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This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco.

After being initiated into a neighbor’s family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers’ determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula’s had her eye on.

from Chicken Sunday at amazon.com

This story shows the importance of loving one another well. It is the base for various lessons spanning several subjects. Grab our free Chicken Sunday unit study and let the learning begin.

Thanks to Christie for preparing this Chicken Sunday unit study for Homeschool Share.

Chicken Sunday Unit Study Lessons

Here is a sample of the lessons found in our free Chicken Sunday unit study:

Immigration
Mr. Kodinski immigrated to the United States. He emigrated from the Ukraine. To immigrate is to move to a new country permanently. To emigrate is to move away from one’s native country.

Historical Periods of Immigration
The United States is often called the “melting pot.” Discuss the meaning of this phrase. Different eras of history are marked by large groups of immigrants from certain countries – most famously, the Irish during the 1840s due to famine; or less well-known, the Swedes and the Norwegians during the 1910s due to poverty and religious oppression.

History/Gentle Introduction to WWII
Introduce this difficult topic by talking about when it happened. You can say, “This happened just a few years before your grandparents were born, in the 1940s.” Define decade, and discuss that this event in history happened over 6 decades ago.

Mr. Kodinski is a Jewish man. We can tell by his yarmulke and prayer cloth. You might point out the tattoo on his arm. This clue and Miss Eula’s statement about his hard life are the only allusions to WWII. When Mr. Kodinski was younger, he lived in Ukraine. Germany invaded his country and sent Jewish people to prison even though they had done nothing wrong. When the US and Britain had victory over Germany, the prisoners were freed, and many immigrated to new countries.

Repetition of Symbols
Interestingly, eggs are used as both the catalyst for the conflict and the catalyst for resolution in this story. Eggs are also often used as a symbol of new life, which is one reason why we use eggs at Easter. A talented author, such as Patricia Polacco, weaves a powerful and cohesive story using symbols, especially when they are used in opposing ways.

To teach this literary device, ask your child to list the “things in the story that repeat.” Look page by page for words or illustrations. The list may include the eggs, the hat, even chicken. Then discuss “what these things mean to the people in the story.” Possible answers include: chicken dinner (togetherness), eggs (broken relationships when the bullies throw them, then new friendships when the main characters show respect to Mr. Kodinski), and the Easter hat (generosity).

You can grab a copy of the entire Chicken Sunday unit study in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

How to Get Started with the Chicken Sunday Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the Chicken Sunday unit study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, Chicken Sunday, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the Chicken Sunday unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your Chicken Sunday Unit Study

Simply click on the image below to grab the free Chicken Sunday unit study.

Chicken Sunday Unit Study

More Unit Studies Based on Patricia Polacco Books

Patricia Polacco is an amazing storyteller. We have gobs of unit studies based on her stories. Try some of these resources:

Thundercake Unit Study & Printables
Trees of the Dancing Goats Unit Study
The Bee Tree Printables