The Family Under the Bridge Discussion Guide
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
About this book
Tell students that they will be reading a book called The Family Under the Bridge. Explain that it is set in France, in the city of Paris, and that it is about a most unusual family.
Use the activity that is best suited to your class.
Remind students that many of the books they have read—even many of the movies or TV shows they have seen—deal with families. Have students suggest some of those families, and talk with them about the make-up and structure of those families. Ask who is in the family, where they live, how they earn a living, what their goals and dreams are, what they do for fun, and so on. Work through enough suggestions to give students a sense of the diversity of the families they have already seen in literature and through other media. Write their ideas on the chalkboard.
Talk with students about what their lives would be like if they were suddenly forced to leave the places where they now lived. Where would they go? How would they find shelter? How would they prepare their food, clean their clothes, and do all of the other tasks that make up their daily life? Work with students to outline some of the most important problems to solve, then help them establish several likely strategies for dealing with those problems.
Distribute copies of the book and call attention to the cover illustration. Have students describe what they see, letting them use the clues in the picture to speculate about the setting, characters, and plot of the book. Ask students to read to find out exactly where the story takes place, who the characters are, and what they are doing.