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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Core

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This month, I’ve been reading Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson as I try to decide which final book to read as part of novel study for the grade 7 students I’m teaching this year. It’s a beautiful book.

As I was reading, I got an email from Facing History & Ourselves about teaching Brown Girl Dreaming and downloaded the lesson. In the article, it listed some of essential questions to help students reflect on their own coming-of-age experiences, and the questions resonated with me and remind me of the types of questions we use in affinity spaces.

I have decided that I’m going to share a few poems from Brown Girl Dreaming with the students but we won’t read the whole book mostly because, as Canadians, the students don’t yet have enough knowledge and context about American history. But I really appreciated the resource and I will use some of the questions from Facing History & Ourselves to guide our discussions about "the many complex factors that influence their identities and choices:

  1. What individuals and experiences have shaped my beliefs about myself and the world around me?

  2. How is each one of us connected to the past? How does history and the legacy of past generations influence who I am today?

  3. How do the acts of reading, writing, and storytelling impact the way I understand myself and make sense of the world around me?"

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