Precious and the Boo Hag by Patricia McKissack

Schema: stories that teach a lesson, folktale, stranger danger

The story is written as a modern day folktale featuring the Boo Hag from the Gullah culture of South Carolina.  The Boo Hag is a legendary spirit or shape-shifter that wants to live in another person’s body, or it is also described as  riding a person by using their skin and body as a form for it to use.

Presidents’ Day: at the very end of the story, the Boo Hag shape-shifts itself into a penny.  Precious is almost fooled, but just in time she realizes the penny has the image of George Washington on it instead of Abraham Lincoln.  Precious’ brother had told her that the Boo Hag was not too smart.

Author’s Purpose: It might be to share a cultural story that teaches a lesson about not opening the door to anyone when a child is staying home alone.

Sequencing: Sequence the shapes that the Boo Hag took each time it appeared to Precious.

Drawing Conclusions: What evidence does Precious find that leads her to draw the conclusion that each of the characters that visits with her is in fact a Boo Hag?

Examples: Drinking the water, frog-like tongue, getting apron color wrong, being a penny with the wrong image

The author is an African American making this an authentic choice to read during African American history month.


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