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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 5-7:

Other Words for Home

Meet Jude, a 12-year-old Syrian girl who moves with her mother to Ohio to escape the growing dangers they face in their home and country. Follow along as Jude finds her voice and claims her place in a very different, and sometimes unwelcoming, community. We chose this book for its careful exploration of timely social and emotional themes: home and belonging, migration, Islamophobia, resilience, and bravery. This curriculum will inspire students to build connections between this national news story and their own lives, unpacking the complex ways that culture, religion, and nationality shape our experiences and perspectives.

Other Words for Home is a novel told in free verse that explores the story of Jude, a 12-year-old Syrian girl who moves with her mother to live with her uncle’s family in Ohio. Jude is happy in her hometown, a coastal tourist city in Syria. But as Syria descends into civil war, her parents decide that she and her newly pregnant mother should leave for America, while her father stays behind to tend the shop. Jude’s brother, against his parents’ wishes, stays to join the resistance movement. In America, Jude’s aunt and uncle do what they can to make her and Mama feel welcome, but Jude’s cousin Sarah is less welcoming, and Jude struggles at first to fit in at school. Throughout the story, Jude finds friends and learns to believe in herself and be brave, like her brother, while she faces uncertainty at school and prejudice in her new community.

Author: Jasmine Warga

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.
  • 14 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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