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An Educator's Guide to the novel, The Good Braider

by Thomas Talarico | 27 Dec 2013
Resource Description: The Good Braider by Terry Farish chronicles the life of a teenage refugee girl from what is now South Sudan to Portland, Maine. The novel depicts the struggles associated with fleeing one's homeland, adjusting to life in a new culture, and the hard earned resilience needed to survive. This ALA Best Book for Young Adults is an important contribution to the genre of literature that documents the lives of refugees around the world. This educator's guide is appropriate for English language learners. It consists of a character list, suggested vocabulary words and a model for teaching them, comprehension questions, and ideas for further exploration. 
Audience: Adult, Secondary, Teacher Training, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced
Duration: 2 -3 class periods
Language Skill: Reading
Content Area: Literature, social studies, life skills, 
Objective(s): Students will become familiar with key vocabulary, develop comprehension skills, and read a story of profound personal resilience. 
Outcome(s): Students will develop fluency and sense of competence in reading in English. They will read a novel that is relevant to the adjustment experiences of immigrants and refugees. Selected passages of the book will serve as a mentor text for student writing. 
Procedure: It is important for the teacher to pre-read the novel. The story is told in verse.  This educator's guide can be adapted to focus on particular verses that could be read aloud, discussed, or used as mentor text for writing. This is a short novel that can be read aloud with pauses as the teacher poses the comprehension questions or as students create the vocabulary table. 
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TESOL Interest Section: Refugee Concerns, Teacher Education