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Donny Morrison

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A Literary Leaf for The Undefeated


KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 4

Literary Theme: Finding Freedom

Author(s): Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 15-session Literary Leaf for The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson which covers all aspects of the Lower Key Stage 2 content domains.  Children will begin by examining their understanding of black history in America and how their previous knowledge fits with new historical facts they are presented with.  Through the series of lessons children will consider definitions of key terms in context and discover poetic conventions and how they often link with music.  There will be opportunities for children to practise answering retrieval, inference and summarising questions, as well as to express their opinions about the particular events presented through the text.  There are also extension tasks which could lead to additional writing outcomes.

Synopsis of Text:

We chose this text as a Literary Leaf as it presents children with an essential opportunity to study a particular period in black history. This is a powerful and important ode to black history: the strength and bravery of everyday people and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest artists, athletes, and activists.  With references to lyrics and lines originally shared by our most celebrated heroes, this poem digs into the not-so-distant past to underline the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

Links to Curriculum areas, other Literary Leaves and Planning Sequences:

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold (Y4 planning sequence in the Literary Curriculum) would be an ideal text to teach this alongside.

Black history, America, Civil Rights Movement, faith

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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