Reading
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Read a nonfiction book about life in the 50s and compare and contrast with present day life.

Read "The Diary of Anne Frank". What does Fifties Chix Ann Branislav have in common with Anne Frank? How could Anne and Ann had a similar fate if the Branislavs had not moved to America before World War II started?

Read "Warriors Don't Cry"by Melba Patillo Beals. The author of the Fifties Chix series, Angela Sage Larsen, pays homage to this book in many ways. What do you find in the Fifties Chix that references "Warriors Don't Cry"?

Comprehension
Click on the links below to download and/or print Accelerated Reader (AC or ACR) tests for individual Fifties Chix titles:
Travel to Tomorrow -
Keeping Secrets -
Third Time's a Charm -

Broken Record - ACR quiz/test for download and print - COMING in March, 2013

Keeping Secrets - ACR quiz/test for download and print - COMING in May, 2013


Comprehension-Building Activities

Activate and Build Background Knowledge

Before you even crack open the book, ask yourself what you already know or have heard about the 1950’s. Think about the clothing, the music, celebrities, political figures, etc. Do some library and internet research. Google, surf, skim and scan books and enjoy the pictures to get a fuller image of the era you are about to explore through the eyes of the characters.

Stimulate Your Senses

SEE: Create your own mental illustrations. Paint a picture in your mind using Angela’s descriptive words to assist your brush and help you create a visual image of the text. For instance, “Judy had a glowy childlike expression which could be seen even through the green gook on her face.” You can even do quick pencil sketches in your journal.

HEAR: Create your own soundtrack when you listen to the action using your imagination, i.e. “(T)he top book slipped and dropped to the floor with a sharp crack,” or “Bev’s voice echoed off the cement brick walls.” Connect with a time when you may have heard these sounds either in real life or in a movie/TV show.

SMELL: Sniff and breathe in the scents with the characters. i.e. “She rolled over and stuffed her face into a pillow and breathed in through her nose. Chanel No. 5. It was like she was transported to another place and time; it felt like Christmas morning when she was a kid…full of promise, anticipation and celebration.” Think about what certain things in the story smell like. Even if there isn’t a specific description, you can imagine what certain things smell like (locker room, breakfast table).

FEEL: Put yourself in the characters’ shoes—literally and figuratively! “Mary’s heart walloped loudly in her chest, doing double time to the rhythm of the swing.” Think about a time when you have been surprised or overwhelmed with emotion. Remembering this feeling will help you connect with the characters as they experience emotions throughout the story.

TASTE: To really experience the story to the fullest, imagine the taste of the meals and snacks the girls have while time traveling! Enjoy “gathering around the dining room table for roast beef or pork chops” made by Mom or eating take-out “buckets of chicken from a restaurant” to dig into and chew on the different family traditions of the respective eras.