Discovering Self: Bud, Not Buddy

Lesson 20

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Describe what Bud realizes in this chapter and what effect it has on him.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis  — Ch. 14

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Target Task


Multiple Choice

Read the sentence from p. 172. “I was smiling and laughing and busting my gut so much that I got carried away and some rusty old valve squeaked open in me.” What does the phrase rusty old valve describe in this sentence?

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Which details from the text best support the answer to Part A?

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Writing Prompt

“All of a sudden, I knew that of all the places in the world I’d ever been in this was the one. That of all the people I’d ever met these were the ones. This was where I was supposed to be.” (p. 172)

What does Bud mean when he describes the place as “the one” and the people as “the ones”? What makes him finally feel like he has found his real home?

Sample Response


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Key Questions


Think about the way Miss Thomas treats Bud. How does it make Bud feel? Why is he surprised by the way she is treating him? How is it different than how he has been treated in other places?
Close read pp. 172-174. Why does Bud think that they are "the ones"? Why is Bud crying? What does this signify?
What effect does Bud's realization have on him? Why did he react this way?
Debate. Bud could have felt at home in any place where people were nice to him.



upbringing     (n.)

the way a child is raised

acquaintance     (n.)

a person that you know but isn't a close friend

proper     (adj.)

to be correct according to social or moral rules

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

Get recommendations on pacing and lesson structure, as well as suggestions for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Download Sample

Common Core Standards

  • RL.4.3 — Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Spiral Standards