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Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.

7th-8th Informational Text 1020L
An Overview of the Great Depression
Jessica McBirney 2017
Passage Summary: In the informational text “The Great Depression,” Jessica McBirney discusses the various causes and effects of the Great Depression, as well as how America’s economy eventually recovered.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text before reading the novel as historical background on how the Great Depression affected the economy of the U.S. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “An Overview of The Great Depression” and ask students to consider the economic hardships of the 1930s in order to understand the struggles of the characters in this novel.
7th-8th Informational Text 1030L
Reconstruction
USHistory.org 2016
Passage Summary: This informational text details the controversial policies of Reconstruction after the American Civil War.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text before reading the novel so students understand the historical context of Reconstruction and how this point in American history impacts the setting of the story. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “Reconstruction,” and ask students to analyze the social climate of southern states like Mississippi. How did southern whites react to the emancipation of slaves? What effect did this reaction have on people of during the time period?
9th-10th Interview 1200L
Does It Matter If Schools Are Racially Integrated?
Michel Martin 2014
Passage Summary: This NPR interview, broadcast 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, discusses the necessity of integration in our modern society, and what remains to be done to improve the state of American education.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text after reading chapter one, when Cassie describes the school segregation in her community. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “Does It Matter If Schools Are Racially Integrated?” and ask students to discuss the developments toward racial equality since the Great Depression. What social changes have been implemented since the Great Depression? Has the Brown v. Board of Education ruling been an effective development toward racial equality?
7th-8th Informational Text 1190L
The Scottsboro Boys
Jessica McBirney 2017
Passage Summary: In “The Scottsboro Boys,” Jessica McBirney discusses the historic event in which nine black boys were wrongfully accused and convicted of assault.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text after reading chapter two, in which a group of white men violently attack a group of black men after alleging that one of the black men disrespected a white woman. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “The Scottsboro Boys” and have students discuss the relationships between the justice system and African Americans in both historical time periods.
7th-8th Informational Text 1040L
Financial Literacy
Jessica McBirney 2017
Passage Summary: In the informational text “Financial Literacy,” Jessica McBirney explores the various choices a person can make with their money.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text before reading chapter four, in which the Logans discuss shopping in Vicksburg with their sharecropping community members. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “Financial Literacy” to provide students with an understanding of much of the financial terminology used in the chapter: credit, interest, and debt. As students read the conversation between Ms. Logan and Moe Turner at end of the chapter, instruct students to apply their new understandings of credit, interest, and debt to the Turner’s situation. What makes it difficult for the Turners to stop shopping at the Wallace store and start shopping in Vicksburg?
9th-10th Primary Source Document 1040L
From Slaves to Sharecroppers
Various Authors 1865-1880
Passage Summary: This collection of three primary texts from the Reconstruction Era reveal the difficult decisions that freed slaves faced as sharecroppers.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text before reading chapter four, in which the black characters are indebted to white landowners because of the manipulation of post-slavery sharecroppers. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “From Slaves to Sharecroppers” and ask students to compare and contrast the conditions of slavery and the conditions of sharecropping. Ask students to analyze how credit and debt were used to control African Americans.
7th-8th Poem 970L
We Wear The Mask
Paul Laurence Dunbar 1913
Passage Summary: Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was an influential African-American poet during the early twentieth century. He was the son of freed slaves and was a friend of Frederick Douglass. In “We Wear the Mask” (1896), Dunbar introduces the idea of hiding behind a metaphorical mask.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this poem after reading chapter five when Big Ma forces Cassie to apologize to Lillian Jean. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “We Wear the Mask,” and ask students to analyze Dunbar’s claim that African Americans have to mask the pain of oppression in order to survive in the context of the events of the chapter. To what extent do the events of chapter five support or dispute the theme of Dunbar’s poem?
11th-12th Essay 1250L
Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases
Ida B. Wells 1892
Passage Summary: In “Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases,” historical activist Ida B. Wells discusses the injustice and horrors of Southern lynch laws, focusing especially on the violence enacted against African Americans following the Civil War and Reconstruction Era.  
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text after reading chapter 11 when the Wallaces, the Simmses, and other white men threaten to lynch T.J. Pair Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry with “Excerpt from Southern Horrors: Lynch Laws in All Its Phases,” and ask students to analyze how the act of lynching was used as a means to control African Americans. How does the historical information presented in the text inform the setting of the novel?