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Sulwe Activities and Lesson Plans for 2024

Elementary teachers looking for lesson plans and activities for Sulwe will find this post helpful. It includes resource recommendations, free teaching ideas, and information about the book. You’ll have everything you need to deliver engaging interactive read aloud lessons based on this story.

With themes of positive self-talk, this Sulwe picture book by Lupita Nyong’o is a favorite in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. It will be a big hit in your classroom too! Learn more about this book below!

Engage Your Students with Sulwe Lesson Plans & Activities in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Read a summary of Sulwe. You can find it in the section below.
  2. Check out the teaching ideas for reading comprehension strategies, grammar topics and social emotional learning skills that can be taught using this children’s book.
  3. Download the book companion to make lesson planning simple with Sulwe reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, teaching ideas & no-prep extension activities.

SULWE SUMMARY

Sulwe had skin that was as dark as night. She didn’t look like her family, they all had lighter skin and Sulwe wished she looked like them. At school, Sulwe didn’t have any friends like her sister did. Everyone gave her sister nice nicknames like “Beauty” or “Sunshine” while they called Sulwe mean names like “Darky” and “Night.”

Sulwe wanted lighter skin so much she tried erasing it, putting on makeup, and eating light colored foods. Nothing she tried worked. When Sulwe told her mother about her problem, her mother told her that she was beautiful. She explained that it is not enough for someone else to think you’re beautiful, you must think it about yourself.

One night Sulwe had a dream where she learned about Night and Day who lived long ago. Like Sulwe and her sister, people did not like Night but they loved Day. Feeling sad, Night decided to leave earth. Eventually, the people missed Night so her sister went to find her. Night learned that there is beauty in darkness and the world needs both.

After hearing the story of Night and Day, Sulwe finally started to feel beautiful herself. She knew she had brightness inside of her and learned to love herself inside and out.

SULWE LESSON PLAN IDEAS

Each of our 400+ Starts With a Story book companions come with a teacher’s guide to make lesson planning quick and easy, printable worksheets and digital resources that cover ALL of the standards-based reading comprehension skills.

When it comes to writing lesson plans and finding activities for Sulwe, we’ve already done all of the heavy lifting for you.

We found this book was especially good at teaching the topics listed below.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

The text-based Sulwe reading comprehension questions focus on:

  • comparing and contrasting
  • analyzing character
  • plot (problem-solution)
  • author’s purpose
  • identifying theme, message and moral

LITERATURE-BASED SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING LESSONS

We found this story to be a great SEL picture book to promote:

  • positive self-talk

GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY & WORD STUDY

  • suffixes
  • multiple meaning words
  • compound words
  • quotation marks

SULWE ACTIVITIES

You’ll receive all of the following resources aligned to the story:

  • comprehension questions
  • 30 writing prompts with themed paper
  • vocabulary activities
  • word study print & go activities
  • ideas for grammar lessons with focus sentence printables
  • social emotional learning discussion topics
  • graphic organizers to target specific comprehension skills and strategies
Sulwe book companion
elementary students pointing at the pictures of a book being read aloud

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Sulwe writing activity

BOOK INFO FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

What are the reading levels for Sulwe?

  • Lexile® Measure: AD580L
  • Guided Reading Level: N-O
  • DRA Level: 28-30
  • Accelerated Reader Level (ARC): 3.2-3.3

Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

The book was written by Lupita Nyong’o. It was illustrated by Lupita Nyong’o.

What genre is Sulwe?

It is a fiction book. You may want to check out our genre activities or read our blog post, How to Teach Genre to Elementary Students.

How many pages are in the book?

The story is 48 pages long.

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