In Mary Hoffman’s
Amazing Grace, students meet Grace, a lively girl with an
amazing imagination. Grace’s favorite thing to do is act out stories and play the most
exciting part. Grace has been every character readers can imagine, from Joan of Arc to peg leg pirate.
One day in school Grace’s teacher informs the class that they will be
putting on the play Peter Pan. Grace is so excited! She wants to be Peter Pan! When gracetells the teacher that she would like to audition for the role of Peter, some of her classmates say that its impossible. How could grace be Peter if she is a girl and black?With a little encouragement from the people she loves most, Grace learns that she can beanyone she wants to be.Classroom Activities:This particular text is great for teaching students about character traits. The
teacher can read the book aloud once and ask students to pay special attention to Grace’s
actions during the story. How does Grace react when she is told that she cannot be Peter Pan? Is Grace upset? Why does Grace audition for the role even when she is told not to?Students and teachers should discuss these questions about the book and think about whatkind of girl Grace is. With some Scaffolding, students should generate a list of words or character traits on chart paper that describe Grace. When the book is read aloud a secondtime, students should note specific actions that support the character traits they havegenerated for grace. In addition to the during reading activity discussed above, studentscan write an opinion piece after reading.
Ask students to write about why Grace’sclassmates don’t want her to be Peter Pan. Do you agree with her classmates, why or why
not?Literacy Development:By reading this text, students learn about the relationship between character traitsand actions. Students will learn to identify character traits and discuss specific actionsthat support identified character traits. Students will gain a greater understanding of how
a character’s actions affect the plot of the story.
Students will also be able to useillustrations to discuss the feelings of various characters in the story. Through the use of awriting prompt, students can express their own opinions about a character or the plotStandards: