Teaching; “THE HATE U GIVE”


This year I have decided on a book about racial conflict in the US to cover this particular goal; interpret at least one major work of fiction, one film, and a selection from other English-language literature from the 1900s up to the present. I am looking forward to hearing what my students have to say about it. It is an easy to read book, but with the 440 pages, it might scare off some of the students who are not used to reading books. To start them off, I plan to spend some time reading in class. Hopefully, that will make them eager to read at home. Look forward to reading about their first reflections on their blogs.

An outstanding debut stages the debates convulsing America in the story of a teenager who testifies after a shooting. The first-person narrative is simply beautiful to read, and I felt I was observing the story unfold in 3D as the characters grew flesh and bones inside my mind. The Hate U Give is an outstanding debut novel and says more about the contemporary black experience in America than any book I have read for years, whether fiction or non-fiction. It’s a stark reminder that, instead of seeking enemies at its international airports, America should open its eyes and look within if it’s really serious about keeping all its citizens safe. The Guardian. Read more here. 

Angie Thomas: the debut novelist who turned racism and police violence into a bestseller. Angie Thomas grew up witnessing drug dealing and gun crime but dreamed of being a writer. Then police shot a young, unarmed black man and she found her subject. Afua Hirsch meets her. The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr, a 16-year-old black girl who lives in inner-city America in a neighbourhood that is poor and black, but goes to school in a suburb that is affluent and white. At home, Starr’s loving and protective parents usher their children into a room they call the “den” not just to watch basketball games, but to shield them from the machine gun fire that frequently erupts on the street outside. One night Starr and her childhood friend Khalil are driving home from a party when they are pulled over by police. Khalil, who is unarmed, is made to get out of the vehicle, and an officer – who later claims he mistook the boy’s hairbrush for a gun –shoots and kills him, traumatizing Starr. The Guardian. 

Lesson plan

To start off read the extract above and the articles they refer to. Read the first 3 chapters of the book and answer the following questions on your blog.

  1. What is the most significant information you get in these first 3 chapters?
  2. Choose one paragraph that stands out to you and write why you think it might be important to the story.
  3. Black lives matter, write here what you know about this movement. Then share here on this Padlet
  4. Listen to this podcast. And this podcast.
  5. Reach out to the author on Twitter and link to your blog https://twitter.com/angiecthomas.
  6. Choose a topic from this research list and write about it on your blog. Black lives matter.
  7. Watch the documentary below.
  8. Make a radio show where one in the group is the Author, one is a reader and one is a critic. If four in the group include a radio show host as well.
  9. Make a radio show where you interview the characters in the short story. Choose how many you need, have a radio host who asks the questions.


  1. I teach 8th grade in Iowa, USA. I have a couple of copies of this book on my shelf, and every student that has read it has loved it. I loved it as well, and am so glad teachers are using it. I know our HS thought about using it, although I’m not sure if they have yet or not.

  2. Hello Mrs. Black!
    I am a teacher in Des Moines, Iowa and I will be teaching Upward Bound this summer. This book was the only thing that was required to teach, as I can develop my curriculum for the rest of the class. Thank you fro providing this fresh option supplementing and reading this book!

  3. I teach English at an Austrian middle and high school. I have a fantastic group of students in my advanced elective course, where we are reading The Hate U Give in connection with their exploring the Black Lives Matter movement. May we use some of your lesson plan ideas posted here? I appreciate the links to the documentary and podcasts in particular. Best wishes, LISA

  4. Hi Lisa. Nice to hear from you. Of course you can use my lesson plans. Sounds like a good group of students you have. Let me know if we could get our students to work together on this or any other subject. My students are 16 years old.

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