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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 2-3:

Keena Ford and the Secret Journal Mix-Up

Keena Ford and the Secret Journal Mix-Up is the story of a young African-American girl, Keena Ford, and the trouble that ensues when she she loses her private journal. We chose this novel for its thoughtful attention to some important social and emotional themes: honesty, bravery, bullying, friendship, and kindness. Students will find themselves relating to and being inspired by Keena’s adventures; this curriculum will help students build connections between Keena’s story and their own.


Continue the adventures of feisty Keena Ford, as she encounters trouble when she loses her private journal. Keena keeps all of her thoughts in her there, even when they are not-so-nice, so it’s a big problem when someone else gets a hold of it!

Keena accidentally leaves her journal in Tiffany Harris’s apartment, and Tiffany tells Keena that she’s going to tell all of Keena’s secrets – like how she wrote that her mom’s haircut made her look like an old lady! With help from her brother, some classic fables, and a visiting author, Keena discovers what she must do to stand up to Tiffany and make things right with her friends.

Author:  Melissa Thomson

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.
  • Seven individual lesson plans, including vocabulary, discussion questions, journal prompts, extension activities, and all handouts.
  • An assessment to monitor student progress.
  • Regular checkpoints to help teachers assess their students’ progress on ELA standards.
  • A culminating essay-building unit.
  • An appendix with additional teaching resources and activities to continue exploring this novel.

Pages: 60
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”



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