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Sydney Stillman & Emily LeCrone

Lesson Plan
5th/ Reading/Language Arts
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan

Common Core Standards:

Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters
in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic;
summarize the text.
Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

Illinois State Social Science Standard:

SS.CV.2.2. Describe how communities work to accomplish common tasks, establish
responsibilities, and fulfill roles of authority.

LEP Level:
Language Domains: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

WIDA Standards:
Level 4, Expanding, Summarize plots of adventures using visual support.
Level 4, Expanding, Self-edit during process writing using multiple resources (e.g., thesauruses
or dictionaries) and check with a partner.

Content Objectives:
● Students will be able to orally explain the answer to why the characters responded the
way they did to situations in the book and how it establishes the theme.
● Students will be able to identify how characters are feeling when reflecting on events in
the story.
● Students will be able to identify leaders in the story and how they address and influence
the problem.

Language Objectives:
● Students will be able to retell a family member’s pilgrimage through writing a short
● Students will be able to identify their peers and their own writing errors.
Peer response groups, individual writing work, jigsaw, close reading

Academic Vocabulary:
Misfortune: an unfortunate condition or event
Hope: A positive mindset that is based on positive outcomes related to events and circumstances
in one’s life or the world at large.

● Book: Brothers in Hope, Williams & Christie
● Interview Questions
● Jigsaw Cheat Sheets:
○ Comma Review
○ Punctuation Review
○ Capitalization Review
○ Verb Tense Review

Motivation (Building Background):

Teacher says: “Raise your hand if you are from a different country.” Students will have a few
seconds to respond and the teacher will count hands. “You are not the only one. Today we will
be listening to a story about a little boy who made his way to America after facing misfortune
and overcoming obstacles. The little boy had lots of courage.”

Academic vocabulary is written on the board.

Teacher says: “What do you think the word misfortune means?”

Allow appropriate responses and then write definition on the board

Teacher says: “What kinds of misfortune do you think these boys will face?”

Show book cover and allow appropriate responses.

Teacher says: “Based on the subtitle, The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, what do you think
might happen to them?”

Allow for appropriate responses.

Teacher says: “The title of this book is Brothers in Hope. Can anyone tell me what hope means?”

Allow for appropriate responses, and write definition on the board.

Teacher says: “Based on your predictions of misfortune, what could the boys hope for?”

Allow for appropriate responses, then read the story.

Teacher asks the following questions:
What was the misfortune in the story?
What was Garang doing during the first attack of the war?
Describe hope in your own words. Why is this story called The Brothers in Hope?
Who were the leaders in the book?
How were the boys of Sudan able to overcome the obstacles/ who helped them get there?
Remember how I asked you to raise your hand if you are from another country? Wouldn’t it be
interesting to know how your family got to America before you did?

Teacher says: “You are going to interview your parents or grandparents and learn about their
journey to America, just as we learned how Garang got to America. You will use this interview
to write a short story in class about their journey. After you write it, you will have time to get
with your peer review groups and edit your papers individually and within your jigsaw groups.”

Hand out interview questions and ask students about any questions or concerns.

Presentation: students
Students will take home interview questions to interview a family member and bring them back
the next week. When students bring their interviews back to school, they will begin writing their
short stories. These stories will be guided with an outline. When they are finished writing their
stories, they will do a turn and talk to share their story with the person sitting next to them.

Next the teacher will remind students they are an expert in one of four fields of grammar. They
will break off into their “jigsaw expert groups.”

Jigsaw Expert Groups: Students are divided up into groups and become ‘experts’ in a certain
aspect of English grammar: punctuation, commas, capitalization or verb tenses. We have done
this exercise previously, so students will be familiar with the group that they are in, and their
expertise. Students will receive a cheat sheet to remind them of the rules following their
category. We will jigsaw the students so that each each group of students has an expert from
every category. We will rotate the stories so that each person in the group gets one look at the
story. In this peer editing exercise, students will read each other’s stories looking to correct
errors according to their expertise (each expert using a different color pen). After the paper has
gone through every ‘expert’ in the group, the student will receive their paper again and make
corrections to the paper where there are suggestions. During this time, the teacher will walk
around the classroom to ensure students are staying on task and to answer any questions the
students may have.

At the end of the editing process, each student will rewrite their short story and turn it in to the

To end class, we will reflect on how the journey of Chuti and Garang were similar or different to
the stories the students’ family members shared with them. We will also reflect on the objectives
by discussing what what characters in the book did, how they felt, and who the leaders were.

The assessment for this lesson will take place during the lesson and after. There will be two
forms of assessment throughout the lesson.
The first form of assessment being used will be informal. The students will be asked questions
after the reading to monitor their understanding of the book and ensure that they understand who
leaders are and the key vocabulary that are used to describe the theme. They will also be assessed
as the teacher walks around during their turn and talk time as they read their papers to their
partner. At this point, the teacher will assess their oral language and make sure they are staying
on track.
The second form of assessment that will be used throughout the lesson will be formal. As the
teachers collect the edited papers (first draft) along with the final draft, they will assess both the
student who wrote the paper and the students who edited the paper. In the first draft that the
students turn in, the teacher will ensure that each ‘expert’ correctly found errors in their peers
paper, and ensure that the writer answered all of the interview questions and filled out the
outline. In the final draft that students turn in, the teacher will ensure that the student made
appropriate corrections and formatted their paper.
Interview Questions
When did you first come to America?

Where did you immigrate from?

Who came with you on your journey to America?

Did you have a successful journey?

What language did you speak when you came to America?

Was traveling a negative or positive experience? Why?

What scared you the most when coming to America?

What was one challenge you faced once you arrived to America?

What is the biggest benefit of you living in America?

What is the highest level of education you received?

Journey to America: Outline

Intro Should Include:

● What book did we read in class?
● What happened in the book?
● When did your family member come to America?
● Where did they immigrate from?

Next, Provide a few sentences about:

● Describe your family member’s journey to America

● How is your family member’s story similar to Garang and Chuti?
● If it is not similar, why is it different? What was better? What was worse?
Verb Tense Expert Cheat Sheet
Comma Expert Cheat Sheet
Capitalization Expert Cheat Sheet
Punctuation Expert Cheat Sheet