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Teacher ResourcesSecret Life of Bees
Civil Rights and African-American Identity

Summary of the book in English

Summary of the book in French
Summary of the book in Spanish

1. African American Culture and stories: see-attached lesson, pages_107-109 and page 142__
2.Racism in the South, Civil Rights Movement (connected with above), pages_19-21____

Adults (Intermediate-Advanced) and/or Teens: Summarize the book and references to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, hardships faced by characters in the book or from other texts.
1. Pre teach Vocabulary from the book and the other selections in the Lark Kit
2. Making the connection between Racism and Immigrant issues helps to build on possible student ‘s experiences with prejudice or schema.
3. Famous African-Americans using the book, Freedom Like the Sunlight
Praise Songs for Black Americans 22843, by J. Patrick Lewis, show the class famous black Americans, discuss who they are and their contributions to American culture. (Attached worksheets for writing practice)
4. These lessons can be done in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day or black history month (Feb). (Beginner + lesson attached)
5. Grammar and speech: This topic lends itself to learning the past tense, or pronunciation and how it differs from region to region. Pull out some uniquely southern words or “southern black expressions.”

Younger children and school aged (K-grade 8) or Beginner to Beginner + Adults:
1. Using the Book, Africans in America and the CD with Martin Luther King’s speech you could read or talk about the march on Washington or more simply, “who is MLK?”. Then parents and children could work on the attached Wheel Activity. Initially using sentence strips, write out some of the key phrases from MLK’s speech to use on the wheel.
2. Being Treated Equally Activity (attached) with food can work well with Kindergarten- aged kids and their parents. First, explain to parents what the intentions of the lesson are. Try it with an adult group first.
3. Music- teach the group one of the African-American spirituals or popular songs.

Alternate themes: some selected text
1. Pop culture and events of the 1960’s, pages_112-113, 166_
2. Adolescence: feelings and difficulties, pages128 and 129, chapter 13_
3. Mothers and Daughters: relationships (can be connected with above), pages_136 and 137_

Grade 6-8 and/or adults only: Listening and Speaking Game
With any of the Themes and older children and Intermediate adults
Using the book, The Secret Life of Bees, older children and adults can read the selected passages or a summary of the book. You can do this exercise in the group’s native language or stick to English. It depends on the level of English Adults speak.

Index Cards
A container
Chairs set up in a circle-
1-2 teachers to write words and track who said what
Sentence strips or lined paper (writing - for later)

• Talk about the references to pop culture of the 1960’s, or what happened to Rosaleen in town, and the events of the period. Write on cards selected words from the discussion. Remind everyone to listen carefully to the others in the group. On another sheet of paper write down the word and who said what. You don’t need to remember everything they said in connection to the word because that will come out later when you go back to that person to repeat their words.
• To get students warmed up, you can take the cards with the words, which are pulled from the conversation and play a game of memory. Mix them up and have the group select from the cards (using the container to draw from). When the word comes up ask that person to try to remember what was said and by whom, and then go around the room and have everyone try to recall the other person’s words.
• Ask the person who used that word originally if the recall is correct. It can be a lot of fun to try to remember what someone else said and you can let people discuss it with the person next to them.

Extension: Extend the activity with a writing exercise: One or two sentences using the vocabulary.