Lessons for Molly's Pilgrim  

Morning Journal: Write a response to: What are some of the things you do to celebrate Thanksgiving? Why do you think we celebrate Thanksgiving?


In cooperative learning groups of four, ask them to discuss their responses to the journal assignment before sharing with the class.


While still in groups, pose the following scenario for them to explore:

Imagine a student from another country settled in your neighborhood and spoke another language. How would the class welcome him or her into the school? What would they do if the student became teased because of their differences?


Gather at the carpet for vocabulary lesson consisting of words from Molly's Pilgrim.

Vocabulary Words

(in order of reading)

            *Nu Shaynkeit - Yiddish for oh, beauty

            *Yiddish - Language Molly's family speaks

            *Oi Malkeleh - Yiddish exclamation of astonishment

            *tenement - A rundown, low-rental crowded apartment building.

            *Goraduk - Russian village

            *Cossacks - a group of people

            *Russia -  A country in Europe

            *Jewish - A type of culture and religion.

            *synagogue - a place of worship for Jewish people.

            *pashhudnyaks - Yiddish for evil person

            *ignorant - lack of education

            *Nu Malkeleh - Yiddish for


Site for Yiddish Translations: http://www.pass.to/glossary/


       Introduce each word by showing it written on a sentence strip. Read each word in a sentence and have students try to match word with definitions that are also written out on sentence strips. Once matched correctly, place the definition with the vocabulary word in the correct place in the concept map pocket chart organizer. This will enable it to be used as a resource during reading and subsequent discussions.


Engage children in a "book walk" of book. Read summary on back and ask, "Why do you think a person might want to move to a new country? Discuss and record responses on chart paper to refer to after reading story. Have them close their eyes as they imagine and visualize as you reread scenario about new student mentioned above, but this time they are to imagine they are the new student. Have them think about some of the feelings they may experience. Mention how much courage it must take for people to face such challenges.


Set purpose for reading, ask:

-What challenges do you think Molly might face?

-Do you think our character, Molly, will have the courage needed to face

  the challenges she's faced with?

-Let's see if we can find any details in the story that will help us find out  

   if Molly can be described as courageous.


Read aloud, explicitly modeling effective reading strategies, as kids follow in their copies. This process should be spread out over a couple of days while assessing comprehension through follow up discussions. Encourage them to make connections to text by comparing their visualizations at start of story to how Molly must have felt.


Literature Study Groups: When finished reading the story and follow-up discussion, have students return to meet with their cooperative learning groups to formulate answers to the following discussion questions written out on chart paper (make sure recorder writes down answers):

1. Describe Molly's feelings and how they changed throughout the book.

2. Why did Molly's classmates tease her?

3. Where did Molly and her family come from? Why can't they go back?

4. Why was Molly afraid to take her project to school?

5. Why was Molly called a pilgrim in this story? Does it fit what we think of about pilgrims?

6. What lessons do you think Molly's class learned?

7. Was Molly courageous? Explain.


Once groups have had ample time to respond to discussion questions meet as whole group to discuss and add responses to the chart. Post in room throughout unit.

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