2017-2018 Intermediate (Gr3-5) DQ’s

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

September: Book Uncle and Me

  1. What are some of the ways that Yasmin’s community is the same as yours? What are some of the ways that it is different?
  2. What lessons does Yasmin learn about politics, activism, and standing up for someone who is being unfairly treated?
  3. Yasmin has a goal of reading one book each day. What are your goals for reading this year? Where does Yasmin get her books to read? Where do you get your books to read?

September: Juana & Lucas

  1. What are some of the ways that Juana’s community is the same as yours?  What are some of the ways that it is different?
  2. How do the illustrations and text features (like the wrapped text, the bold words, and the labels on the character pages) add to the story?
  3. What are some of the challenges Juana faces and how does she overcome these challenges? What challenges have you faced?

October: I Am Not a Number

  1. Pre-read: Why do you think it is it important for people to share their stories/experiences?
  2. What are some of the ways that Irene and the others are being denied their identity?
  3. How do the illustrations help to tell the story? Do you think the story would have been the same without the illustrations?
  4. Is this part of history new to you? Read the afterward. Why is it important to share this history?

October: In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

  1. What causes Jimmy and his grandfather to start their road trip?
  2. Grandpa Nyles and Jimmy point out that the battle has a different name than they have given it (page 49). Why are there different names?
  3. What does Jimmy learn about himself through this road trip with his grandfather?

November: Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist

  1. How do the author and illustrator describe sound in the book?  How would you describe – with words, images, action — a sound you hear around you?
  2. Why do you think Juan Esquivel was called a space-age sound artist?
  3. How did Esquivel make old styles of music new? How does the illustrator of the book make old styles of art new?

November: The Sound of All Things

  1. How does the boy describe sounds for his father?  How would you describe a sound you hear around you?
  2. The librarian helps the boy find a strategy for describing sounds. What is the strategy and how do the librarian and the boy develop this strategy?
  3. In what ways does the boy grow or change because he is the interpreter for his parents?

December: Shadows of Sherwood

  1. What is a dystopian story? What are some elements of dystopian stories that you can find in this novel?
  2. What lessons does Robin learn about herself and the world around her?
  3. Do you think Robin is selfish? Why or why not?

December: A Boy Named Queen

  1. What lessons do Evelyn and Queen learn about friendship?
  2. How are Queen’s and Evelyn’s families alike and different?
  3. How might this story be continued?

January: A Poem for Peter

  1. How did Ezra’s responsibilities for his family affect his career?
  2. Why was/is Peter such an important character for so many children?
  3. Who and what supported Ezra’s dreams? Who supports your dreams?

January: Freedom over Me

  1. Which person stands out to you the most?  Why?
  2. Why does the author feel it was important to create stories and dreams for the people on a receipt?
  3. What do you notice about the illustrations on each page?

February: Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White

  1. What makes the style of this biography unique?
  2. How do the illustrations and text work together or separately to tell the reader about E.B. White, his life, and his writing?
  3. What kind of child was E.B. White? What were some of his experiences, interests and/or fears?
  4. What do you notice about his writing and revision process (pages 87 to 91)? How did this influence his writing as an adult?

February: Catching a Story Fish

  1. “Knowing someone’s story is one way to put an end to a lot of trouble in the world.” (pg. 152). What does that quote mean to you?
  2. Relationships are very important in this story. How do they help Keet find her voice again?
  3. Use the “Poetry Glossary” (pg. 219) to find out more about different types of poetry.
  4. What type of poetry would you use to tell your story?

March: Giant Squid

  1. How does the illustrator keep the squid mysterious?
  2. What did you learn about the giant squid? What do you still want to know?
  3. Look at the diagram at the end. List three adaptations of the giant squid.

March: When the Sea Turned to Silver

  1. What examples of foreshadowing can you find in the story?
  2. What makes storytelling so valuable?
  3. What folklore do you recognize in the novel?

April: Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

  1. Which poem do you like the best? Why?
  2. How do you think the form of a poem impacts its message?
  3. Where else have you seen concrete poetry?

April: Ada Lovelace: Poet of Science

  1. How do you think this story would have been different if Ada was a man?
  2. How do imagination and science work together in Ada’s life? Can you think of other examples of how imagination and science work together?
  3. Read the “Author’s Notes” and “Controversy”. Why have most people never heard of Ada Lovelace?

May: Garvey’s Choice

  1. Do you think the poetry makes this story easier or more difficult to read? What do you think are the benefits of writing and reading a story-in-verse? How do you think the book would be different if it were not told in verse?
  2. How do Garvey and Joe (and Manny) keep their friendship strong?
  3. How do Garvey’s friends and family shape him, and how does Garvey shape them?

May: One Half from the East

  1. Why does Obayda/Obayd feel it iss so much better to be a boy?  How do other family members feel?
  2. Why would/does the practice of bacha posh exist?
  3. How does the experience of being a bacha posh empower Obayda and how does she use these lessons to empower others?
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