Lesson: Historical Fiction Afterword: Bud, Not Buddy (Lesson 17)

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Lesson Objective

It is common in historical fiction for the author to include an “afterword” that emphasizes the important things the reader should learn about the book’s setting.

Lesson Plan

Lesson 17:


Big Idea: Authors write historical fiction to show the reader what it was like to live in a certain time period.  Readers can use historical fiction to learn about new settings. 


Teaching Point: It is common in historical fiction for the author to include an “afterword” that emphasizes the important things the reader should learn about the book’s setting.


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


Reading Workshop Lesson:

  • Readers, most of you have noticed that there are pictures in the back and some more words.  Today, we are going to focus on that part. 
  • Open up to page 237.  This section is called an afterword because it includes the words that the author wanted to make sure to tell you after the story is over.  This is not part of the story.  The narrator will not be Bud.  Instead, in an afterword, the author usually speaks directly to the reader. 
  • Read first paragraph and then stop.  Readers, did you see how this is written by Christopher Paul Curtis and he is talking to you as the reader about the story, but this isn’t part of the story.  In the story the word “I” referred to Bud because Bud was the narrator, but here “I” refers to Christopher Paul Curtis because he is the narrator here.  So now let’s read the whole thing and think about why he decided to write this part.
  • Read the whole afterword and then ask them why he included this.  Pretty obvious because he is directly telling you the point in the last paragraph.  
  • Wait, even that isn’t the end of the book!  The rest of the stuff here was included by the editor of the book.  It has questions about the book.  Why do you think the editor included those questions?
  • Then there is an interview with the author.  Why do you think the editor included this?  This does seem pretty interesting because I am curious how he wrote this, so I am going to read this part, too.
  • Readers, when you have books, notice if there is anything that is included after the story ends.  Most books don’t have anything like this, but some books do, and when your book does, you should think about why the author or editor included it.
  • We have one more OR for this book. This is the last time we are going to be writing these very short paragraphs. With our next book, we will be writing full paragraphs with 3 or 4 direct quotations each, so this is your chance to show that you understand the structure of an OR: topic sentence, direct quotation, elaboration. If you know that, then writing longer ORs will be much easier.  Here is today’s question [put up and read aloud]: According to Christopher Paul Curtis, why was entertainment important during the depression? Differentiate support among students working independently, in pairs, and with teacher support.


Lesson Resources

Afterword - Open Response.docx  


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