4th Grade students read Bud, Not Buddy in their classroom this year. During our PDP classroom sessions, we used the book as another way for the students to connect to music. We also used music to help the students develop a deeper understanding of the characters in the book.
Students listened to 4 songs from the time period the book was set in, and read the lyrics. Then they chose a song and a character from the book. Each student wrote a letter to a character explaining why the song they chose reminded them of that character.
Students then chose a different song and character. They wrote a letter to the composer or performer of the song, and told them about the book and the character the song reminded them of.
Before writing either of the letters, students listened to the 4 songs and quickly made mood drawings. The instruction was to choose one or two colors and within 5 minutes make a quick abstract drawing that depicted the mood of the song, or the mood they felt while listening to the song. Students used the mood drawings as a way to connect the feeling of a song to the personality of the characters in the book.