E D U C A T O R ’ S

G U I D E

Graduation Day

by JOELLE CHARBONNEAU
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are included with the discussions and activities. You can locate the standards at: www.corestandards.org/the-standards.

Connect to the Curriculum
Common Core State Standards ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3 Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot). ELA-Literacy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. ELA-Literacy.W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ELA-Literacy.W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ELA-Literacy.L.7.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

About the Book
Graduation day has finally arrived for Cia and her classmates; they have survived The Testing—despite their experiences with death, betrayal, and terror. The time is right, and Cia is ready to end The Testing for good. She is willing to put her leadership training to use and to lead the charge along with the other rebel forces that have formed an alliance against the United Commonwealth. Life and liberty are at stake, and the United Commonwealth, which rules with tyranny, is determined to squelch the rebel takeover. With danger and deception running rampant through the highest levels of both the government and the rebel alliance, Cia doesn’t know whom she can trust. To succeed, she must risk her life and the lives of those she loves, trust people who have not always proven their loyalty to her, and face the biggest test of her life. In the end, Cia will face the challenge with courage and determination, lives will be lost, lives will be saved—and all will be forever changed.

English Language Arts
Unsure of whom she can trust, Cia constantly worries about her brother, Zeen—a worry that makes her plan even more difficult to execute. Using the list Cia writes on page 76, ask students to work with a partner to draw a character map to help clarify Cia’s relationships with the other characters. Students should place Cia’s name in a circle in the middle and add the names of the various characters peripherally around the page, connecting the names back to Cia with a line or arrow. Under each character’s name, students should write a brief explanation of the relationship, stating both positive and negative aspects. Students may also add other characters Cia communicates with, such as Zeen, President Collindar, and Tomas. Finally, ask students to add quotes from the text along the connection lines to provide evidence for their explanation of the relationships. Post character maps around the room.

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E D U C A T O R ’ S

G U I D E

Graduation Day
Science

by JOELLE CHARBONNEAU
make a list of Cia’s leadership characteristics, the actions that make Cia a quality leader, and how she has changed and developed as a leader. Next working in small groups, have students complete a Venn diagram of Cia’s leadership style compared to that of Dr. Barnes and President Collindar. Have each small group identify and research current leaders who display each of these leadership styles. Students should compile and share all their leadership information within their small groups. Individually, have students select two leaders, fictional or current, and create a comparison of their leadership styles. Post comparisons within the classroom.

Tomas and Cia use poisonous plants to kill and medicinal plants to heal. Working in biological engineering, Tomas has easy access to these plants. Ask students to look at the effects of the deadly plants on page 121 and then to research the possibility of plants alive today that would cause these same effects. Students should make a visual display of the plants they discover, labeling each illustration with the name of the plant and the effect it would have if humans consumed it. Students can then present their findings to the class and display them in the classroom.

Social Studies
Cia and her team would not have been able to complete their mission without technology, including pulse radios, transmitters, transit communicators, and remote timers. Ask students to work in small groups to determine how these devices affect the United Commonwealth and the people who reside there. With a partner, have students investigate the availability of these devices in today’s society and how the use of them affects or possibly will continue to affect their daily lives. Have each group create a digital presentation of these devices and also their ideas and opinions on how technology is changing our society. Invite other classes to come do a gallery walk to view all the presentations.

Conflict in Poetry
Cia is in constant conflict, both internal and external. Ask students to make a list of the emotions associated with her decisions regarding killing humans for the good of the cause, trusting her peers who are often untrustworthy and disloyal, and the danger in which she places herself and others. Using specific situations in the book, ask students to write a poem for two voices expressing Cia’s conflicts, using the conflicting voices. Then have a poetry slam and allow the students to share their poems with the class.

The Aftermath
The twists and turns through Graduation Day keep readers on the edge of their seats. Ask students to write a newspaper article about one of the events of the rebellion, answering the questions who, what, when, where, how, and why. Students should include details from the book but should feel free to create interviews, personal responses, and other ideas that would logically occur from the event. As a class, decide whether to compile the articles into a digital or hard-copy newspaper to be shared with other classes.

Writing Activities
Common Core State Standards ELA-Literacy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. ELA-Literacy.W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. ELA-Literacy.W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. ELA-Literacy.L.7.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Discussion Questions
Common Core State Standards ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. ELA-Literacy.SL.7.4 Present claims and findings,

Leadership Wired
Cia has shown strong leadership among her peers throughout the series. As a whole class, ask students to

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E D U C A T O R ’ S

G U I D E

Graduation Day

by JOELLE CHARBONNEAU
8. Why does Cia decide to trust Will with an important part of the plan? How do the others on her team respond to her decisions? 9. What does Cia learn from Dr. Barnes that both helps and hinders her plan? How does she use the information she gained from Dr. Barnes? 10. What evidence does Raffe have to make him believe that the redirected students are still alive? How do Raffe and Cia discover the truth about the redirected students? 11. What plans do Cia and Tomas make after the rebellion? How do they accomplish their goals?

emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. ELA-Literacy.L.7.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. 1. Cia consistently proves that she possess courage and resilience, so why is she so afraid to inform President Collindar of what she has discovered about Symon? Why is Cia surprised by the president’s reaction? What does she learn about leadership from this experience? 2. What are the differences between the colony students who survived the Testing and students who attend the university because of family connections? How are their relationships affected by trust and respect? 3. What does Enzo discover that could destroy Cia’s future? Why doesn’t he use the information against her? What could he gain by betraying her? 4. How does Stacia convince Cia that Raffe must be tested? What do they learn about Raffe? How do Cia and Stacia justify the consequence of Raffe’s test? 5. How does Raffe help Cia eliminate some of the names on the list President Collindar gave her? Why is Cia willing to eliminate the people Raffe suggests? 6. What is the meaning behind the graphic design Raffe created? Why does Raffe think the rebel alliance needs a symbol? 7. Why is Raffe so willing to eliminate his father? How does he discover his father is evil?

This guide was created by Susan Geye.

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