Calico Girl Teaching Guide

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Our teacher discussion guide for Calico Girl, a book about a young slave girl who is newly experiencing freedom, contains various questions and activities to help guide your lesson. The discussion questions are not only meant to enhance students' understanding of the novel, but also their understanding of the Civil War and slavery. The extended activities are designed to help students analyze the literary elements and the purpose of characters throughout the book.
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Excerpted from

Calico Girl
Calico Girl
Author: Jerdine Nolen

Twelve-year-old Callie Wilcomb and her family are slaves, and the Civil War gives them hope that freedom may be on the horizon. On May 23, 1861, the State of Virginia ratified their vote to secede from the Union. In Virginia, a window was opened where the laws of the land no longer applied. Because of the Contraband Law, slaves no longer had to be returned to their owners, granting them a measure of protection and safety. With the possibility of Callie and her family escaping their bonds forever, Callie is eager to learn and become educated and hopes to teach others one day. Through hardship and loss—with love and strong family ties—Callie proves that freedom is in her stars.

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