Drita, My Homegirl
A sensitively written story of two worlds coming together, Drita, My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard touchingly explores the effects of war on a family and how friendship sometimes appears in the unlikeliest places.
This Drita, My Homegirl character map Foldable helps students analyze the changes in the main characters, fourth graders Maxie and Drita, as well as their changing relationship.
- Print out the Drita, My Homegirl character map Foldable and copy 2-sided.
- Have students fold and cut it to create a six-door Shutter Fold Foldable®. You can find directions for how to make a Shutter Fold in any of Dinah Zike's Foldable® books.
- Ask students "Have you ever had a friendship that changed? A time when you are totally not friends with someone and then you become good friends? Or a time when you are really good friends and then you are not friends anymore? Write about a time that one of your friendships changed" Give students a few minutes to quick write. Then ask, "Why did it change? Did you change or did your friend change? Or, did something else change? Take a minute to write down your answer."
- Explain to students that in this story, Drita, My Homegirl, the relationship between the two main characters, Drita and Maxi changes over time. Tell students that as they read, they are going to pay very close attention to how each character changes or not, and how their friendship changes from the beginning of the story to the end. Explain that they will be using this Character Map Foldable® to hold their thinking as they read.
- Show students how to fill in the Foldable®. Under the tabs that say Beginning of the Story Drita and Beginning of the Story Maxie they need to write down each character's traits as they read the first third of the book. Tell students to write down evidence from the story that proves that Drita and Maxie have these traits. For example, in the story Maxie was rude because she made fun of Drita for being different. Drita is considerate because she helps her grandmother and responsible because she watches over her brother.
- Before reading further, ask students to lift up the middle top tab that says Relationship Between the Characters. This is where they will show how the two characters relate to one another. Above the top arrow, students write words or phrases about how Drita feels about Maxi (i.e. wants to be friends) and they write words or phrases under the bottom arrow that tells how Maxi feels about Drita (resents having to be her partner).
- After students finish the book, they need to repeat the steps with the bottom three tabs.
- Students then answer the questions in the center of the Foldable®.