Another One About Islandborn!

I just can't seem to quit Islandborn, the fantastic picture book written by a local NJ hero, Junot Diaz. Even though I've already created an Interactive Read Aloud for the text, I just had to go back and tackle it some more.

This time, I decided to approach Islandborn through a Close Reading lens. Using Frey and Fisher's practical approach to Close Reading, I developed 3 days of lesson plans to dive deeper into the text.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 3.48.43 PM.png

♦ Day 1 – What Does the Text Say?
General Understanding
Key Ideas and Details

♦ Day 2 – How Does the Text Work?
Author’s Craft

♦ Day 3 - What Does the Text Mean?
Author’s Purpose


Creating this Close Reading Unit was an amazing experience. 

It's incredible how many layers of meaning are embedded within the text and illustrations of this gorgeous picture book. I am in awe of Junot Diaz's craft; each reading produces a deeper sense of understanding that surpasses the previous one. For instance, after reading the book multiple times, I began to understand that Junot Diaz uses parentheses at various points to add more details about a character. (Nelson was a frequent target!) This is similar to what Mr. Diaz does in Oscar Wao, where footnotes could be found throughout the book.

What's more, combining Junot Diaz's words with Leo Espinosa's vivid illustrations elevated the meaning beyond my greatest expectations. These two geniuses make a fantastic team. I cannot wait to see what they create next. (I heard another book featuring Lola is in the works!)

Yours in Literacy,


By Junot Díaz
Text-Dependent Questions, Grades K-5: Pathways to Close and Critical Reading (Corwin Literacy)
By Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, Heather L. Anderson, Marisol Thayre