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May 10

Newbery Medal winner Christopher Paul Curtis was born in 1953.

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Newbery Medal winner Christopher Paul Curtis was born in 1953.

Grades 3 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Christopher Paul Curtis, born in Flint, Michigan, in 1953, has earned high praise for his first two novels. Bud, Not Buddy won both the Newbery and Coretta Scott King Medals in 2000 and several other literary awards. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 was a 1996 Newbery Honor Award winner. Curtis continues to write about engaging, interesting characters, and published his most recent book, Mr Chickee's Messy Mission, in 2007.




In The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, Curtis examines America's stuggle for civil rights, through the eyes of a family that gets caught up in the turmoil of 1963. Have your students explore a civil rights issue by writing poetry, using the Acrostic Poems interactive. First, as a class, brainstorm a list of civil rights issues, notable figures, places, and events from American history. Examples could include Birmingham, Martin Luther King, Jr., segregation, and Rosa Parks. Then have students use the Acrostic Poems interactive to create their poems.

If you do not have access to the Internet, students can create acrostic poems without using the interactive. First, have each student select a topic for his or her poem. Next, ask them to brainstorm a list of key words that describe or remind them of their topic. Then have students use the list of words they generated to help them write their poems.





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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Graphing Plot and Character in a Novel

In this graphical mapping project, students assign a value to the events, characters, and themes in a novel and think about how the elements of the story are all interconnected.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Press Conference for Bud, Not Buddy

Students read Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, demonstrate comprehension of the story by involving themselves in discussions, and analyze the characters in preparation for a class "press conference."


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Every Punctuation Mark Matters: A Minilesson on Semicolons

Students analyze stylistic choices and grammar use in authentic writing, focusing on the use of the semicolon in Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail."