Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Age 10-12: Concept 3 - Change: Unit 2

Who knew that just walking to school could be a terrible experience? The Wallace children are tormented and disrespected by many in the community just because they are black Americans. Follow the struggles of this farming family in Mississippi during the 1930s. No matter how hard the family works or how independent they try to be, they are constantly facing discriminatory practices and having to make tough choices about how to respond to injustice. Examine the need for a Civil Rights Movement in order to make America a land of opportunity for all people. Explore a variety of strategies for expanding sentences to make them more informative and engaging. Improve writing through a book report focused on sentence structure, voice, and word choice.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the sixth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: School's In
  • Lesson 2: A Visitor
  • Lesson 3: The Bus
  • Lesson 4: T.J.
  • Lesson 5: The Market
  • Lesson 6: Uncle Hammer
  • Lesson 7: Christmas
  • Lesson 8: Taking a Stand
  • Lesson 9: Papa's Accident
  • Lesson 10: Revival
  • Lesson 11: Trouble
  • Final Project: Unit Test and Presentation for Change (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts. (Language Arts)
  • Combine and rearrange sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Compose a variety of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama on a variety of topics in a variety of formats, including business letters. (Language Arts)
  • Connect and clarify main ideas by identifying their relationships to other sources and related topics. (Language Arts)
  • Critique the credibility of characterization and the degree to which a plot is contrived or realistic. (Language Arts)
  • Deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly. (Language Arts)
  • Deliver oral responses to literature that summarize significant events and details and articulate an understanding of several ideas or images communicated by the literary work. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression by using phrases and clauses correctly. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words by using context clues and/or a dictionary. (Language Arts)
  • Develop and apply appropriate criteria to evaluate the quality of the communication by considering the implications, consequences, or impact of those conclusions. (Language Arts)
  • Develop drafts by using an appropriate organizational strategy and building on ideas to create a focused, organized, and coherent piece of writing. (Language Arts)
  • Edit and revise manuscripts to improve the meaning and focus of writing by adding, deleting, consolidating, clarifying, and rearranging words and sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Edit drafts for grammar, mechanics, and spelling. (Language Arts)
  • Emphasize salient points to assist the listener in following the main ideas and concepts. (Language Arts)
  • Explore a variety of sources from which information may be attained. (Language Arts)
  • Extend vocabulary knowledge by learning and using new words. (Language Arts)
  • Follow multiple-step instructions for preparing applications (e.g., for a public library card, bank savings account, sports club, league membership). (Language Arts)
  • Follow multiple-step instructions for preparing applications (e.g., for a public library card, bank savings account, sports club, league membership). (Language Arts)
  • Identify and correctly use prepositional phrases and independent and dependent clauses. (Language Arts)
  • In written pieces, include simple and compound sentences and improve transitions by adding, deleting, combining, and rearranging sentences or larger units of text. (Language Arts)
  • Listen actively and critically by asking questions and delving more deeply into the topic. (Language Arts)
  • Plan a first draft by selecting a genre appropriate for conveying the intended meaning to an audience. (Language Arts)
  • Produce work that follows the conventions of particular genres (e.g., essay, feature story, business letter). (Language Arts)
  • Read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize dialect and conversational voice and explain how authors use dialect to convey character. (Language Arts)
  • Revise drafts to clarify meaning and enhance style. (Language Arts)
  • Support opinions with detailed evidence and with visual or media displays that use appropriate technology. (Language Arts)
  • Use a variety of preliminary strategies to plan and organize the writing and speaking task considering purpose, audience, and timeline. (Language Arts)
  • Use complete simple and compound sentences with correct subject-verb agreement. (Language Arts)
  • Use conjunctions to connect ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Use critical thinking skills to evaluate print and non-print materials. (Language Arts)
  • Use effective rate, volume, pitch, and tone and align nonverbal elements to sustain audience interest and attention. (Language Arts)
  • Use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. (Language Arts)
  • Use semicolons to connect independent clauses and commas when linking two clauses with a conjunction in compound sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Use simple, compound, and compound-complex sentences; use effective coordination and subordination of ideas to express complete thoughts. (Language Arts)
  • Write formal and informal letters that convey ideas, include important information, demonstrate a sense of closure, and use appropriate conventions (e.g., date, salutation, closing). (Language Arts)
  • Write persuasive letters. (Language Arts)
  • Write research reports about important ideas, issues, or events. (Language Arts)
  • Write responses to literary or expository texts. (Language Arts)
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