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Teaching Conflict and Resolution with The Proudest Blue

September 24, 2020 No Comments
Grab a free lesson plan and printable resource to teach conflict and resolution with the mentor text, The Proudest Blue!

Identifying a story’s conflict and resolution is an important reading skill we want our students to develop. After all, the conflict is at the heart of the plot, and the character’s actions, feelings, and behaviors are often tied to it. When I teach this skill, I like to do a deep dive with students to analyze how the story’s conflict impacts the plot, the characters, and the theme.

Book Introduction

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family is a beautifully written and illustrated book by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S.K. Ali. Sisters Asiya and Faizah are off to their first day of school. Asiya is proudly wearing a beautiful, new blue hijab, which represents beauty and strength to the girls. However, other students react to Asiya’s hijab with questions and unkind actions. Faizah doesn’t understand how they see it so differently. She watches Asiya with concern, but Asiya simply turns and walks away. Faizah recalls her mother telling them to “drop” the hurtful words of others, and she too walks away. The girls head home at the end of the day, with Faizah fantasizing about the day she can wear her own blue hijab. Identity, courage, and family are important themes in this book.

The Proudest Blue is a great mentor text to use for class discussions about kindness and identity.

The author, Ibtihaj Muhammad, wrote this based on her own experiences as a young girl wearing hijab to school for the first time – and unfortunately, the bullying she endured. As a member of the United States fencing team, she made history as the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the U.S. team at the Olympics. This is definitely something to share with students!

The Proudest Blue is a great mentor text to use with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to teach conflict and resolution.

Conflict and Resolution Lesson Plan

We typically choose stories with obvious problems and solutions when we teach conflict and resolution. But it’s also important for students to practice this skill with stories where it’s not as evident. For some students, the conflict and resolution in The Proudest Blue will be harder to identify.

To go beyond just stating the problem and solution in the book, I make sure to pose questions that will get students thinking about their effects. How do the characters handle the conflict? What character traits do they demonstrate? How do they grow or change? What can we take away from the resolution? How does it connect to the theme of the book?

Before Reading:

  • Show students the front cover and the front endsheets. What do you already know? What are you wondering?
  • What could the “proudest blue” mean?

While Reading:

  • What is the conflict in the story? Which character(s) does it affect?
  • How do Faizah and Asiya react to the conflict?
  • Why are some of the characters illustrated with dark colors?
  • What do their mother’s words mean? What does it mean to drop others’ words?

After Reading:

  • Was the conflict resolved? How? How else could this story have ended?
  • What does the resolution tell us about Asiya and Faizah? What character traits did they display?
  • Think about the conflict and resolution. What message do you think the author wants us to take away from this book?
  • What do you think the “proudest blue” means now? Why is this phrase important to the story?

I also recommend having a conversation about kindness and respect. Handling conflict the way the characters did is hard for young kids, so this is a good place to discuss how students can handle similar situations.

Mentor Text Resource

Use this free resource to support a class discussion as students practice finding the problem and solution in The Proudest Blue. Click here or on the picture to download!

Grab free worksheets to use to teach conflict and resolution with The Proudest Blue!

Related Books

If you love this story, here a few related books that you might want to check out:

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