Teacher Resources 2: YA Author Yvonne Ventresca.

Here is the second selection in the series of CURRICULUM GUIDES AND MATERIALS for use in the classroom based on popular titles.  Today, YA author YVONNE VENTRESCA presents the curriculum guide and core content study questions for her second novel.

Black Flowers, White Lies    

 Black Flowers, Whites Lies is a young adult psychological thriller by Yvonne Ventresca that won the 2017 Gold Medal Independent Publisher’s Award for YA fiction. Sky Pony Press published the hardcover in 2016, and they officially released the paperback version in March.

The paperback includes bonus content, including sample discussion questions for educators. The complete guide was created by Marcie Colleen to help educators use Black Flowers, White Lies for classroom study, book clubs, and independent reading. To download a free copy of the complete educator’s guide, containing over fifty discussion points, activities, and writing prompts, visit Yvonne Ventresca’s website at YvonneVentresca.com.

Black Flowers, White Lies Education Guide: Common Core Alignment for Grades 7-12

 7th grade: ELA.

RI.7.1,2,3,4,5,6,9;; W.7.3a-­e,4;; SL.7.4,5;; L.7.1,2,3

8th grade: ELA.

RI.8.1,2,3,4,6,9;; W.8.3a-­e,4;; SL.8.1a,3,5;; L.8.1,2,3,4a,c,d

9–10th grade: ELA.

RL.9–10.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9;; W.9–10.3a–e,4;; SL.9–10.1,4,5;; L.9–10.1,2,4a,c,d

11–12th grade: ELA.

RL.11–12.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9;; W.11–12.3a–e,4;; SL.11–12.1,4,5;; L.11–12.1,2,4a,c,d

About the free education guide

The education guide encourages analytical thinking and more in-depth discussion of the story. For example, there are suggestions for map-drawing activities, rewriting scenes from a different character’s point of view, and creating a brochure for a walking tour of the setting.

One of the themes of Black Flowers, White Lies is dishonesty. The education guide includes several activities to help students discuss this theme. How does it feel to tell a lie or to discover that someone else has lied? Why are the characters dishonest in the story? Students can play two truths and a lie and practice looking for signs of untruthfulness. They can also investigate topics like gaslighting and how someone’s perceptions can be manipulated.

Sample Activity for Black Flowers, White Lies

Fact vs Perception

Sometimes it is difficult to sort through what is fact and what is perception.

Have someone unannounced (a teacher or a student from a different class) come into your classroom while students are working quietly on a task at their desks. Plan with the mystery visitor ahead of time to make sure he or she does several things in your class during his or her brief visit such as:

  • Borrow something like a book, a craft supply, money, etc.
  • Talk to a student in the class
  • Give a note to the teacher
  • Ask a question
  • Set something down on a table

After the visitor leaves the room, have the students write down as many details as they can remember about the visit.

  • What details do they recall? What was the visitor wearing? How long was the visitor in the room? What did the visitor borrow while in the room? Whom did he or she talk to? What did he or she say?

Once everyone has finished writing, ask students to share their observations. Compare notes. What are the similarities and differences between student reports? Discuss what might be facts and what was simply perception.

Copyright © 2017 by Marcie Colleen. Reproduced with permission from Marcie Collen. All rights reserved.

About the novel:

 Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a connection that transcends the grave. Since her mother disapproves, she keeps her visits to the cemetery where he’s buried secret. But when Ella learns that her mother may have lied about how Dad died sixteen years ago, it’s clear she’s not the only one with secrets. New facts point to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not a car accident as Mom always claimed.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger, as he did once before, or if someone’s playing unsettling tricks on her. But as the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, she finds herself terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone new: Ella herself. What if, like Dad, she’s suffering from a mental breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers—no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

To obtain a free copy of discussion points, activities, and writing prompts, visit YvonneVentresca.com and download the Black Flowers, White Lies education guide.