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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Teacher Guide by Anna Warfield

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Middle School Category!

Student Activities for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Include:

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor tells the story of the Logan family as they try to keep their land in a predominantly-white, rural town in Mississippi. Young Cassie Logan struggles with the way things are, and the way things should be for black people in her community. Mildred D. Taylor won the Newbery Award in 1977 for this work of historical fiction, which is based on the experiences of her own family.

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!




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Essential Questions for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

  1. Why is racism so deeply rooted in Great Faith, and the South in general?
  2. How does the Logan family defy society?
  3. What are some of the parallels between the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the actions of the Logan Family?
  4. How do we affect change in our community and our society?
  5. How does Taylor use dialect and local details to make her story relatable and authentic?
  6. How does poverty affect people as individuals? The social structure?

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Plot Diagram


Copy Assignment



A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a story. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of the structure of the story.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a work with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the book in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

As an alternative or extension activity, students could focus on some of the subplots in the story, such as T.J.’s full story, or Cassie and her struggle against Lillian Jean Simms.



Example Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Plot Diagram

Exposition

Cassie and her brothers live in Great Faith, Mississippi in 1933, with Mama and Big Ma, Cassie's grandmother. Stacey is nearly 13, Cassie is 9, Christopher John is 7, and Little Man is 6 years old.


Conflict

The two Wallace brothers burn Mr. Perry and his two nephews. One nephew dies and the other two are severely burned. The Wallaces brag about the horrible act among their friends, but are not arrested. They also allow kids to drink and dance behind their store.


Rising Action

After Stacey and T.J.'s fight at the Wallaces', Mama tries to convince the people of the town to boycott the Wallaces' store. With the backing of the white lawyer, Mr. Jamison, Papa and Mr. Morrison travel to Vicksburg to buy supplies for many families.


Climax

Mr. Granger is angling to buy the Logan land, and is upset that the Logans have forgotten their "place". Mama is fired from her job, Papa is shot on one of his trips, and suddenly the property mortgage becomes due in full. They turn to Hammer for help.


Falling Action

R.W. and Melvin Simms frame T.J. for a break-in and murder at the store. The Wallaces and the Simms brothers drag T.J. and his family outside and threaten to lynch T.J


Resolution

T.J.'s lynching is abandoned as everyone - both black and white - works together to put out the fire in the cotton fields. Cassie comes to realize that Papa started the fire to avoid further bloodshed.


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Plot Diagram
Create your own at Storyboard That EXPOSITION CONFLICT RISING ACTION CLIMAX FALLING ACTION RESOLUTION Cassie and her brothers live in Great Faith, Mississippi in 1933, with Mama and Big Ma, Cassie's grandmother. Stacey is nearly 13, Cassie is 9, Christopher John is 7, and Little Man is 6 years old. The two Wallace brothers burn Mr. Perry and his two nephews. One nephew dies and the other two are severely burned. The Wallaces brag about the horrible act among their friends, but are not arrested. They also allow kids to drink and dance behind their store. After Stacey and T.J.'s fight at the Wallaces', Mama tries to convince the people of the town to boycott the Wallaces' store. With the backing of the white lawyer, Mr. Jamison, Papa and Mr. Morrison travel to Vicksburg to buy supplies for many families. Mr. Granger is angling to buy the Logan land, and is upset that the Logans have forgotten their "place". Mama is fired from her job, Papa is shot on one of his trips, and suddenly the property mortgage becomes due in full. They turn to Hammer for help. RW and Melvin Simms frame T.J. for a break-in and murder at the store. The Wallaces and the Simms brothers drag T.J. and his family outside and threaten to lynch T.J. T.J.'s lynching is abandoned as everyone - both black and white - works together to put out the fire in the cotton fields. Cassie comes to realize that Papa started the fire to avoid further bloodshed.