Blackbird Fly

Blackbird Fly

Book Category: Title from children’s choice list
Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Copyright: (2015) New York, NY
Publisher: HarperCollins (Greenwillow Books)
Suggested Grade Level: 5
Lexile Level: 660L
Accelerated Reader: 4.4
Suggested Delivery: Independent Read
Common Core State Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.9: Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.
Summary: In this book, the main character, Apple, struggles with common, everyday kid issues, such as backstabbing friends and not fitting in. When Apply was little, she and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines and ever since, she knew that she was different and that she did not exactly fit in with everybody else. Throughout the book, she does whatever it takes to follow her dreams of becoming a future rock star. With music from the Beatles and two new friends being her best outlets, Apple soon learns that maybe it’s okay to be different and that maybe her dreams can come true.
5 Key Words to Describe the Book: Inspiring, Relatable, Ambitious, Unique, Witty
Electronic Resources:
  1. This website provides resources on the book, such as a summary of the book, where one can buy the book, reviews from previous readers, FAQs, and other books that the readers of this book might enjoy:
  2. This website provides a detailed review of the book as well as an interview with the author. The interview includes information such as what the author liked most about the book, other authors who influenced her to write this book, what made her want to become an author, and more:
  3. This is a video of Paul McCartney singing the ever so famous song “Blackbird Fly” live, which is also the title of this book. Students can look at this video and listen to the lyrics of the song as they determine why the main character from the book loved this song so much:
Key Vocabulary:
  • “Blackbird Fly:” a song by the Beatles, but performed as a solo effort by Paul McCartney, from their 1968 debut album.
  • Outsider: a person who feels like they do not belong in a particular group.
  • Heritage: valued objects and qualities, such as cultural traditions, that have been passed down from previous generations.
  • Outlet: a means of expressing one’s talents, energy, or emotions.
  • Immigration: the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country.
  • Serenade: a piece of music sung or played in the open air, typically by a man at night under the window of his lover.
Teaching Suggestions:
  1. Before, During, After-
Before: Students will look at the lyrics of the song “Blackbird Fly” by the Beatles, which will be printed out for them. In small groups, students are to read the song and point out any words or phrases that they think may influence someone their age in wanting to stand out or follow their dreams. By looking at the lyrics of this song before reading, the students will get a better understanding of the song’s relevance and importance to the main character in the book.
During: Students will fill out a graphic organizer identifying conflict. They are to determine what types of conflict, either internal or external, they find while reading the book. Their graphic organizers should include the type of conflict, who the characters were that experienced the conflict, and specific evidence to support. An example of this graphic organizer can be found here:  
After: Students will participate in Reader’s Theatre. This will give them the opportunity to read parts of the text out loud from different perspectives and get a better sense of overall comprehension as well as different points of view.
  1. Writing Activity- Students will free write for about 10-15 minutes. They are to relate this book to another book that they have read with a similar theme or message. In their responses, they are to include the titles of the two books, explain the connection between the two books, and the theme or message that the books have in common. They are also to connect one of the books to their own personal lives and use specific evidence to support their responses.
Teacher’s Guide:



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