Lessons & Units

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 5th Grade Unit

The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963
Genre
Historical Fiction
Concepts Taught
Cause and Effect, Character, Compare and Contrast, Drawing Conclusions, Genre, Setting, Theme, Vocabulary in Context

Lessons

Genre Lesson Historical Fiction Identify historical terms in Historical Fiction.
Lesson 1 Effects of a Character's Past Examine how a character’s past impacts their present actions, thoughts, and feelings.
Lesson 2 Two Settings Compare and contrast two settings in a novel.
Lesson 3 Historical Effects Explain how historical events and details affect characters.
Lesson 4 Theme from Past to Present Connect a theme in Historical Fiction to today’s world.

Build Background Knowledge

How did the Watsons end up in Detroit, Michigan? Why did they decide to return home to Birmingham, Alabama? Build background knowledge for this unit by introducing your students to the Great Migration. The Great Migration took place between 1915-1940 (between World War I and World War II). It was a mass movement of people that were living in the South who traveled to the North. Most people in the Great Migration were African Americans looking for a better life. After the "Separate but Equal" rule was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, life was very difficult for African Americans that lived in the South. They had trouble voting, and they had to use separate and often unequal schools, water fountains, and cars. They had to ride in the backs of buses as well. Many African Americans decided to leave their homes in the South and start over in Northern cities like New York City, Chicago, and Detroit. There were more factory jobs in the North because the North was industrialized. Explain that this means the North had factories where machines were produced for the wars, whereas the South was mostly farm country. The South focused on production from the earth. Also, the opportunities for political participation, access to the arts, and access to education were much greater in the North at that time.

Pacing Guide

Pacing Guide for The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

Day 1

Genre Lesson

Preview Student Packet Genre Lesson Independent Practice

Day 2

Begin reading Chapters 1–5

Begin Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 1–5

Day 3

Finish reading Chapters 1–5

Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 1–5

Day 4

Begin Lesson 1

Day 5

Lesson 1 (continued)

Complete Student Packet, Independent Practice for Lesson 1

Day 6

Begin reading Chapters 6–8

Begin Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 6–8

Day 7

Finish reading Chapters 6–8

Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 6–8

Day 8

Begin reading Chapters 9–12

Begin Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 9–12

Day 9

Finish reading Chapters 9–12

Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapters 9–12

Day 10

Begin Lesson 2

Day 11

Lesson 2 (continued)

Complete Student Packet, Independent Practice for Lesson 2

Day 12

Begin reading Chapter 13–Epilogue

Begin Student Packet Worksheets for Chapter 13–Epilogue

Day 13

Finish reading Chapter 13–Epilogue

Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapter 13–Epilogue

Day 14

Begin Lesson 3

Day 15

Lesson 3 (continued)

Complete Student Packet, Independent Practice for Lesson 3

Day 16

Begin Lesson 4

Day 17

Lesson 4 (continued)

Complete Student Packet, Independent Practice for Lesson 4

Day 18

Review

Day 19

Unit Assessment

User Comments

Where do I fond the answer sheets to specific student packets?
Hi Lisa, The 'Student Packet Answer Key' in the materials section above should have everything.
I'm an instructional coach at a middle school that struggling with student achievement. I found this site today, and I'm so excited to share it with my teachers!!!!
Should children be allowed to use the text when doing the unit assessment? Thanks!
Hi Jill, Great question! Use of the text is not a problem. The goal is to assess comprehension, and if students aren't comprehending then whether they have the text or not will make no difference.
What do the codes El stand for?

EI is short for "Explicit Information." For a full list of the Skills & Strategies listed on our site and their abbreviations see the Skill & Strategy Definitions page.

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