Teach Diversity, Lesson Plans for Running the Road to ABC

If you are teaching a lesson on diversity or just want to expose your child to different cultures and traditions, Running the Road to ABC is a delightful story with many opportunities to teach language concepts, vocabulary and inference. I just used it with a third grade student with language processing difficulties.

  • Have your student compare their school experience with that of the children in the book (how they get to school, importance, their lunch, backpacks, clothes, food,  physical structure). Even the children’s names are different.
  • What does it mean that the roosters are still dreaming when moms wake their children up for school?
  • Look at the foods they eat for breakfast–are any familiar to you? Look up the others and see what they are.
  • What does it mean, “their feet remember the way in the dark” to school?
  • Why are the kids running to school?
  • What does it mean, “Their legs take cold showers of morning dew on the weeds along the narrow  trails?”
  • What happens to the bugs sleeping on the road?
  • Why do local folks step aside when the kids approach?
  • What do the children see and hear on their road to school? What do you see and hear on the way to school in the morning?
  • How is their running over the sweet-potato mounds “like fish dancing with sea waves?”
  • What do you dash across, leap over and climb?
  • Why do the children check to see if “the sun is still asleep?” What does this tell them? Why are they happy about that?
  • Why do they hurry if the sky becomes “the color of honey?”
  • Why are sunlight and shade their only clocks?
  • What makes you up in the morning and gets you to school on time?
  • What evidence is there that the town is waking up too? What do they see?
  • Why are the horse tamers the only ones to keep up with them?
  • Why don’t the kids complain about the long run to school over rocky, rough terrain?
  • Why don’t they stop when they get injured?
  • What do they do if they are injured?
  • What does it mean to run on the shadow of another child? Draw a picture to illustrate this.
  • What do the children think about as they run?
  • What motivated the children to come to school?
  • Where did the author get the ideas for his story? Where did he grow up and go to school?
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