Jason Reynold’s As Brave as You novel study lessons, CLICK HERE.
Jason Reynold’s As Brave as You is an award-winning coming of age novel that offers educators a unique opportunity to teach literature in the classroom. The story follows two brothers, Genie and Ernie, who embark on a journey from Brooklyn to rural Virginia to visit their grandparents. Along the way, they must face their fears and learn about themselves and each other. This book is perfect for teaching in middle school classrooms, as it is accessible yet thought-provoking. Here are some tips on how to incorporate this book into your lesson plans.
The best way to engage students with this book is through discussions. Ask open-ended questions that require more than just a “yes” or “no” answer. For example, after reading each chapter, ask the class what they think will happen next and why? This encourages critical thinking and gets students invested in the story. It also allows them to make predictions based on what they have read so far.
Focus on Character Development
Jason Reynold’s As Brave as You has many themes that can be explored such as family dynamics and identity formation. But one of the most important aspects of the book is character development. Genie and Ernie both go through major changes throughout the story, learning lessons about courage, friendship, and self-acceptance along the way. Encourage students to analyze how these characters change over time and how their actions influence their growth as individuals.
Integrate Writing Assignments
Writing assignments are an important part of any literature curriculum because they allow students to further explore the text in depth while developing writing skills at the same time. After completing each chapter or section of As Brave as You, assign essays that focus on analyzing Genie’s or Ernie’s motivations or exploring certain themes from different perspectives. Another option would be to have students write journal entries from one of the character’s points of view about a particular scene or event from the book. These types of assignments can help bring out deeper insights into the text that would not be discovered otherwise.
One of the major themes explored in As Brave as You is identity. Throughout the narrative, both Ernie and Genie grapple with questions related to identity—Who am I? What makes me unique? Who do I want to be? These are all important questions for middle-grade and young-adult readers to consider as they navigate adolescence and adulthood. By exploring these topics through literature, teachers can create safe spaces for students to explore difficult questions without feeling judged or criticized for their thoughts or ideas.
CLICK HERE for the Digital Course Above.
Increasing Empathy Through Discussion Prompts
Another key theme in As Brave as You is empathy—the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes without judgment or criticism. By asking open-ended discussion questions about the characters’ motivations and emotions throughout the novel, teachers can help students better understand what it means to empathize with others even if they don’t always agree with them. Additionally, encouraging students to reflect on how they would have responded in similar situations helps foster compassion between classmates while deepening understanding of this important concept.
Explore the Book’s Themes
One way you can use this book in your classroom is by having students create artwork inspired by the characters’ emotional journey. Start off by having students brainstorm ideas about bravery and how it ties into their own lives (e.g., overcoming personal fears or standing up for something they believe in). After that, have them create drawings or paintings based on those ideas. Finally, ask them to write a reflection about the process and how it relates back to the themes of As Brave as You.
Storytelling Techniques You could also use this novel as an opportunity to explore storytelling techniques such as foreshadowing and flashbacks. Have students work together in small groups or pairs to identify examples of each technique used throughout the book; then have them share their findings with the rest of the class. This exercise will help them understand how these techniques help authors build tension and create suspenseful stories.
Jason Reynold’s As Brave as You is an excellent choice for teaching literature in middle school classrooms because it is accessible yet thought-provoking at the same time. By encouraging discussions, focusing on character development, and integrating writing assignments into your lesson plans you can help your students gain valuable insights into this novel while also improving their literary analysis skills overall!