Discovering Self: Bud, Not Buddy

Students learn about the Great Depression through the eyes of a ten-year-old African-American boy, analyzing themes of compassion, maturity and the idea of home, through the novel Bud Not Buddy.

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ELA

Unit 6

4th Grade

Unit Summary


In this historical fiction unit, students learn about the Great Depression through the eyes of a ten-year-old African-American boy by reading the core text Bud, Not Buddy. In Bud, Not Buddy, students join Bud on his quest to find his father. In doing so, students are exposed to what life was like during the Great Depression, especially for African-Americans. Over the course of the novel, students will grapple with lying, and if lying is always bad or if it can sometimes be a good thing, as they witness Bud lying as a way to survive. Students will also analyze and explore the idea of maturity and what it means to act one’s age versus acting more mature as Bud finds himself in situations most ten-year-olds will never experience. The theme of compassion and kindness also arises over the course of the novel. Students will analyze how the compassionate actions of others help Bud on his journey, while deepening their understanding of why it’s always important to help others, even when times are tough. It is our hope that this unit, in conjunction with the rest of the fourth-grade sequence, will help students develop empathy and understanding for the experiences of others.

As readers, this unit serves as the culminating unit for the year. Therefore, the majority of the unit focuses on spiraling strategies. Students should be pushed daily to summarize key events, analyze characters and setting, and figure out the meaning of unknown words. Students should also be pushed to use the information they learn from the nonfiction text about the Great Depression to confirm and deepen their understanding of what life was like during the Great Depression.

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

  • Book: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Laurel Leaf, 2014)   —  950L

Supporting Materials

Assessment


These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills.

Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit. Essential Tasks can be found in the following lessons:

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • What traits help people succeed in the face of challenge? 
  • Can a person be entirely self-sufficient? 
  • What was the Great Depression? How does the setting of the Great Depression influence the way the story unfolds? 

Vocabulary

Text-based

"on the lam" acquaintance confidential contaminated deny devour doze eviction exaggerate fidget foster fumbling glum grateful hard-headed ignorant income insist jolt judgmental kin meddling nourished nosy paltry privilege proper puny raid reputation resourceful retrieve revenge rightful scolding scoop scrawny starvation suffer symbolize temporary tolerate unemployment upbringing

Idiom/Cultural Reference

"in hot water" "spitting image" "talking someone's ear off"

Root/Affix

-ful -ment -tion in- un-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 6, view our 4th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Content Knowledge and Connections

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

RI.4.3
RI.4.7
RI.4.9
RL.4.2
RL.4.3
RL.4.4
RL.4.6
RL.4.9
SL.4.1
W.4.1
W.4.1.a
W.4.1.c
W.4.1.d
W.4.3

Supporting Standards

L.4.1
L.4.2
L.4.4
L.4.4.b
L.4.5
L.4.6
RF.4.3
RF.4.4
RL.4.1
RL.4.10
SL.4.4
W.4.4
W.4.5
W.4.6
W.4.9
W.4.10
W.4.10
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Unit 5

Taking a Stand: Shiloh

Dive Deeper This Summer

Dive Deeper This Summer

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