Homecoming Novel Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to increase student understanding of the novel 'Homecoming' by Cynthia Voigt. Students will read a text lesson that summarizes the story and helps with character analysis, then complete a culminating activity and quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
  • analyze characters in Homecoming


This lesson is designed to be used before, during, and after the reading of the novel.

Lesson divided into several mini-lessons, each approximately 40 minutes to one hour


Key Vocabulary/Character Traits

  • Natural-born leader
  • Smart
  • Kindhearted
  • Fighter

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1

Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3

Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

Before Reading

  • Write the word 'Family' on the board and give students two minutes to brainstorm any words that come to mind.
  • Divide students into small groups to share their ideas, then discuss as a whole class.
  • Ask:
    • What are the roles of family?
    • How do family members influence you or impact your life?
    • What is a 'good' family? Why?
    • Is there such a thing as a 'normal' family? Why or why not?
  • Now distribute copies of the book and have students create a section in their reading notebooks titled 'The Homecoming.'
  • Pass out the lesson Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt: Book Summary & Characters and read the first section, 'Abandoned,' together.
  • Ask students to discuss with their groups:
    • Why may the mother have abandoned the children?
    • What do we know about the four main characters?
    • How may each of them respond to this event?
    • How would you feel if you were on one of the children? What would you do?
  • Share answers and have students write a prediction in their notebooks, then collect the lesson.

During Reading

  • As students read, have them record their questions and comments in their notebooks. Provide sticky notes to mark places in the book they want to cite for text evidence.
  • After every chapter, ask students to review and revise their predictions.
  • Meet regularly to support students as they read the story, hosting question-and-answer time and giving students a time to make comments and respond to the story.

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