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Journey of Discovery: Last Stop on Market Street Activities and Discussions

Last Stop on Market Street is a journey through the eyes of CJ and his wise Nana, exploring the beauty in everyday life and the distinction between wants and needs. This post delves into Last Stop on Market Street activities and thought-provoking discussion questions, from exploring gratitude and optimism to understanding inequity and community.

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Last Stop on Market Street Summary

In Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, CJ’s Nana teaches him to appreciate his surroundings and what he has rather than wanting what others have.

CJ and his wise Nana embark on their Sunday bus ride from church.

He questions why his life lacks the material comforts his friends have.

Nana patiently answers his questions, helping him see the beauty in their surroundings and appreciating what they have.

Last Stop on Market Street Activities

Last Stop on Market Street promotes generosity, thankfulness and optimism and reflects on appreciating our surroundings and the difference between wants and needs. 

This post will focus on Last Stop on Market Street activities for cause and effect, inference, and sequencing.

Critical Reflections: Thought-Provoking Questions about Last Stop on Market Street

These questions encourage your students to think critically about Last Stop on Market Street story, character development, plot progression, setting, and underlying themes. 

  • How do CJ and Nana look at life differently?
  • How do you know this book is set in a city/urban setting? How is the setting different or the same as where you live?
  • What is the difference between wanting something and needing something?
  • Why do you think Nana volunteers? What does she gain?
  • How can you show more gratitude and optimism, like Nana?
  • How does CJ’s attitude change throughout the story?
  • Why do you think CJ’s grandmother takes him on the bus every Sunday instead of taking a car?
  • What does CJ’s grandmother mean when she says, “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful”?
  • Can you relate to CJ’s feelings of wanting what others have?
  • How does CJ’s grandmother help him see the beauty and fun in their routine?

This activity pack includes over 100 questions to use before, during, and after reading Last Stop on Market Street. 

Questions for the Last Stop on Market Street.
Click on the images for Last Stop on Market Street read-aloud questions

Exploring Cause and Effect: Last Stop on Market Street Activities

CJ and his grandmother navigate through their city, with CJ questioning their circumstances and his grandmother providing insightful responses.

CJ’s Questions and Nana’s Answers: CJ asks questions (cause), and his grandmother provides answers (effect). This pattern helps students understand the direct relationship between a cause and its effect. Activity: Complete a worksheet matching CJ’s questions to his grandmother’s responses.

Changes in CJ’s Attitude: As the story progresses, CJ’s attitude changes from dissatisfaction to appreciation (cause and effect). Activity: Chart CJ’s emotional journey, identifying key moments that caused his change in attitude.

Grandmother’s Life Lessons: Nana uses their surroundings to teach CJ important life lessons. Her explanations (cause) lead to a shift in CJ’s perspective (effect). Activity: Write a journal noting each life lesson Nana teaches and how it changes CJ’s perspective.

Journey to the Soup Kitchen: The journey to the soup kitchen (cause) leads to CJ’s realisation of the importance of helping others (effect). Activity: Map the sequence of events leading to CJ’s realisation.

A collection of reading comprehension worksheets featuring a picture of a bus and activities related to the book "Last Stop on Market Street.
Click on the images to explore cause & effect activities for Last Stop on Market Street.

Character Insights: Understanding CJ and Nana in Last Stop on Market Street

  • Progressive Journey: The story’s structure, a continuous journey from church to the soup kitchen, provides a clear sequence of events. Activity: Create a story map illustrating the progression of CJ and his grandmother’s journey.
  • Repetitive Structure: The repetitive pattern of CJ asking questions and his grandmother providing answers helps establish a predictable sequence. Activity: Make a list or chart of the questions and answers in order of occurrence.
  • CJ’s Changing Perspective: The gradual change in CJ’s perspective throughout the story can be sequenced to show character development. Activity: Create a timeline highlighting key moments influencing CJ’s changing views.
  • Arrival at the Soup Kitchen: The journey ends at the soup kitchen, which provides a definitive end point for sequencing the story. Activity: Discuss the significance of the soup kitchen in the sequence of events, including how prior events build up to this moment.
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Charting Character Growth: Sequencing CJ's Transformation in Last Stop on Market Street

CJ’s curiosity and his grandmother’s wisdom create characters perfect for in-depth analysis.

  • Dialogue: The conversation between CJ and Nana reveals much about their personalities, attitudes, and perspectives. Activity: Analyse selected pieces of dialogue and discuss what they reveal about the characters.
  • Character Development: CJ’s transformation from feeling discontented to appreciative showcases his growth as a character. Activity: Create a timeline tracing CJ’s transformation, noting key events contributing to his change.
  • Character Actions: The characters’ actions, particularly the grandmother, reveal their values and beliefs. Activity: List the significant actions by CJ and his grandmother and discuss what these actions reveal about their characters.
  • Character Interactions: The interactions between CJ and other characters provide insights into his character. Activity: Chart CJ’s interactions with other characters and discuss how these interactions reflect his character.
A collection of worksheets for Last Stop on Market Street activities.
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