Free Downloadable Discussion Guide and Activity Inspired by Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
by Alana Pedalino
Two big themes lie at the heart of Clayton Byrd Goes Underground: relationships and blues music.
After your students read about Clayton’s musical adventures through the underground of New York City, encourage them to engage critically with the text through a guided discussion. Open the conversation by tracking character relationships with such questions as:
• What is Clayton’s relationship with Cool Papa Byrd?
• Is Clayton the same person at the beginning and at the end?
• How does Ms. Byrd’s relationship with Cool Papa Byrd change over the course of the story?
Download the free discussion guide featuring these questions and more:
Then help your students draw connections between Clayton Byrd Goes Underground and the real-life history behind the blues with an online research project. At the beginning of the story, when Clayton’s mother sells Cool Papa Byrd’s records, a buyer reads out the names of some artists featured in the collection. Using this free downloadable research organizer, students can compile facts about a blues musician of their own choosing:
What’s an interesting fact your students learned about a blues musician? What came out of your class’s conversation about the relationships in the story? We’d love to hear from you! If you’re able, please share with readers and other Scholastic Book Clubs teachers on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.