Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 493
1. This story is perfect as a springboard for individual and group research on the Depression era. Addressing selected topics such as the stock market crash of 1929, unemployment, soup kitchens, hobo jungles, the dust bowl, or President Roosevelt's many government projects, students may make use of the library, newspaper reports, films, and photo documentaries to compile their reports.
2. Have students interview older family members and friends for their memories of the Great Depression. Interviews could become an oral history collection and bound into book form.
3. Research the music of the Depression. Guiding questions: How did jazz originate? What distinguished jazz from other forms of music? Who were some of the outstanding jazz musicians of the day? What relationship does jazz have to today's music? What other forms of music were popular in the thirties?
4. Choose one of the minor characters to develop more fully and extend the story. For instance, speculate about what happened to Bugs. Where did Deza Malone and her family go after the destruction of the Hooverville? What was Jerry's experience in the foster home to which he was sent?
5. Have students respond in their reading journals to the topic of Bud as a homeless child. Guiding questions: What emotions, feelings, or mental images did his situation evoke for you? How does Bud's plight compare to homelessness in society today? If you had been in Bud's place, what would you have done?
6. Do an Internet search on author Christopher Paul Curtis, his life and work.
7. As a group project, develop a story map of Bud's travels from Flint to Grand Rapids.
8. As a group project, have students create an open mind portrait of one of the adult characters such as Miss Thomas, Herman E. Calloway, Mr. Jimmy, or Steady Eddie. Mrs. Amos might be a good subject as well.
9. As a group project, have students create a sketch to stretch...
(The entire section contains 493 words.)
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