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When I first got to Progress, it freaked me out to be locked in a room and unable to get out. But after a while, when you got to thinking about it, you knew nobody could get in, either.

It seems as if the only progress that's going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he's picked for the work program at a senior citizens' home. He doesn't mean to keep messing up, but it's not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he's a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he'll be able to convince himself.

Acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers offers an honest story about finding a way to make it without getting lost in the shuffle.

Curriculet Details
70 Questions
40 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 67th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining racial tension, culture, and real locations. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about figurative language and tone. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of author's purpose, theme, and character development. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Title Page

Learn about Walter Dean Myers before you start reading the novel by watching the video interview clips posted on the Reading Rockets site. You will find the background information about the author useful for accessing the language and themes Myers tackles in "Lockdown." (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 1

Myers immediately grabs the reader's attention, establishes a conflict between two people, and sets the tone for the story in the first paragraph. One character is hoping another will fail at something. This unknown character takes a verbal jab at the intelligence of his victim in order to weaken or destroy his self-confidence. As you read further into the novel, pay close attention to how the characters speak to one another, the type of language they use, and how the word choice defines the characters themselves. Finally and most importanltly, what impact does the use of language have on the characters in the story? 
Why did Father Santora make the assumption that Reese can play basketball? 
The choice to use "Evergreen" as the name of the nursing home is not an accident. An evergreen tree stays full of green leaves during all four seasons. Why do you think Myers chose to name the setting "Evergreen?"  
Why do you think Mrs. Silvey has so many rules? Do you think the rules apply to everyone or just to Reese? Use at least two pieces of evidence from the text to support your observation. 
Myers includes characters from many different ethnicities in the novel including Hispanic, African-American, and White. The United States of America has a history of tension and conflict between races despite the fact that the nation was founded on ideas of tolerance and acceptance. Racism and bigotry are still a common occurrence in the world. Racism is a large part of the themes that Myers explores in this novel. How many different races can you find in the novel? How do the different ethnicities behave toward people outside their own race? How do they relate to people of their own race? Think about how you or your friends respond to other ethnicities. What does your reaction tell you about society in general? 
What reason would Mr. Pugh have for wanting Reese to feel bad?  

Chapter 2

In the highlighted text what is the meaning of the words "'okay' is a lot better than being in a place like this?" 
The highlighted text is another example of Reese describing a character by their ethnicity. What does Reese gain by describing people as he does. 
Two themes addressed in "Lockdown" are war and personal responsibility. We often think of war as being a conflict between two countries or governments over political or ideological differences. Simply stated, nations go to war because they believe two different things. The American colonies fought the Revolutionary War because they disagreed with Great Britain about taxation. The war in the novel isn't between two nations. The war on the streets of New York City and other large urban areas is being fought over racism and the American idea of who should be successful and who should be stepped on so that others can become successful. The premise of the American Dream is that anyone can be great if they work hard. The reality is that some people will never be great because society says they are inferior in some way. Reese is a victim of the war being fought on America's city streets.  
What does the word punk mean as it is used in the paragraph? 
Isis is the Egyptian goddess of motherhood and fertility. (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 3

How has the setting of the story impacted Reese so far? 

Chapter 4

The theme of ethnicity introduced in Chapter 1 is part of the much larger theme of identity. Identity refers to a character's personal or behavioral traits which connect a person with a specific group or culture. Other types of identity include social identity, gender identity, and national identity. In the highlighted text, Reese discovers he can identify with Toon as a member of the Progress Center group regardless of the fact they are from different ethnic groups. 
The highlighted text is an example of onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is a type of figurative language and is the formation of words that imitate a sound or action. Other examples of onomatopoeia include wham, splash, drip, and plop.  
What does the word "snitch" mean as it is used in the sentence? 
The reader can infer from the highlighted text that Luther is most likely Reese's 

Chapter 5

Reese has decided to protect Toon from Cobo and Diego. Evaluate Reese's choice to provoke Cobo? Use evidence from the text to support your argument. 
The highlighted text supports the development of which theme from the novel? 

Chapter 6

Which of the details supports the theme of war? 
Juvenile detention centers can be found in almost every state in the United States of America. According to a 2012 article in Wired Magazine these facilities lockup an average of 60,500 youths every day. The Juvenile In Justice project allows you to take a look inside of facilities like Progress Center in over 30 states. See the photographs below. (This annotation contains a link)
The highlighted text is an example of slang. Slang terms are part of figurative language. Figurative language is speech or writing that departs from literal meaning in order to achieve a special effect or meaning, speech or writing employing figures of speech. Kenneth is not a dog. The word as used in the highlighted text means that Kenneth is a close friend. Watch the video to learn more about slang. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted text helps to develop which main theme of the novel? 

Chapter 7

The highlighted text helps to develop which of the main themes of the novel? 
The city of New York is made up of five administrative regions known as boroughs. The five boroughs are Mahattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Brooklyn and Queens are the two largest in land area and in population size with over half of the city's 8.5 million people living there. (This annotation contains an image)
The novel takes place in two common American institutions: a juvenile detention facility and an extended care facility. Extended care facilities are also known as nursing homes. Each of the settings has a different atmosphere, mood, and purpose. Compare and contrast the two main settings including evidence from the novel so far. Look beyond the physical characteristics of the buildings themselves and think about why the author chose the two places as his settings. What is his purpose for each? 
Evaluate Mr. Hooft's assessment of Reese. Do you agree or disagree with him based on what you have read about Reese so far. Include details from the text to support your conclusions. 
Now that you know what Reese's crime is, does that change your conclusions about Mr. Hooft's assessment of him? Explain your answer. 
Which of the novel's main themes is supported by Mr. Hooft's comments? 
Do you think Mr. Hooft's attitude of superiority toward blacks and slavery still persists in the United States in the modern era? The linked article shares evidence that anti-black attitudes are alive and well in some parts of the country. (This annotation contains a link)

Chapter 8

Based on the information given by Reese's mother in the highlighted text, what can you infer about Reese's father? 
The Harlem Children's Zone is a very real organization located in New York City's Harlem neighborhood. The purpose of the project is to establish a place where children and adults can turn to address the problems of poverty and drug use. The ultimate goal of the HCZ is to provide an environment that enriches and supports education and economic success. The Harlem Children's Zone serves over 10,000 children annually. Read more about the Harlem Children's Zone at the organization's web site. The link has been provided below.  (This annotation contains a link)
Using your own words, describe Reese's mother's attitude toward education. How does her attitude fit with the war on poverty that is raging in the streets that Reese calls home? 
Why does Mom want Reese to write a letter to his brother, Willis? 
Is Icy's idea a good one? Explain your opinion. Use moment or events from your own experience or that of a friend or family member to support your opinion. 
The highlighted text supports the development of which of the novel's main themes? 

Chapter 9

According to Crime in America 52% of released prisoners return to prison. Younger prisoners like Reese and prisoners with long periods of incarceration are more likely to be rearrested for a serious crime or for violating the conditions of their release. 
In your own words, explain how the highlighted text supports the themes of racism and identity. 

Chapter 10

The highlighted text is an example of which form of figurative language? 
Reese knows that fighting King Kong will delay or even postpone his release. Yet, he is willing to fight with King Kong. What is driving Reese to continue making the same mistakes that will keep him locked away? 

Chapter 11

A double negative is made when the negative form of a verb such as can't or didn't is combined with a negative pronoun like nothing or nobody. The highlighted text is an example of a double negative. The interesting thing about a double negative is that the sentence ends up meaning something positive. The highlighted phrase really means "I like people giving me something." Double negatives are common in everyday speech. Most of the time the listener doesn't realize what was just said means the complete opposite of what the speaker is trying to say. Other examples of double negatives are: I didn't see nothing. She is not unattractive. I can not say I do not disagree with you. 
Which of the story's main themes is supported by the highlighted text? 

Chapter 12

Which of the details supports the development of identity as a theme of the novel? 
Java is an island that belongs to the country of Indonesia. The island is home to approximately 143 million people. Over half of the population of the country lives on Java making it one of the most densely populated places in the world.  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #1: Chapters 1-12 

Chapter 13

Surakarta, also known as Solo, is a city in Central Java. The city has worked very hard to maintain its culture and traditions despite the wars and rebellions that regularly happen there. The map below shows the location of Surakarta on the island of Java. (This annotation contains an image)
A photo of a Japanese Prison Camp in Jakarta, Indonesia around 1945  (This annotation contains an image)
What does the word "punked" mean as it is used in the sentence? 
Mr. Hooft says, "His hate scared me more than the pain from his feet." In your own words, explain what he is telling Reese. 
According to Chapter 13, which events had the most significant impact on Mr. Hooft's life? Create a summary by determining four of the most significant events and writing them in chronological order. 

Chapter 14

The highlighted text is an example of a(n) 
The Republic of Iraq is a country in western Asia. The country is best known for the wars fought there between United Nations troops and the military of Saddam Hussein. The country is also known as the Cradle of Civilization because the first recognizable civilization, the Sumerians, was born there. The Sumerians were the first to create a writing system and record history. The map below shows the country of Iraq and its bordering nations. (This annotation contains an image)
Locate two details from Chapter 14 that support the theme of war and write them in the space below. 

Chapter 15

Learn more about metaphors and other types of figurative language by watching the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
What is a synonym, or a word with a similar meaning, for the term "23-7?" 
Mr. Wilson is trying to teach the boys about the idea of 

Chapter 16

There are over 27,900 gangs in the United States. All 50 states are affected by the criminal activity and violence of the over 774,400 gang members. Gang activity is centralized in but not limited to large urban areas.  
Answer Miss Rossetti's question. Do you agree with her conclusion that street violence is always in the minds of those who deal with it on a daily basis? Explain your opinion. Use evidence from your own experiences to support your opinion. 
Why does the author choose to include female characters as part of this chapter? 
What do you think has led Kat Bauer to feel no fear of dying?  
What is the author's main purpose in Chapter 16? 

Chapter 17

Which sentence explains how the highlighted paragraph is important to development of Reese's character? 

Chapter 18

The highlighted text includes an example of a 
The Hausa are rural farmers in Nigeria. They are the largest ethnic group in western Africa and one of the largest in all of Africa. Hausa children are shown in the photo below. (This annotation contains an image)
What does the highlighted paragraph (continued at the top of the next page) reveal about Mr. Hooft's character?  
The highlighted paragraph explains a fundamental difference between being a success or a failure in life. Using your own words, explain the difference as it applies to idea of identity. 
There is a change in the tone and the mood of the novel when Reese is at Evergreen. The highlighted text shows how the tone has changed between Reese and Mr. Hooft. The two characters began as acquaintances who were reluctant to be around each other due to racial prejudices they have. Mr. Hooft's tone has changed from one of fear and bigotry to one of playfulness and friendship. Learn more about the differences between tone and mood by watching the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Reese comes to a realization at the end of Chapter 18. What is that realization? How do you think this new understanding will affect Reese's future choices? 

Chapter 19

Vitiligo is a skin condition that is caused by the death or malfunction of the cells that add pigment to the skin. The cause of the condition is unknown. Vitiligo is a very rare affliction affecting only 1% of the entire human population. The photo below shows an example of vitiligo. (This annotation contains an image)
The Frederick Douglas Academy is a real school located in New York City. The school provides students from the Harlem community with the skills needed to be successful at the college of their choice. Read more about this fantastic institution at the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
What purpose could Tarik and others have for hurting people who are smaller or are unable to defend themselves? 

Chapter 20

The highlighted text is an example of a metaphor. Use your own words to explain what the metaphor means in the context of the novel. 

Chapter 21

"The first day lasted two hundred hours" is an example of hyperbole. A hyperbole is an intentional exaggeration. The two hundred hour day is impossible on Earth. Reese is trying to say the day seemed much longer than a normal day. Learn more about hyperbole by watching the video below.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 22

Which of the sentences in the highlighted paragraph helps develop the idea of identity? 
What does fighting mean to someone in Reese's position? 

Chapter 23

The highlighted text best expresses which theme of the story? 
The "Lord of the Flies" is a novel written by William Golding in 1954. The novel is about a group of boys shipwrecked on an uninhabited island who try unsuccessfully to govern themselves. 
What does the highlighted text reveal about the character of Toon? 
An author creates suspense or a strong feeling of intensity to encourage readers to continue turning the pages. Something is left out leaving the reader to want more information. Something is about to happen to Reese. The reader isn't certain what it is, but we know from Reese's reaction that something isn't as it should be. He isn't scheduled to go to Evergreen or any of the usual activities he experiences at Progress. The reader is left wondering where he is going and why.  
When describing other characters in the novel, Reese emphasizes what trait? 
In this paragraph, Reese is receiving the Miranda Warning. The Miranda Warning is a statement of a person's right to have a lawyer present during questioning. The intention of the Miranda Warning is the same in every state although the wording may be slightly different. Reese tells the officers he doesn't want to answer their questions. Notice the officer asks Reese again if he understands his rights. The person being "mirandized" must give a clear response when asked if they understand their rights. If a person does not speak English, the warning will be translated into the suspect's first language. An individual may chose to waive his rights and speak to the police without a lawyer present. 
Using your own words, write a summary of the important events in Chapter 23 in chronological order. 

Chapter 24

Which phrase best describes how the word "fishing" is used in the highlighted text? 
What does the highlighted text reveal about how Reese's character has changed from the beginning of the novel? 
Mr. Hooft asks Reese a very interesting question. What is the meaning of tough? On the surface, tough means strong and long lasting. Does that definition apply to Reese. Does it apply to John? On a deeper level, toughness has more to do with how Reese, or anyone else for that matter, copes with the stresses of life. A man is far tougher if he can control his anger in the presence of provocation than by giving in to his instincts and fighting. 
Mr. Hooft uses a beautiful metaphor to compare himself to a jasmine flower. The jasmine plant is a vine with delicate flowers that only bloom at night. The flowers have a very strong fragrance that make it ideal for perfumes, essential oils, and tea. The photo below shows the jasmine flower in bloom. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #2: Chapters 13-24 

Chapter 25

Why does the police officer make a distinction between "stealing" and "taking?"  

Chapter 26

Why does the author use the word "technical" to describe Paola's family situation? Identify two or more sentences in the text to support your answer. 
Which sentence from the text helps you determine the meaning of "egocentric"? 
What is the author's message in the highlighted text? 
Have you ever made up anything about your life to cover for something you are not very proud of? Leon believes lying is the only way to get work or to succeed in a world that stigmatizes anyone who has made a serious mistake or did what it takes to survive in a place without the basic human needs of shelter, food, and safety. Do you agree with Leon? 
Locate and share two details from Chapter 26 that help develop the idea of war. 

Chapter 28

"The Birdman of Alcatraz" is a 1962 film about Robert Stroud. Robert Stroud was a real person who raised and sold birds while incarcerated at Leavenworth Prison. Stroud was not actually allowed to keep his birds while at Alcatraz Prison. By the time he died in 1963 he had become a respected ornithologist, or bird expert. Robert Stroud is pictured in the photo below.  (This annotation contains an image)
Spike Lee is an African-American film director. He is best known for exploring controversial topics such as race relations and colorism within the black community. Colorism is similar to racism. Racial discrimination relies on multiple factors such as skin color, heritage, and social status. Colorism is a form of racial discrimination based solely on the color of the skin. Spike Lee is pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
The character of Reese has changed over the course of the novel. He has befriended an old man who insults him constantly and has now promised to send his sister to one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. What does this reveal about the transformation of Reese's character? 

Chapter 29

How would you describe Reese's reaction to getting paid for his work at Evergreen? 
The photo shows rijsttafel. (This annotation contains an image)
Which line of text helps you to understand the meaning of the word "strontstafel?" 
The highlighted text helps to support the main idea of  
What is the cause of Reese's feelings of sadness? 

Chapter 30

Explain in your own words what Reese is saying in the highlighted text. 

Chapter 31

Why does the author include the highlighted statement? What makes it important to the plot of the story? 
Alcatraz is the name of an island and the former prison located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The prison was once thought to be inescapable because it is located 1.5 miles from the nearest coastline in deep, shark-infested water. Alcatraz Island is now a tourist site and conservation area governed by the National Park Service. The photo below shows the island and the prison at Alcatraz. Can you explain why the island is also known as "The Rock?" (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 32

How would you describe the mood set by Reese's dream? Identify words or phrases that help support your argument. 
Use your own words to rephrase what Mr. Cintron is trying to teach Reese in the highlighted text. 
Aggravated felonies are any crime that includes violence, theft, or the buying and selling of illegal drugs or firearms. The punishment for an aggravated felony is imprisonment for at least one year for less serious offenses up to and including life imprisonment or the death penalty for extremely serious crimes. 

Chapter 33

How does Reese feel about Toon? What evidence from the text helps to support your answer? 
Has the author provided sufficient evidence to support releasing Reese from the Progress Center? What additional information would make the decision to release him easier? 
Reese has been confused all along about why people make up stories about their lives. He finally understands that his life is what he makes of it. He can go back to his old neighborhood and fall back into behavior that will get him imprisoned again or he can make up something better for his life and work to make it happen. Most young people experience a period of personal growth during which they are unsure of what to do with themselves. Reese has concluded that his future will be molded by his decisions and the dreams he has for his family and for himself.  

Chapter 34

Reese says, “No, sir, it’s not just four months. It’s what my life is about...People looking at me and hanging my record around my neck. That record is worse than those orange jumpsuits we wear." Which theme of the story does the statement help develop? 

One Year Later

Riker's Island is the name of an island and main jail complex for New York City. The island like many of the places mentioned in the story is part of The Bronx. The photo below shows an ariel view of the island. (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz #3: Chapters 25-34