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Family Times. Daily Questions. Prior Knowledge. Sequence. Vocabulary . Homographs. Predictions. Guided Comprehension. Drawing Conclusions. Imagery. Independent Readers. Author's Note. Additional Resources. Study Skills Genre: Realistic Fiction Vocabulary Strategy: Context Clues

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Family Times

Daily Questions

Prior Knowledge





Guided Comprehension

Drawing Conclusions


Independent Readers

Author's Note

Additional Resources


Study Skills

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Vocabulary Strategy: Context Clues

Comprehension Skill: Sequence

Comprehension Strategy: Prior Knowledge


Question of the Week

What unexpected influence do we have on those around us?

Daily Questions

How has Uncle Click influence C.J.?

What is the significance of many of Uncle Click’s fellow neighbors and musicians being part of the photo?

How do you think Art Kane felt when a crowd showed up for his photo shoot? Give your reasons.


Activate Prior Knowledge





Jazz is a kind of music.

Jazz was popular long ago and is popular today.

What instruments are used to play jazz?

Who are some famous jazz musicians?



Sequence is the order of events in a selection. Dates and times of day or clue words such as first, next, and then can help you follow the sequence of events.

Clue words such as meanwhile or during signal events happening at the same time.

First event

Second event

Third event

Fourth event


Prior Knowledge

Prior knowledge is what you already know about a topic. Active readers connect their prior knowledge to the text to help them understand it. They add to and revise their prior knowledge as they read and think about the text. When the author does not give the sequence in exact dates and times, use your prior knowledge to decide when events in the selection take place.



  • Read “What Do You Know About Harlem?” Create a time line like the one above. Use clues from the story to put the events in sequence.
  • Make another time line showing important events in your school or community. Use it to write a paragraph describing the events.

Vocabulary List








Introduce Vocabulary

Locate each word in their glossaries and note each word’s pronunciation and meaning.

Answer the following questions.

What kind of sound does a bass make?

What type of instrument is a clarinet?

When do you feel fidgety?

What does a forgetful person do?

If a group of musicians jammed, what did they do?

What do you do at nighttime?

What makes a secondhand bike different from a new bike?



The largest, lowest-sounding stringed instrument in an orchestra or band



Woodwind instrument, having a single mouthpiece with a reed and played with holes and keys



Restless; uneasy



Apt to forget; having a poor memory



Made music with other musicians without having practiced



Time between evening and morning



Not new; already used by someone else


More Words to Know

Onstage: on the part of a stage that the audience can see

Vibraphone: musical instrument similar to the xylophone, with metal bars and artificially increased vibration

Waitress: woman who serves or brings food to people in a restaurant


Practice Lesson Vocabulary

Respond to the following questions.

What would you hear if a saxophone player and trumpet player jammed?

If a bass player joined in, would her instrument add a lower or higher sound? Explain.

Can you play a clarinet without your fingers?

Why might a young child get fidgety waiting in line?

What might happen at nighttime?

What is another word for a secondhand coat?


Vocabulary Strategy

  • Homographs
  • Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and histories. Some homographs also have different pronunciations. For example, minute (MIN-it) means “60 seconds,” while minute (my-NOOT) means “tiny.” Use the words and sentences around a homograph to figure out which word (and meaning) is being used.
  • Read the words and sentences around the homograph.
  • Think about its possible meanings.
  • Reread the sentence and put in one of the meanings.
  • See if the meaning makes sense in the sentence. If not, try another meaning for the homograph.
  • As you read “Jazz in Harlem,” use the words and sentences around a homograph to decide which meaning the author is using.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Realistic fiction has characters, settings, and actions that seem real, but the author has made them up. As you read, look for details that make the story seem realistic.


Preview and Predict

Use the title and focus question to generate two questions of your own. Use lesson vocabulary words in your question.


Guided Comprehension

Read p. 732, paragraph 2. How do you think C.J. feels about his Uncle Click? Why?

Where did Uncle Click go the night before and in what order?

What seems to have caused Uncle Click to forget his hat?

Find the simile on p. 734, paragraph 1. What is similar about the two items being compared?

Read the dialogue on p. 734, paragraphs 2 and 3. What conclusion can you draw about the Midnight Melody performance the night before?

How would you describe Garlic’s Barbershop?

What did Uncle Click leave behind in the barbershop?

Use context clues to determine the meaning of buzzing on p. 737.

Where do you think C.J. will go after he leaves the diner? Why?

Describe someone you know who is forgetful like Uncle Click.


Guided Comprehension Continued

Use context clues to determine the meaning of bass on p. 741.

According to Canary Alma, what happens when Click blows his trumpet? What does she mean?

How do the three objects C.J. finds help remind you where he goes first, second, and third?

Based on what you’ve read about the places C.J. goes an the people he meets, what can you conclude about his Harlem neighborhood?

What word on p. 745 sounds like its meaning?

Based on the text and the illustration on pp. 744-745, how do you think everyone feels about being in the photograph? Why?

What do you think might be inside the box Uncle Click is holding?

Use what you know about Uncle Click to explain why he gives C.J. his special hat.

Does this story remind you of any other stories you’ve read about a special relationship between a young person and an older relative?


Draw Conclusions

Use all the available information in a story to draw conclusions.

“When I read the dialogue on p. 734, it sounds like the men talking agree that the drummer at the Midnight Melody was really good. I know that cool can be a slang term for “wonderful” or “great,” and hot can be a slang term for “exciting” or “intense.” So I can conclude that the performance must have been really good too.

Draw conclusions about Mr. Garlic.



  • Imagery, or sensory language, is the use of words to help readers experience the way things look, sound, smell, taste, or feel.
  • An image is any detail that stimulates any of your five senses or your imagination.
  • Writers use imagery to make characters and setting seem real.
  • The author uses imagery on p. 734, paragraph 1. Make sure students note both the visual and auditory imagery provided in the descriptions of the barbershop.
  • Identify and write about the imagery in the description of the diner on p. 737, paragraph 6. Consider these questions.
  • What sounds do you hear when you imagine this scene?
  • What do you smell when you imagine this scene?


The author uses flashbacks to draw a comparison between a grandmother and granddaughter's interest in music. Students draw upon their prior knowledge of music and family relationships as they read about the positive effects of music and role models.


PAGES 8 What does this sentence mean: “An

idea began to grow in Mrs. Tribula’s mind”?

PAGES 13–17 What was the sequence of

events that led to Grandma getting a banjo?

PAGE 18 Why were Mrs. Tribula and Susan

disappointed when Grandma Betty did not

want to teach Susan to play the guitar?

PAGE 23 How was Grandma Betty a positive

influence over Susan?



This reader discusses the Harlem Renaissance and the national and world events that led to the rise of this cultural phenomenon. It also introduces three jazz legends: Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, and Duke Ellington.


PAGE 6 When you read that the music scene would change forever because of Armstrong, Henderson, Ellington, and others, what does that suggest?

PAGE 10 How would the fact that a musician improvised make his or her music exciting and lively?

PAGE 11 How did Armstrong make jazz an accepted art form?

PAGES 13–17 Was it fortunate or unfortunate that Henderson could not find work as a chemist?

PAGES 16–18 Which happened first—Fletcher Henderson playing at the opening of the Savoy ballroom or Duke Ellington being hired to perform at the Cotton Club?



After reading Unexpected Music, students will not look at everyday objects the same way again. A wide variety of unusual instruments—spanning the ages and continents—are described. Even advanced

readers will benefit from drawing on their prior knowledge of history and music to clarify the text.


PAGES 3 AND 7 Which do you think came first—the bear bone flute or the didgeridoo? Why?

PAGE 15 What conclusion can you draw about the spoons being popular?

PAGE 16 Why are the glockenspiel, marimba, and xylophone all percussion instruments that can play melodies?

PAGE 16 What type of instrument is the gong?

PAGE 21 What would you say is the main idea of this reader?


Genre: Author’s Note

In an author note, the author of a selection fills the reader in on how or why he or she wrote it.

An author note is written in the first person. It consists of the author’s personal memories and observations.

Text Features

Author notes often contain anecdotes, short accounts of interesting events. Some anecdotes tell what inspired the author to write the selection.

Look at the illustrations and ask yourself; “What will the author be telling me about?”


What inspired the author to write the selection Sweet Music in Harlem?

Where have you seen illustrations like the one on p. 750 before?

What events inspired the author?

Have you heard of some of these musicians?