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Mrs. Sarah Archer from Indianapolis IN is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Building Empathy and Compassion Through a Poetic Novel Study

My students need a class set of the novel Inside Out and Back Again for our poetry unit.

  • $363 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Currently, I teach fifth grade in a high poverty urban public school.

My classroom population is 100% minority with more than 50% being English language learners.

My students are beyond amazing! They come from a variety of countries that include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Mexico. They work so hard to not only master the necessary fifth grade curriculum but also the English language. Many of them come from single family homes with hardworking families who are struggling to make it.

My Project

The novel Inside Out and Back Again will be used during our fifth grade poetry unit. We will study this book as a whole class using a close reading format. Each day we will focus on a small part of the text. Through multiple reads each day, my students will follow along with the main female character, Ha.

The story begins when Ha is ten and is living in Saigon in 1975, and the story ends with Ha as an eleven-year-old living in Alabama.

With the use of free verse, the students will read a form of poetry that many of them have never had exposure to. They will follow along as Ha's father is away fighting in the war and the mother and children are increasingly vulnerable and impoverished. Each day Ha's family must choose between staying and fleeing.

Multiple themes will be discussed through this whole class novel study including disagreements, loyalty, duty vs. desire, fear of the unknown, empathy for those that experience much worse in life than us, and the overall elements of amazingly written poetry.

This novel will be help my students empathize with the life of refugees and immigrants, a theme as relevant now as it ever was.

Mrs. Sarah Archer
Grades 3-5
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Inside Out and Back Again • Amazon Business $7.84 35 $274.40

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


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3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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