Bud, Not Buddy Teaching Ideas

Activities to do with the Novel Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Are you looking for some Bud, Not Buddy Teaching Ideas? You’ve come to the right place.

Story Summary

Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of a 10-year-old orphan whose mother died four years earlier. The year is 1936. This is during the Great Depression. Bud is taken in by the Amoses who think Bud is a troublemaker. They lock him in the shed, and Bud runs away.

Bud goes to the library looking for Miss Hill. She has moved away. There, Bud sees his friend Bugs who is running away out west. Bud joins him hoping to find his father. Bugs and Bud become separated when Bud is too slow to catch the train.

Bud goes to the library to research the walking distance to Grand Rapids where he believes his father is. While walking to Grand Rapids, Bud meets Lefty Lewis who gives him a ride.

Bud finally reaches Grand Rapids and finds Herman Calloway, the man he believes is his father. Herman Calloway is an old coot who denies he has a son.

Why Read the Novel?

Bud, Not Buddy is a terrific choice for a class novel study for several reasons:

  • Bud, Not Buddy tells the story of a young boy living during the 1930s Great Depression. Through this story, students get a feel for this time in American history. The story tells of poverty, hardships, orphanages, and hunger. Students read about several events of the Great Depression: soup kitchens, train-hopping, and Hoovervilles.

  • The story is rich in figurative language. The author filled the novel with similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, and so on. The novel even contains language that was made-up by the main character Bud. The author’s word choice really enhances the novel.

  • Bud, Not Buddy is a Common Core Exemplary Text. This means that the novel contains complex language. Advanced vocabulary and other elements challenge students.

Bud, Not Buddy Teaching Ideas

Novel Study Samples

Bud, Not Buddy Novel Study

Check out the Bud, Not Buddy Book Unit with these sample pages:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapter 1
  • Constructed Response Questions for Character Traits and Comparing Characters

You can get the free book unit sample by clicking the button.

Teaching Idea #1  – Bud, Not Buddy Anchor Chart

Reactions to Bud Anchor Chart

This anchor chart pairs with a free sample constructed response organizer. Students complete their individual charts while a class model is shown on the anchor chart.

You may wish to have students complete the anchor chart by writing the details on sticky notes. This way the anchor chart may be used year after year.

Ways to Use the Graphic Organizer

Interactive Notebook Idea

Option 1

Have students use the graphic organizer for notes. Notice the notes in the photo above are not in complete sentences. Glue the organizer to the left side of the notebook page. On the right side of the notebook, students use the notes to write the details in paragraph form.

Option 2

Students complete the organizer by writing complete sentences.

Teaching Idea #2  – Audio Book

This YouTube audio version contains the read-along text.

Teaching Idea #3  – Meet the Author

See the product that inspired this post.

Bud, Not Buddy Novel Study

Bud, Not Buddy Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, constructed response writing, and skill practice.  

Gay Miller

Permanent link to this article: https://bookunitsteacher.com/wp/?p=1113


  1. Thank you for sharing with us, I think this website genuinely stands out :

  2. Aρpreciate the recommendatiⲟn. Will try it out.

Comments have been disabled.