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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 9-12:

The Sun is Also a Star

Told through the perspectives of two teenagers in America, The Sun is Also a Star explores the real struggles young people face–from developing a crush, to dealing with parental relationships and expectations, to considering the meaning of love and life, and finally, coping with the pressures of racism, immigration, and identity. We chose this book for its careful exploration of timely social and emotional themes: love, loss, fate, family, culture, immigration, and the “American Dream.” This curriculum will inspire students to build connections between the characters and their own lives, pushing them to think about their own role in America and the universe.

The Sun is Also a Star is a young adult novel that narrates a single day in the lives of Daniel and Natasha, two teens who meet by accident on the streets of New York City and develop a striking, intense connection. The novel weaves together the stories of the two protagonists with those of “minor” characters, in order to explore larger questions about the nature of the universe, love, fate, and justice. The plot centers around the last day of Natasha’s fight to save her family from their immediate deportation; Daniel is a second generation immigrant whose parents came to the United States from South Korea. The novel traces the difficulties that both Daniel and Natasha face as members of immigrant families, explores the question of what it means to be an American, and investigates what the “American Dream” means to different people. The novel does not shy away from questions of racism, and explores the personal impact of the assumptions that people make about others based on their race and immigration status.

Author:  Nicola Yoon

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: 96
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”



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