friendship, confidence, honesty, and trust.

Author:  Jason Reynolds

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”


Companion Student Workbook:


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