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LISTEN

Hear chapter six read aloud, then talk, write, draw, and think about the story.

 

WHILE YOU LISTEN

Listen for the 5 things that are easier than Simeon and Kenzi’s handshake. Write them down as they are listed. 

THE SECRET HANDSHAKE

A part of Simeon’s and Kenzi’s handshake is American Sign Language for “I can hear you even when the world can’t.” What do you think this means to the boys?

Go back and reread the description of Simeon and Kenzi’s handshake. With a friend or a family member, try to follow the steps of their handshake. Now, if you’re feeling creative, try and make up your own version of a secret handshake. 

WRITE. RIGHT. RITE. 

Simeon and Kenzi live in Chestnut Homes, located in the opposite direction from most other characters’ houses and apartments. They like to imagine it is a paradise, with light poles like palm trees, bus stop benches like hammocks, and corner stores like bungalows. See Jason Reynolds’s tiny neighborhood and write a story about it.

THINK AND WRITE

Write a story or poem that follows the “Five Things That Are Easier Than…” model that Jason Reynolds uses in this story. Yours can be about a secret handshake, too, or about any topic you want! Here are some examples, to get you started:

  • Five things that are harder than a pop quiz…
  • Five things that are scarier than my closet at night…
  • Five things that are easier than catching my runaway dog…

 

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TALK

Simeon and Kenzi are very different in appearance but are still friends. How can people who are different overcome differences and still be friends?

Simeon and Kenzi call each other brothers. What are some of the ways they protect each other from getting hurt? What do we learn about Simeon and Kenzi’s actual brothers are the story goes on? Does this change the way you think about Simeon and Kenzi’s loyalty?

 

THINK DEEPER

How does Simeon’s and Kenzi’s street differ from other neighborhoods in the book? They say some people don’t like to walk there, but there are positive aspects too. What are some of the positive things they mention? Are there positive and negative aspects of your neighborhood, too?

CO-PRESENTED BY 
ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INCORPORATED

The first historically African American Greek-letter sorority. The sorority was founded on January 15, 1908, at the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C. Kamala Harris is a member!

ALPHA PHI ALPHA

The first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American Men, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on December 4, 1906. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha!

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