Lesson Plan: Author Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson: Setting

Jacqueline Woodson discusses the importance of place in her books.


This lesson is a collection of video clips featuring author Jacqueline Woodson. She discusses some elements of her writing style, shares the ideas woven into her books as well as the personal connections to her stories. Use this lesson with your students to engage in an author study as you introduce her literature to your students.


  • Step 1:

    Students can use the accompanying handout to take notes as they read about the author and view the videos in this lesson.

    Handout: Jacqueline Woodson (Google Doc)

    Ask students to read Jacqueline Woodson's biography on her website to provide background on the author. This can be read at home to introduce the lesson or in class individually or as a whole group.

    Jacqueline Woodson Biography

  • Step 2:

    Have students view the collection of video clips below to hear Jacqueline Woodson discuss some of the elements of her writing style. This activity may be jigsawed among students in the class or completed individually. Then, engage in class discussion on the author's approach to writing.

    Video Clip 1: Setting (2:10)

    Jacqueline Woodson discusses the importance of place in her books.

    Video Clip 2: Point of View (2:36)

    Jacqueline Woodson discusses point of view in her books.

    Video Clip 3: Writing Style (3:24)

    Jacqueline Woodson talks about poetry, audience, themes and issues that influence her writing.

    Video Clip 4: The Theme of Family (1:00)

    Jacqueline Woodson talks about the theme of family in her books and how it reflects reality.

    Video Clip 5: Window Gazing Theme (1:14)

    Jacqueline Woodson explains the significance of window gazing as a metaphor in her books.

  • Step 3:

    Students can view the following videos to learn a little about each piece of literature Jacqueline Woodson discusses. As a class, have students share personal connections or reactions they have to any of the texts featured in the clips.

    Video Clip 6: Harbor Me (5:44)

    Jacqueline Woodson talks about the characters in her book "Harbor Me."

    Video Clip 7: Another Brooklyn (1:57)

    Jacqueline Woodson talks about the characters in "Another Brooklyn" and how she wove events that occurred in the 1970s in Brooklyn into this book.

    Video Clip 8: Beneath a Meth Moon (6:20)

    Jacqueline Woodson talks about the creation of this book and how she developed the story and characters.

    Video Clip 9: Melanin Sun (2:02)

    Jacqueline Woodson talks about how she developed the character in this story looking through the lens of a boy.

    Video Clip 10: Show Way (1:58)

    Jacqueline Woodson explains the meaning of Show Way and how it relates to the Underground Railroad.

    Video Clip 11: The Other Side (4:20)

    Jacqueline Woodson discusses the story in her life that inspired this book and the impact it has had.

  • Step 4:

    Select a book!

    • Students can select one of Jacqueline Woodson's books to read individually.

    • Choose a book to use as a read aloud as a class.

    • Students can read a book of their choice in small groups.

      As they read, students should consider their notes and the information shared in class discussion to analyze Jacqueline Woodson's writing style, notice the author's personal connections to the text and generate their own connections.

  • Step 5:


    Have students select one of the following activities after they have completed their reading:

    1. Create Snapchats highlighting what you have learned from the story. Students may consider a scene, character, emotion, action, personal connection, etc. Have them share their snap by taking a screenshot of it and sharing it with the class.

    2. Create a book jacket cover. Students can illustrate the cover in a way that reflects their personal connection to the text and summarize the story on the inside of the cover.

    3. Write a song. Students can develop their own lyrics and rhythm in response to a text they read.

    4. Write a letter to Jacqueline Woodson explaining how the story affected them.

    5. Act it out. Students can select a scene from their story and act it out for the class.

Additional Resources


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English & Literature


Middle SchoolHigh School