Dinner at Aunt Connie's House

Last updated Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Author: Faith Ringgold
Illustrator: Faith Ringgold
Date of Publication: 1999
ISBN: 0613002326
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2004

Synopsis: Melody meets her newly adopted cousin, Lonnie, at her Aunt Connie's house one summer. While playing, the youngsters discover 12 paintings in the attic, each of which depicts a famous African-American woman. What is unusual about the portraits is that they can speak.

Note to readers:
•  Tips for reading the book:? This is a lengthy book. If you find it difficult to get through all of the biographies of the famous women featured, you can skip a few of them.? This book has an excellent discussion topic -- women who often stood alone and were not afraid to take risks.? This is a good chance to discuss diversity and the Civil Rights Movement with your group.? And, you can discuss the Lonnie character and diversity in families and encourage children to reflect on festive dinners with relatives and close friends.?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Who are some important women that you?ve studied? What have they achieved?
•  Are there jobs that boys can have that girls can?t? Why/ why not?
•  Name some of the women in the book - ever heard of them?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw your own portrait (or that of someone you admire), and write your (or their) accomplishments underneath.
•  Make a frame (for the portraits, or for a picture), and decorate with the names of the women.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!