Lisa Moore Ramee’s A Good Kind of Trouble novel study, CLICK HERE for unit on TpT.
Lisa Moore Ramee’s A Good Kind of Trouble, New York Times bestselling young adult novel, is an inspiring story about a young Black girl’s coming-of-age journey and her fight for justice. Teaching this novel in a high school classroom encourages students to think deeply about racial issues and develop a sense of social justice. Let’s explore how to teach this novel.
Before diving into the book, it is important to provide context for your students. Understanding the historical context of the civil rights movement will help students better understand the nuances of the story. Additionally, familiarizing them with terms such as “intersectionality” and “allyship” will create an inclusive learning environment that allows all students to participate in conversations about race and privilege. Ask your students to research these terms before reading the book so they can apply their newfound knowledge to key elements in Lisa Moore Ramee’s A Good Kind of Trouble.
The best way to engage with this novel is through activities that tap into your student’s creativity and empathy. One way to do this is by having them write journal entries from one of the characters’ perspectives or create a timeline outlining key events from the book using images or videos. Through these activities, you can challenge your students to think critically about why certain choices were made throughout Ahna’s journey and how those choices reflect on social movements today. You can also facilitate group discussions where each student takes turns presenting their projects while being mindful not to make any assumptions based on gender or race.
Choose the Right Text for Your Classroom
Choosing a book that is appropriate for high schoolers can be a challenge. When selecting a text for your classroom, you should consider the age group of your students as well as their interests and experiences. A Good Kind of Trouble is an excellent choice for teaching in the high school classroom because it appeals to teenagers while also addressing important themes such as courage and resilience.
Plan Meaningful Discussions
Once you have chosen your text, it’s time to plan meaningful discussions about the book. Asking open-ended questions such as “What do you think happened when Shayla confronted her mother?” or “How did Shayla show strength in difficult situations?” encourages students to analyze the text more deeply and make connections between the characters’ experiences and their own lives. It also helps them develop critical thinking skills that they can apply beyond the classroom. For extra engagement, you could also assign group projects or activities where students create presentations or artwork based on what they have read in Lisa Moore Ramee’s A Good Kind of Trouble. This type of assignment allows students to express themselves creatively while still learning about important topics like justice and identity. Finally, developing lesson plans around difficult topics such as racism, sexism, or homophobia can help generate meaningful conversations in your classroom while helping students gain understanding into these complex issues. It is important to provide a safe space for these conversations so that all students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts without fear of judgment or ridicule from their peers.
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A great way to end your unit is by having each student reflect on what they have learned during this process. Ask them questions like “How has reading A Good Kind of Trouble changed how you view social justice issues?” or “What role do you think allies play in creating change?” These reflections can then be used as discussion points during whole-class discussions; this helps reinforce learning while also giving them a platform for sharing their thoughts and opinions without fear of judgment or criticism from others in class.
Bringing the Novel into the Classroom
When teaching a novel such as Lisa Moore Ramee’s A Good Kind of Trouble, it’s important to keep students engaged through activities that make them think critically about what they are reading. Here are some ideas for incorporating this book into your high school classroom:
- Reading circles – Break your students up into smaller groups with 3-4 members each. Have each group read the novel together over a series of days or weeks and discuss their thoughts as they read. This will help them stay accountable for reading while also giving them space to share their views on the text.
- Character analysis – Have each student pick one character from the book that resonates with them most strongly, then have them write an essay analyzing why this character stands out to them. Encourage students to use quotes from the book to back up their claims and develop a cohesive argument about why this character is significant.
- Creative writing – Ask students to pick a scene from the book that speaks most deeply to them and use it as inspiration for creating something new—whether it be a poem, short story, songwriting piece, or script for a play. This exercise will allow your students to explore their own creativity while still staying grounded in understanding how literature works.
Lisa Moore Ramee’s A Good Kind of Trouble is an inspiring story about a young Black girl’s coming-of-age journey and her fight for justice that encourages deep conversations about race and privilege in the classroom. To successfully teach this novel, it is important for educators to provide context around key topics discussed within its pages, engage with their students through creative activities, and encourage reflection at the end of each lesson plan. This approach helps foster empathy among classmates while challenging them to think critically about our current society’s efforts towards creating lasting social change. With thoughtful teaching practices, educators can use A Good Kind of Trouble as an invaluable tool for promoting inclusion and understanding amongst their high schoolers!