Lesson Plan Content:
1. Prewriting Assignment: What do you already know about
each of the following: Gangs, Vietnam, Vietnam War, What It
Means to Be An Immigrant from a War Torn Country.
- Students choose a topic and write a paragraph relating
the information they have already.
- Students read and class discusses responses orally.
2. Pass out map of Vietnam
and A Brief
History of Vietnam (website) or A
Brief History of Vietnam
- Have someone locate Vietnam on classroom map.
- Students read silently "A Brief History of Vietnam,"
highlighting or underlining key words and phrases.
- Homework: Write a summary of "A Brief History of Vietnam,"
using the key words and phrases.
3. Students watch the Power Point presentation: "Vietnam
Today" (source images http://www.farofflands.com/avpa/toc.html.)
(Twenty-five photos of country and city locations, timed at
eight seconds each)
- Students write a paragraph giving their impressions of
the visual representation of Vietnam today.
- Read some aloud if time.
4. Preview book:
- Students examine cover and offer predictions from illustration
on the front.
- Students read the back cover. Have them ask and answer
oral questions for points.
- Direct their attention to the number of pages and ask
them to help you calculate the number of pages that have
to be covered per day in the allotted time.
- Note: Reading the book in class affords certainty that
every one has read it,
5. Pass out Story
- Students use the list of eighteen words from the novel
to write a short story. Ask them to underline each. word
from the list that they use.
- Students share stories with partners.
- A few students share their or their partners' stories
with the class.
- Students make one word or short phrase guesses of what
each word predicts in the "Story Guess" column.
6. Teach Literary Term: Mood - emotion or feeling
connected to literary scene
- Read the Prologue aloud
- Ask students which words contribute to a mood in this
scene. Write them on board or overhead.
- What mood has been created?
- What expectation does this mood set up in the mind of
Homework: Choose an emotion. Brainstorm colors, textures,
weather descriptions that evoke that emotion. Use some of
these and other words to describe a scene in your house or
7. Pass out chart: Character
- Explain that there are two main characters in the book
and that you will be charting (i.e. notating pertinent or
proofs relevant to answering the essential question) each
of them to prepare to write an essay comparing the two as
immigrants from a war torn country. Danny Vo has been in
the United States for ten years and is turning sixteen.
His cousin Sang Le Ly is just arriving at the beginning
of the book and is already eighteen
8. Read the first chapter orally together. (After that,
you may wish to alternate reading silently and orally in class
as a whole or, for slower students, in small groups, and,
possibly, for homework.) Oral in class reading is best accomplished
as if it were a play. Assign parts. You may model the role
of narrator at first. "Narrators" do not read the
words explaining who spoke and sometimes skip small sentences.
The students will stumble from time to time but most will
do quite well with this.
- Chart any revealing notes or quotes about Danny and/or
Sang Le at the end of each reading segment throughout the
- Note; To assist slower students, at first, and from time
to time during the remainder of the reading, write the notes
and quotes on the board, overhead or Net TV. Students make
their own responses, but model some and ask students to
share theirs aloud.
- Note: The chart acknowledges that characterization takes
the form of action, dialogue, interior monologue, and description.
The teaching of these terms comes up soon.
- Brainstorm examples of symbols in our everyday lives.
- Explain that the students will illustrate symbolically
the main ideas and issues expressed every few chapters.
Note: I would suggest not more than three to four drawings
for the unit depending on available time.. Each drawing
takes about fifteen to twenty minutes.
- Brainstorm some symbols for topics in the first chapter.
Encourage students to combine symbols to communicate thoughts
- In groups students illustrate on small pieces of paper.
Oil-based crayons make excellent colors. Teacher may create
a patchwork quilt bulletin board of these by gluing them
to colored paper background.
Note: You may record point for these drawings on Symbolic
9. Pass out small strips of paper.
- Have students copy the following literary terms on the
paper, a term on one side, the definition on the other:
- characterization - the way the author creates a
- dialogue - talk between two or more characters
- interior monologue - thoughts of a character action
&150; what he or she does
- protagonist - ; main character
- antagonist - ; enemy of main character
- motivation - reason for action
- explication - introduces characters and setting
- conflict - opposing forces
- rising action - events leading to climax
- climax - main event to which lesser actions have
- denouement - closure, ending
- Model process of using slips of paper to memorize both
spelling and definitions by testing oneself. Allow time
to study with slips of paper in class. Provide paper clips
to take vocabulary home and prepare for upcoming test.
- Tell the students you may provide the definition and
expect the term or vice versa.
10. Read next page allotment. (The page allotment is flexible
dependant upon your own particular time blocks. I suggest
no more than 20-25 minutes of silent reading , no more than
15 uninterupted minutes oral reading and adjusting your pages
to the average that your class can handle. If your students
will read out of class, you can assign pages as homework.
Note: As you progress through the book the students will
chart more and more on their own, but slower students will
usually need suggestions.
11. Read to class children's book The Lotus Seed
by Sherry Garland. (Purchase at Amazon.com, etc. or borrow
- Read one page at a time once only. Students take notes
on main ideas. Have students share their notes as you go.
- Homework: Using notes, retell the story in your own words.
12. Read the next page allotment..
13. Introduce oral history project, Interview
of Knowledgeable Person
- Go over and assign due date for first draft to be edited
by teacher and/or peers.
14. Read the next page allotment.
15. Pass out Values
pdf file chart. This is adapted from a chart from Social
Studies, Personal Freedom, published by Teacher Created
Materials, Inc. pp 141, 606 Interdisciplinary Unit: Freedom.
Teachers may want to access the original or create their own.
- Students fill it out.
- Students locate two items that are related, e.g., friends
and family and have a high value. Then make up comparison
sentences using models on board, overhead or NetTV.
- Both_________and ____________are important to me.
- Just as___________is important to me, so is_____________.
- ____________is important to me. Similarly (In the same
way, In like manner),. I place a high value on____________.
- Neither ______________nor________________rate highly in
- Students next locate two items that are related but have
opposite or different values. Then make up comparison sentences
- While_________ is important to me, _____________is not.
- _______________is important to me; however (but, in contrast)
- In pairs, students compare charts and write more sentences
using above models.
16. Read next allotment of pages.
17. Watch "Good Morning, Vietnam" starring Robin
Note: This film features the "F" word, but it has no
sex, and the only violence is an incident of terrorism.
Questions for discussion:
- What hate crime occurs at the beginning of the movie?
- What does Adrian Cronauer, the disc jockey, first do to
defend his friend Thuan?
- What does Adrian do after that?
- What do Adrian's methods reveal about his personality?
- Who/what are the two oppositions to Adrian&146;s broadcasting?
- What are some of the affects of the occupation of a foreign
government on the culture of the country shown in this film?
- Why does Thuan, the brother of the girl Adrian likes,
at first oppose, then later support the romance?
- How does Thuan respond when Adrian calls him the enemy?
- Why does the U.S. government fire Adrian Cronauer?
- Do you have any examples of how the media controls our
These may be answered in small groups or as a whole class.
18. Read next allotment of pages.
Note: Remember to do symbolic drawings from time to time.
19. Pass out Martin
Luther King Quote
- This paper provides an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr.'s book "Strength to Love." In it, he
discusses hate and its antidote, love.
- Students "talk to text" as they read silently,
highlighting or underlining important phrases and commenting
- Quickwrite: Describe a situation in your life where love
either has or may in the future drive out hate.
20. Read next allotment of pages.
21. Superhero Project
Pass out and go over: Activist
Superhero Project: Group Plan
- Students go into groups and invent superheroes.
- Note: Counting off usually works well for group formation.
22. Read next allotment of pages.
23. Pass out and go over Story
- This handout contains a review of the elements of a story
and instructions for the group to assign the various stories
needed to establish the history and adventures of the socially
- Students return to groups and select story assignments.
24. Pass out and go over: Activist
Superhero Project: Individual Information Chart
pdf file Together students fill in individual charts in
groups for future reference.
25. Pass out and go over "Activist
Superhero Story Plan
- Homework: Students fill in outline for homework.
- Students turn plans for teacher suggestions/approval.
26. Read next allotment of pages.
28. Return "Activist
Superhero Story Plans
- Homework or in class on Alpha Smart keyboards, if available,
students write stories about their fictional heroes. Teacher
edits. Students edit, submit final drafts. Teacher runs
copies for groups.
29. Read next allotment of pages
30. Students design covers for Activist Superhero booklets,
including name and illustration of superheroes.
31. Read next allotment of pages.
32. Staple together booklets and read. Groups trade booklets.
33. Read next allotment of pages.
34. In small groups or as a class, share "Knowledgeable
35. Read next allotment of pages.
36. Poetry Analysis Vocabulary Students make study slips
for the following words preparing for upcoming test:
1. Speaker - voice that you hear (not necessarily
2. Occasion - event
3. Tone - attitude of the author toward
4. Theme - message or purpose
5. Oxymoron - two apparent opposites linked
to create new meaning: sweet sadness
37. Pass out Gangsta
pdf file by Coolio and "SOAPS"
pdf file chart
- Note: This rap is from the movie "Dangerous Minds."
It is free of profanity and professes a definite anti-gang
- Play the song and read along. (Probably one of your students
can provide a recording. It is by Coolio.)
- Students highlight or underline the words and phrases
that contribute to the dark mood and the anti-gang tone
of the rap.
- Students share what they have highlighted and underlined.
- Fill in together the SOAPS chart
S = Subject: Gangs
O = Occasion: A gangster reflecting on his lifestyle
A = Attitude = Tone, attitude of the author toward his
subject: Negative, critical
P = Purpose: Inform listener of the negative aspects
of gang life, introspection, taking stock of his life
S = Speaker: Gangster
- Homework: Pass out and go over "Outline
for Gangsta' Paradise Essay"
pdf file. Write an essay explaining the author's point
of view of gang life.
38. Read next allotment of pages:
- I do/do not believe in interracial romance because....
40. Read next allotment of pages.
41. Pass out and study poem, "Death
in Viet Nam
pdf file by Luis Omar Salinas
- Teach: ironic: surprising twist , sardonic:
- Vocabulary: tarnish, anguish, futile
- Have students silently "talk to text" with
- Ask students to share what they have noticed about the
- What is the subject of the poem?
- What is the tone of the poem?
- What sensory words bring the experience of the poem to
- Which lines or the climax of the poem? Which new vocabulary
word describes them?
- What is the meaning of "let all anguish be futile?"
And what is the tone of this question?
- Homework: Complete a "Say
pdf filechart for this poem.
- Students copy each line of poem in the "Say"
column, interpret it in the "Mean" column, and
give opinions in the "Matter" column.
42. Read final allotment of pages.
43. Using notes and quotes and novel, students fill in answers
Analysis: Danny Vo"
pdf fileand "Character
Analysis: Sang Le Ly."
- Do the first character together.
- Allot ten or fifteen minutes for students to do the second
character on their own.
- Go over answers orally to give slower students a chance
to catch up.
44. Students fill in Venn
pdf file comparing Sang Le and Danny.
45. CONCLUDING ASSIGNMENT: Students write an essay
that asks them to think critically about the particular circumstances
of immigrants as depicted in this novel. Pass out, go over
and fill in brief answers in the section titled Outline for
compare and contrast essay This is in preparation for the
46. Pass out and go over Compare
and Contrast: Key Words.
47. Students write essays on Alpha Smarts, if available,
in class or at home.
48. Students submit first draft for teacher or student editing,
depending on the needs of the class.
49. Photocopy and share an exemplary essay with the class.
Ask the class to explain the positive aspects of the essay.