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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 4-6:

Home of the Brave

Home of the Brave tells the story of a very brave and optimistic eleven-year-old named Kek, who uses poetry to narrate his experience fleeing war-torn Sudan and settling into a very new and previously unimaginable life in the United States. We chose this novel for its thoughtful attention to some powerful social and emotional themes: culture, immigration, loss, perseverance, family, and resilience.  Students will find themselves relating to and being inspired by Kek’s journey; this curriculum will help students build connections between Kek’s experiences and their own.


Home of the Brave tells the story of Kek, an eleven year old boy from Sudan, using poetry. Kek flees his country because of war and becomes an immigrant to the United States. Kek arrives in the United States knowing his father and brother are dead, and his mother is missing. He ends up living in Minnesota with his aunt and cousin, who left Sudan before he did. Kek relies on his optimism to get him through the hard process of adjusting to a new country and culture. Over a year, Kek learns about America and himself while he hopes to reunite with his mother. Kek’s story traces his resilience and flexibility as he builds a new life and home for himself.

Author: Katherine Applegate

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.
  • Fourteen 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: 80
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”



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