The Great Depression is the setting for this tale of overcoming hardships.
This resource is designed to help struggling readers understand the book. Make predictions about Billie Jo’s future playing the piano. Put events in order as they happen to Billie Jo and her classmates. Students imagine making the same decisions Billie Jo faces regarding her future. Identify the metaphor Billie Jo uses for her father and what it means. Compare and contrast your own holiday traditions with the ones celebrated by Billie Jo’s community. Explore key sequences of events from the story on a plot train graphic organizer. Aligned to your State Standards and written to Bloom's Taxonomy, our worksheets incorporate a variety of scaffolding strategies along with additional crossword, word search, comprehension quiz and answer key.
About the Novel:
Out of the Dust tells the story of Billie Jo as she struggles during the Great Depression while living on a farm in Oklahoma. Billie Jo lives with her parents on a small farm with very little money and insufficient crops. Drought rages across the country. With no water, nothing can grow and soon the ground turns to dust. Dust is everywhere. It’s in their food, their clothes, their beds, their mouths, and even their eyes. There is no break from it. The only good thing is Billie Jo’s love of playing the piano. She inherits this from her mother, who soon allows her to start playing at shows. However, things get worse for the family when tragedy befalls their small farm. An event causes Billie Jo to lose her mother and unborn brother. She also injures her hands so severely that she can no longer play the piano. Billie Jo and her father soon drift apart. It’s only a matter of time before Billie Jo must decide whether to leave the farm for a better life, or stay and watch her farm and father be swallowed in dust. Told from her perspective, Billie Jo’s voice is evident as she retells the hardships her and her family have endured while trying to survive, living among the dust.
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