Lesson: Historical Fiction Character Actions: Bud, Not Buddy (Lesson 10)

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Lesson Objective

Readers notice when characters’ actions are connected to the setting

Lesson Plan

Lesson 10:


  • Identify character traits and cite exact textual support for the thoughts, words, and actions that reveal their personalities.
  • Determine the setting and the significance of the setting on the traits, feelings, and motivations


Big Idea: People are influenced by and react to their setting so you need to consider the setting carefully. Readers of historical fiction can use what they know about a setting to understand character actions, feelings, motivations, and traits to make predictions.


Teaching Point: Readers notice when characters’ actions are connected to the setting


Reading binders, pencils, copies of Bud, Not Buddy, OR handout


Reading Workshop Lesson:

  •  Readers, yesterday we discussed the traits of a new character, Lefty Lewis. Today, we are going to read Chapter 12 and discuss how Lefty Lewis’s words, thoughts, and actions are connected to the setting of the book.  
  • [Read to the middle of page 131.] Who can tell the class what a telegram is? Can we figure out what it is using clues from this page?
  • [Read to the first paragraph on page 133.] Why does Lefty Lewis tell Bud to do exactly as he says?
  • [Read to page 135 – stop where Lefty says, “I always thought the boy was unusually handsome.”] Why does Lefty lie to the officer? Does Lefty seem like a dishonest person? Not really – so why is he lying now? [Take a few predictions, then read the next paragraph. See if students have other thoughts after reading that paragraph.]
  • [Read to the end of page 137.] What do you think is in the box? [Take predictions and push students to back up their predictions with details about the setting or the events in the chapter.]
  • [Read to the break on page 139.] Now we’ve learned some new things about the setting in Michigan in 1936. Besides segregation and the depression, what else is going on? [Call on a student to explain that people in some jobs are trying to form unions but that it is illegal.] Now that we know a little more about the setting, can we explain why Lefty Lewis was dishonest to the police officer? [T&T, then share out.]
  • [Read to the end of the chapter. Maybe stop at the top of page 143, where it mentions to Ku Klux Klan. Take predictions throughout.]
  • Scholars, in your independent reading, you should stop when a character does something unusual. In historical fiction, this might mean that the character is reacting to something important in the book’s setting.  
  • We have another OR today, and again we are going to write a short paragraph with three parts: a topic sentence, a direct quotation from the text, and elaboration connecting the quotation to the topic sentence. Here is today’s question [put up and read aloud]: How does Herman Calloway react when Bud says that he is looking for his father?  

You may want to start letting students write their paragraphs in pairs or independently. I would have mine mark their direct quotation with a post-it note so that I can approve it, then have them write the paragraph independently. I would push my stronger pairs of students to find 2 or 3 pieces of evidence that support their topic sentence instead of just one.

Lesson Resources

Chapter 12 - Open Response.docx  


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