Analyzing Story Elements in the book Bud, Not Buddy

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SWBAT construct a character sketch after analyzing story elements (plot, character, setting, point of view) while referring to textual evidence from chapters 1 - 8 in the book Bud, Not Buddy.

Big Idea

The students will use a graphic organizer to construct a character sketch in order to introduce the main character, Bud. They will provide textual evidence to support their description of Bud.


1 minutes


4 minutes

I begin the lesson by asking my scholars, "How would you like to take a trip back in time?"  I tell them today we'll do just that!  We will explore a period in American history called The Great Depression.  The Great Depression was a time of great economic hardship and struggle for people in America.  Next, I play a short Brainpop video on the "Great Depression."  (Click here to watch video.)

(You may play the video "Great Depression."  The video is useful to build background knowledge for students relative to topics addressed in the book Bud, Not Buddy (i.e., riding the rails, unions, unemployment, African American music, etc.).  Please be sure to take the graded quiz as a whole class after watching the video.  It is a great check for understanding for students. If you do not have a account, please locate another short motivational video on the Internet to provide students with some context relative to The Great Depression.)

Book Discussion

30 minutes

(Students should have already read chapters 1 - 8 in Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis).

As part of our two week unit on Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, I now have my scholars to use Accountable Talk practices (distribute Accountable Talk handouts to scholars) to do a book discussion of chapters 1-8 of Bud, Not Buddy. (See attached Powerpoint presentation to guide book discussion.) (Use Think-Pair-Share and whole group discussion).  By exploring the characters, character traits, setting, plot, and point of view, my students are able to get a detailed understanding of the book Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  During the book discussion, I incorporate text-based questions as well as Tier 2 vocabulary to enhance my students' understanding.


Independent Practice

20 minutes

As independent practice, I now have my students to complete a character analysis graphic organizer for Bud. Afterwards, they use their completed graphic organizer to write a one paragraph character sketch paragraph for Bud.  I have found that my struggling readers sometimes move through a text without stopping to make connections based on their own background knowledge and experiences.  By having my students to complete a character analysis and character sketch for Bud, they are able to connect to the text on various levels (text to self, text to (other) text, text to world) to aid in their understanding.


5 minutes

To close this lesson, I ask my scholars to take 5 minutes to create 5 questions they would ask Bud if given the opportunity.  This activity helps my students to connect with the character Bud and hone their naturally inquisitive nature.

Homework:  Students are to read chapters 9 - 11 in Bud, Not Buddy.

Please be sure to continue the Bud, Not Buddy two week unit with the next lesson Bud, Not Buddy Jeopardy (Chapters 1-8).