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The 1619 Project: Born on the Water Activities and Lesson Plans for 2023

Elementary teachers looking for lesson plans and activities for The 1619 Project: Born on the Water 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 identity and resilience, this The 1619 Project: Born on the Water picture book by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson 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 The 1619 Project: Born on the Water Lesson Plans & Activities in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Read a summary of The 1619 Project: Born on the Water. 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 The 1619 Project: Born on the Water reading comprehension questions, writing prompts, teaching ideas & no-prep extension activities.

THE 1619 PROJECT: BORN ON THE WATER SUMMARY

A young student receives an assignment in school to create a flag about her ancestry. Although her peers know exactly what to create, she struggles and feels embarrassed not to know more about her previous generations. Talking with her grandmother, she learns all about her ancestor’s past.

 

 Her grandmother shares that in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America on the White Lion, only to be enslaved for white people.

 

Her grandma goes back even further too, sharing that before this, her ancestors had a land, a language, and a home. She continues by sharing about how those born on the water survived.

 

With this, The 1619 Project: Born on the Water is a beautiful story, sharing the the chronicles of those enslaved, written in verse. 

THE 1619 PROJECT: BORN ON THE WATER 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 The 1619 Project: Born on the Water, 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 The 1619 Project: Born on the Water reading comprehension questions focus on:

  • summarizing
  • author’s purpose
  • asking and answering questions

LITERATURE-BASED SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING LESSONS

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

  • identity
  • resilience

GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY & WORD STUDY

  • bold print
  • adjectives
  • commas

THE 1619 PROJECT: BORN ON THE WATER 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
The 1619 Project
elementary students listening to an interactive read aloud

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BOOK INFO FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

What are the reading levels for The 1619 Project: Born on the Water?

  • Lexile® Measure: 860L
  • Guided Reading Level: S-T
  • DRA Level: 44
  • Accelerated Reader Level (ARC): 5.5-5.8

Who is the author? Who is the illustrator?

The book was written by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renee Watson. It was illustrated by Nikkolas Smith.

What genre is The 1619 Project: Born on the Water?

There is often confusion about the genre of this book. Some sources classify it as non-fiction, while others select fiction. While the events in the story it’s based on would be considered a non-fiction topic, the story is a lyrical picture book that creates a narrative with characters. It has historical information told in the first person from a point of view of a fictional character. As a result, we’d classify this book as a work of fiction. You may want to check out our genre activities or read our blog post, How to Teach Genre to Elementary Students to explore this discussion topic with your students.

How many pages are in the book?

The story is 48 pages long.

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