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Free Resources for Look Both Ways

Updated: 6 days ago

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Look Both Ways is a collection of short stories by Jason Reynolds. Each story features a different kid from the neighborhood and what their life looks like inside and out of school. My coteacher and I chose this book during COVID because we wanted to work with a text that would be engaging but could also be adapatable to an ever-changing schedule. The series of short stories, and all the discussions that could be had for each, made it so that we could make a story last as long or a short as we needed it to. I used this book with my self-contained juniors during COVID. Even though the characters in the book were in middle schools, my students didn't really mind since the characters felt older and we talked about serious issues for each story.

I don't have materials for every story, as the first year that I taught it, I alternated planning and teaching of stories with my coteacher, but I am posting what I have. Keep checking back for the next few weeks, as this post will be a work in progress as I slowly transfer my Look Both Ways materials to the blog. Enjoy these free resources for Look Both Ways.

"Call of Duty"

"Call of Duty" is one of my favorite short stories to teach. I even filmed me teaching part of it for my boards lesson one year. But I love it because it's about video games (kids dig this), social media, and bullying, and it's also about two boys who like each other. This is sometimes a hard/uncomfortable subject for my students and my coteachers and I always get a lot of good questions. Part of the lesson is about the bullying of LGBTQ youth, and I used materials from the article "Unpacking Gendered Arguments to Increase LBGTQ+ Allyship," which was in the September 2020 edition of the English Journal, to help me with that section.

Day 1

We started with a Nearpod where we asked kids to define things like "individuality," "conformity," "masculinity," and "femininity." This was really new to a lot of my kids so we did the best we could. I have no idea how to share a Nearpod from my school account to the general public, so these are just the Google slides, but it will allow you to see how we set up the conversation.

Day 2

-Journal (20 minutes)

  • Introduce the point of journaling

  • Go over prompt

  • Model

  • Journal: Consider what we talked about today and respond to the following questions: (100-150 words)

  • a. How are people treated when they push against gender expectations? Provide a specific example. (In other words, if someone is biologically a boy but doesn't act like a "traditional" "boy" how do people treat them? Think of girls, as well.)

-Share out: Anyone want to share what they wrote about in their journals?


  • Rate knowledge of vocabulary

  • Show kids how to fill in chart

  • Put them with a partner to complete

  • Talk through the words that looked familiar.

Start "Call of Duty"

  • Read aloud the first few pages, asking students to think about what they learn about the main character.

  • Have students reread the first few pages and complete this "Call of Duty" Opening handout

Day 3

"Call of Duty" vocabulary.

Reading Time

  • Discussed fluent reading

  • Listen to pages 81-85 from Audible. I used to read to the kids myself but the audiobook is way better.

Day 4

Vocabulary Bingo (20 minutes)

Reading Time

  • With your partner, continue rereading pages 81-85.

  • When you finish, fill in the "Ty Carson Characterization" handout.

  • If you finish early

  • Read your choice book for 20-30 minutes & fill in the online reading log

  • Practice vocabulary on

  • Work on the Lexia diagnostic.

  • Log in through Clever (via applications page)

  • Diagnostic should pop up

Day 5

"Call of Duty"-Analysis lesson

Bullying Introduction

I asked the students to take notes while I lectured on bullying. The information on these slides and handouts is from

Journal: Is bullying a problem at our school? Why or why not? Support your answer with details. (200-250 words)

Day 6


  • Check to see if we filled in example sentences and/or visuals on the paper chart

  • If we did, write a vocabulary story with 10 words.

Here are some ways to start your story (30 minutes):

  • Last night, I had a dream that I was 25 years old and I had the craziest life.

  • Once upon a time, I went on a vacation to Florida and was jumped on by a cougar.

  • When I am principal of Washington-Liberty high school, I am going to make the following changes….

"Call of Duty"

  • Give out passage. (I printed pages 88-90 for the students so that they could eventually highlight the types of bullies.) Review last section from last class. Read the new passage out loud or listen to the audiobook.

  • Review bullying terms/notes from previous class with this matching review.

  • Give bullying handout (in case kids did not finish their notes or lost their notes)

  • Give annotating directions

Day 7


  • Continue vocabulary story from day before.

"Call of Duty"

  • Continue annotations from the class before.


  • Prompt: In your own words, explain the different bullying “roles” that at least 3 characters played in this scene. Provide examples to support your answer.

  • Bullying Graphic Organizer & Paragraph

Day 8


  • Give each student a vocabulary word and have them write a contextualized sentence or find one online. Once students submit these, put them together to create a practice vocabulary quiz. You can also just buy a practice quiz and actual quiz here:

"Call of Duty"

  • Character review Kahoot

  • Make a prediction: Bryson just tried to stand up for Ty. What is going to happen to Byrson now? Make a prediction.

  • Listen to the rest of the story

Wrap Up Story

  • Watch Anti-bullying video

  • Get into small groups with a coteacher and complete the "Video vs. Story" handout. In this handout, I asked kids to compare what they saw in the video to what they saw in the story. Then they had to write about if either the video or the story matched the experiences in their high school.

Day 9


"Call of Duty"

I give a quiz at the end of each story. I compiled them into a full multiple choice test on TpT, but each story still has its own set of questions. (paid product).

Day 10


I hope some of these free resources for Look Both Ways were helpful to you!

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