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Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

Age Range/Grade: 7-10; Gr. 1-Gr. 5

Theme: Family; unconditional love; trust

People may not look alike, but they can still care about one another and create a kind of family. Even when they come from different places, people usually have more in common than we think.

Introduce the Cover

 

Question: What is the relationship between the people? What are the boys wearing? When do people usually dress like this?

Predict: What do you think this book will be about?

Pause at...

Inside cover, Title page

Point to...

The fan; the window; the neighborhood

Ponder...

Where are they/Where are they going?

Talk about...

What time of year is it? What makes you think so?

Pause at...

Pages 2-3

Point to...

Gramma's hands; "slow thunder and sweet rain"

Ponder...

Why does Miss Eula sigh when she looks at the hats? 

Talk about...

Imagine slow thunder and sweet rain. Is this a nice sound, or a scary sound? What makes you think so?

Pause at...

Pages 4-5

Point to...

The food on the plates; the photographs in the background.

Ponder...

What kind of food are they eating? Who is in the pictures

Talk about...

Why did the author use photos and not drawings for the pictures in the frames?  

Pause at...

Pages 6-7

Point to...

"a lot more than this"

Ponder...

Is the hat expensive? 

Talk about...

Why do they think Mr. Kodinski is mean? Why is it "worth a try anyway?"

Pause at...

Pages 8-9

Point to...

"flew;" "yelled;" "shouted"

Ponder...

The author repeats these words. Why? Is something nice or something scary happening?

Talk about...

Explain what happened. Why are the big boys drawn as dark shadows?

Pause at...

Pages 10-11

Point to...

The items on the table: hands, bible, photo

Ponder...

How is everyone feeling? Why?

Talk about...

How do the words "believe," "heaven," and "truth" connect to the objects on the table?

Pause at...

Pages 12-13

Point to...

Eggs

Ponder...

Talk about...

What did the rain provide for the boat?

Pause at...

Pages 12-13

Point to...

Eggs

Ponder...

Predict what they are planning.

Talk about...

Describe different ways eggs are used. What is the author making you think about?

Pause at...

Pages 14-15

Point to...

"my bubbie"

Ponder...

Who is bubbie? What does "the old country" mean?

Talk about...

Why were they still afraid?

Pause at...

Pages 16-17

Point to...

The decorations on the eggs; the needle on his shirt; his hat and clothes

Ponder...

How does Mr. Kodinski's attitude change? Where is he from?

Talk about...

Why does he think they have courage? The story uses different words for grandma and courage. Why?

Pause at...

Pages 18-19

Point to...

"It's almost Easter"

Ponder...

Describe what happens at Easter.

Talk about...

The first time the author mentioned eggs, they were used badly. How are they used now?

Pause at...

Pages 20-21

Point to...

The sign by the egg basket.

Ponder...

Where is Ukraine? 

Talk about...

Who is in the shop? Are they similar or different from each other?

Pause at...

Pages 22-23

Point to...

"gift-wrapped"

Ponder...

Explain what Mr. Kodinski did.

Talk about...

What is a gift? How many gifts are in this story?

Pause at...

Pages 24-25

Point to...

Hugging in the chair

Ponder...

Miss Eula is crying. Is she happy or sad?

Talk about...

What does it mean to say "our hearts would burst"?

Pause at...

Pages 26-27

Point to...

"slow thunder and sweet rain"

Ponder...

How do the people feel?

Talk about...

What clues helped you answer that question?

Pause at...

Pages 28-29

Point to...

"deep, holy place"

Ponder...

Will she really eat chicken soup from her grave? 

Talk about...

How are eggs and chickens related?

Pause at...

Pages 30

Point to...

"hear singing"

Ponder...

What do they really hear?

Talk about...

When did this story happen?

Furthering the Conversation

Think about the title. Why is the story called Chicken Sunday? Why does the story take place around Easter? What does "community" mean? 

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