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Book Study: Ballerina Dreams

Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer A collection of resources to help your students learn about Michaela DePrince through reading.

FREE Book Study Ballerina Dreams about Michaela DePrince from The Curriculum Corner

This is another free resource for teachers from The Curriculum Corner.

This collection of resources about Michaela DePrince is designed to help guide a study of Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer in your classroom.

This set might be used at any time during the year or during African American History month in February.

About the Book

If you have not yet read this book, it will be a great addition to your classroom library!

The book tells the story of a girl who is an orphan from Sierra Leone. Michaela DePrince was adopted by a family in America. Through hard work she has achieved her dream of becoming a ballerina. 

This is a book that will fit well into third grade classrooms.

While it might be an easy read for many fourth graders, the subject matter might be high interest. It does lead itself to deeper discussions.

FREE Book Study Ballerina Dreams about Michaela DePrince from The Curriculum Corner 2

**You will find the full set of resources in one download at the bottom of this post in BOLD font.**

Included Resources

What I Have Learned About Michaela DePrince 

This is a simple and open-ended graphic organizer students can use at a center after the book has been read aloud.  Place the book at the center so students can use it to check the accuracy of their claims about what they have learned. Students will need access to an iPad or other on line device to find Michaela’s birthdate.

Support Your Beliefs 

This page is intended for use as a mini-lesson as you read the book together with your students. Students share one word they feel describes Michaela. They will then find three ideas from the book that will support the word.

Character Traits 

Use this page to get students to think more deeply about Michaela DePrince and the type of child she was. Get them thinking about the different character traits that describe her best.  We have provided nine words on card. Students can use these at a small group where they choose a card. They must then share evidence to support the trait they chose. You might also choose to have students come up with their own character traits.

Interactive Notebook Directions: Students cut on bold lines and glue the middle vertical rectangle to their notebook pages.  Next, they write Michaela’s name in the part they glued down and fold the flaps fold over it. On the outside of each flap, students write a character trait they believe describes Michaela. Under the flap they will share support for the trait from their reading.

Thinking About Michaela DePrince – Synthesizing Activity 

Students share their thinking about their reading following the prompts. This organizer might be best completed during class discussions depending on your students.

FREE Book Study Ballerina Dreams about Michaela DePrince from The Curriculum Corner 3

Problem & Solution

Students are asked to share a problem Michaela faces.  Students are then asked to share ideas and steps to the solution in the three boxes on the right.

Comparing Lives

Students will share how their lives are different from the life of Michaela.

Michaela’s Quote

This is an open ended page that you may use in different ways. The top contains a quote of Michaela’s from the book. You might choose to have students share their dream using words and pictures. Another idea is to have students share what Michaela has done to make her own dream come true.

FREE Book Study Ballerina Dreams

Michaela DePrince Flip Book

To assemble this booklet correctly. Print pages in the given order, front to back. Once you have done this, you will be able to fold the pages on the marked lines (look for the small marks on the side of the pages.) Stack the pages together and staple. Students will follow the prompts to complete the booklets.

FREE Book Study Ballerina Dreams

Cause & Effect 

Students will match each cause with the effect at this literacy center. We have also provided a recording page.

Reading Response Pages

There are four different pages that have simple reading response questions to be completed after the learning.

Making Words  

Students use the letters in the word BALLERINA to create smaller words.  Comes with a page of letters for students to cut out and manipulate to make the words.

FREE Book Study Ballerina Dreams from The Curriculum Corner 6

Pocket Chart Sentence Cards

These five pocket chart sentence cards can be used during a mini-lesson or as a scrambled sentence center.  They borders are color-coded for easy sorting and storage.

You will find all of the Michaela DePrince resources here: 

Michaela Resources

Need to purchase the book or other resources to accompany your study?

We are sharing a couple links below (contains affiliate links). The second book about Michaela, Taking Flight is designed for older students.

If you are looking for additional resources for your study on biographies, you will find our unit of study here: Biography Unit of Study

We also have a similar book study that focuses on Malala Yousafazai: Malala

You can learn more about Michaela DePrince to share with your students here: Michaela’s Page

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