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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 5-7:

One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer tells the story of three sisters who spend the summer of 1968 in Oakland with their estranged mother.  As they get to know her, they explore a new city bubbling with diversity, activism, and social change. We chose this novel for its powerful attention to rich social and emotional themes: race, ethnic pride, activism, family, and community.  Students will find themselves relating to, and being inspired by, the sisters’ time in Oakland. This curriculum will help students build connections between the sisters’ experiences and their own.

Follow the story of Delphine and her two sisters, who travel to Oakland, California in 1968 to meet the mother they barely know, who abandoned them seven years ago for a radical new life.

The girls arrive to a cold welcome and their mother, Cecile, is nothing like they imagined. While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, they are sent to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. After 28 days living in Cecile’s home, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern have some eye-opening experiences in a place bubbling with diversity and social politics, and they learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.

Author:  Rita Williams-Garcia

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.
  • Fifteen 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: 96
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”



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