Childrens Literature
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William H. Armstrong (1911-1999)

William H. Armstrong was born September 14, 1911 near Lexington, Virginia. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1936. He became history master at Kent School in Kent, Connecticut where he taught for 52 years. He published his first book, a study guide called Study is Hard Work in 1956. Over the next few years he published other books about learning like 87 ways to Help Your Child in School (1961), Tools of Thinking (1968), and Word Power in 5 Easy Lessons (1969). Then in 1969 he published the novel Sounder about a African-American sharecropper family in Virginia. Sounder was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1970. He wrote two sequels to Sounder - Sour Land (1971) and The MacLeod Place (1972).

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William H. Armstrong profile Photos
William H. Armstrong was also a farmer, carpenter and stonemason. Learn more from this brief biography. Source: Children's Literature Network Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Elementary/Middle School Teacher Section: No Searchable: Yes

Still Livin' Under the Bonds of Slavery profile Audio
First-personaudio account with transcript of sharecropping at the turn of the century. Source: History Matters George Mason University Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes Searchable: Yes


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Lesson Plans

40 page PDF study guide for Sounder. Source: Glencoe

American Families: Portraits of African-American Families
This unit of study includes lesson plans focused on the novel Sounder.
Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

Sounder - Gr. 4-9
Students learn about how a historical period affects the characters and narrative. Source: Scholastic

Reading, Writing, and Sounder
This lesson includes includes journal writing, student-led discussions, vocabulary development, and persuasive writing. Source: Alabama Learning Exchange