Saturday, October 30, 2010
Author: Yona Zeldis McDonough
Illlustred by: Nacy Harrison
Grade Level: 2-6
About the Book:
The story of Harriet Tubman begins with a brief description of who was Harriet Tubman and how she grew into brave and daring young woman. She was brave to escape from slavery, after bring whipped by owners many times. She was courageous to help others get their freedom by escaping; that she then became known as “Moses”.
The book explores Harriet Tubman life from her birth as slave to her struggles that lead for freedom. The book look at her life in Maryland to the first time she heard about the Underground. The books also explores how she was able to unite the black and white people to stand together to address social injustice that the African American were facing on daily basis.
Element: Social Movements and Social Change
This book is adequate and great way to introduce element four of social movement and social change. From this book kids will learn about slavery, the civil war, and how one person can change the world. It will gave a message of hope to many of our students, that people will overcome anything if they are courage and brave enough to stand for the right cause.
This book would be great introduction to the civil right movement during the Black History Month. It will help students understand the hardships that African American had to go through to get their voice heard. As future teacher, one of the activities that I will enjoy doing with my students is a timeline about the important dates and events in the American history. I will ask my students to add their own events in this timeline, to help them understand that they are also part of history, and that they are making history each and every day.
Teacher Lesson Resource
To find a copy of this book, please use link below:
Monday, October 25, 2010
Title: Wangari's Trees of Peace
True Story From Africa
Author and Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
Age Group: Ages 5-7
Buy it Here!
Lesson Plan Ideas
Wangari's Tree of Peace is about a girl who lived in small village in Kenya who made a difference that the world could see. Before she goes to school in America she remembers her childhood in Kenya as a place full of beautiful green trees. When she returns to Kenya she sees that the trees that once stood were now destroyed for the new buildings that would rise. Wangari would not stand for this to happen and with one seed at a time and the cooperation of the women in her village she starts a movement across Africa to replant all the trees that had once been chopped. Wangari was jailed for protecting the forest but even then she did not give up and every tree that was destroyed and many more were planted all across Africa by millions of women.
Wangari was an ordinary girl who was concerned about the trees that were chopped from her village. Her concerns lead her not only to plant seedlings in her own backyard but had other women come together with her and start a movement of planting trees. This book truly teaches Social Justice because one woman was able to make a such a big difference in not only her community but world wide. She empowered women to come together and plant the trees regardless of the men attempting to destroy their work. Students learn that something as small as planting a tree can make a huge change. Wangari Maathai was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1994 for her Green Belt Movement.
I could teach this book in two settings: teaching about the environment in a science lesson and teaching about social change and movement in a history lessons. Children can learn about the importance of trees and the environment through the book. I would also use this book to show children of all ages that anyone can make a difference maybe have the children take part in some sort of social change big or small.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
"Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World"
Author: Jane Breskin Zalben
In this book, sixteen different short biographies are written about "peacemakers" throughout the world: people who as Jane Zalben puts it "made the world a better place". Covering both well known figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and lesser known characters like Wangari Maathai, this book is great to spark discussion on social justice education among upper elementary school students. With interesting artwork and quotes accompanying each biography, Zalben covers a variety of ethnic groups and backgrounds sure to inspire intrinsic learning and foster reflective reading.
Title: Harriet Tubman
Author: Catherine Nichols
Illustrated by: Brian Denington
Suggested Uses: Age 4-8
Summary: The book provides students with some biographical and historical insight into the life of Harriet Tubman. "Harriet Tubman" illustrates the strenuous efforts that she went through to become free from slavery. Catherine Nichols highlights the issue of slavery, and how the escape of one brave and courageous woman returned to the Underground Railroad to help rescue hundreds of the other slaves.
Purchase it now!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Title: Emma’s Poem
The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
By: Linda Glaser
Painted by: Claire A. Nivola
Grade Level: 1st-4th
Emma’s Poem, The Voice of the Statue of Liberty tells the story of Emma, a little girl who grew up with having plenty of everything. As an adult Emma was a well known writer but, only knew people who were as fortunate as her. One afternoon Emma visited Ward’s Island in New York Harbor. She was shocked to meet poor Jewish immigrants who had traveled from Eastern Europe across the ocean to New York. Emma felt sad and hurt seeing so many individuals who were mistreated and unfortunate. Emma wanted to make a change and help the people. Later Emma found out France was constructing a statue to give to the United States as a friendship gift. To raise money famous writers were asked to write something. Emma wrote a poem that was read at the pedestal fundraiser celebration. Her poem demonstrated a strong voice speaking up for immigrants. The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by France as a friendship gift. Emma Lazarus wrote a poem expressing a strong voice about immigrants, giving them an opportunity and making a change for the well being of people.
Emma’s Poem, The Voice of the Statue of Liberty demonstrates Element #4, Social Movement and Social Change. Emma grew up having plenty of everything. She did not realize everyone was not as fortunate as her. When she saw the poor Jewish immigrants she felt sad and upset but knew she would be the voice of these people. As a talented writer Emma Lazarus wrote poetry expressing her attitude to make a difference.
I feel this book is an appropriate tool in the classroom. Emma’s Poem, The Voice of the Statue of Liberty is the perfect introduction book discussing the history of the Statue of Liberty, immigration and famous writers and poets. Emma Lazarus, which the book is based around, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman are a few famous writers mentioned. After, teacher’s can plan a field trip to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New York, NY. Students will be given the opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty and Emma’s engraved poem.
Today Emma Lazarus poem is well known, just like the Statue of Liberty is well known as the mother of immigrants. As future teachers we are motivated to make a difference in student’s lives. Creating a positive attitude towards change and the want to help people in the classroom will allow students the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Buy it here:
Learn more about Emma Lazarus
Visit the Statue of Liberty
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Title: “The Civil Rights Movement” (Lives in Crisis Series)
Author: Nigel Ritchie
The intended age group for this book is 9-13. This book is about slavery, segregation and racial discrimination in the United States until the 1960’s. Divided into sections, each one depicts a specific event related to the Civil Rights Movement. It talks about Martin Luther King, Jr.; about his life, his contributions, the struggles he encountered, and his famous speech: I Have a Dream. Vivid images and photographs supplement this historical fiction. Such dramatic illustrations serve as an aid to link the facts to the actual events.
This title falls under element 4: Social Movements and Social Change. Evidently, the book encompasses the process of putting an end to slavery and discrimination. Actions were taken in order for change to occur and bring justice and equality amongst every individual, Black or White. Specifically, it teaches students about the acts and sacrifices people went through to accomplish equality in the United States. The students are able to compare what our country was like many decades ago and after the Civil Rights Movement. Children will be able to see that anything is possible, just as long as you want it bad enough. It fosters the belief that we all have and are entitle to equal rights and have to fight for our rights, making them into strong, independent individuals.
As an educator, after explaining the Civil Rights Movement and the racial discrimination to my students, I would have them reflect on how they feel about the segregation. They would go on to write a speech, similar to that of Martin Luther King, Jr., where they outline what their dream is. I would provide them with various topics that affect our nation now for them to write about how to make changes to better our country. Then, each student would draw a picture and read their speech out loud to the class.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt tells the story of a young slave girl. At the beginning of the story, Clara, who is 11 years old, is taken from her mother and sold to a new master. Clara started out as a field hand picking cotton. In the field, she cried wanting to see her mother so badly. She dreamed that one day she would see her mother again and she would do whatever it took to make that happen. Clara learns how to sew and moves from a field hand to a seamstress in the house. Being in the house has many advantages for young Clara. She overhears many conversations about the Underground Railroad and the paths to take to make it through. She decides to take scraps of fabric to start making herself a quilt. Instead of a regular quilt, she makes a map to freedom. Many other slaves know what she is trying to do and give her help whenever they can by telling her new paths they discover. She finally finishes the quilt and decides that it is time to leave the plantation. She takes a few people with her but leaves the quilt behind with an elderly woman who could not make the trip. Clara and the slaves she escapes with travel all the way to freedom where Clara sees her mom again. The quilt she left behind helps many more people escape to freedom each day.
Element four is about social movements and social change. People who are famous for social change like Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks are honored for what they did. However, there are people like Clara who helped change the world as well. Although this story is not a true story, it still shows children that not everyone who helped change the world was acknowledged for doing so. It takes a lot more than just one person to change the minds of a nation. Clara was like Harriet Tubman because she led many people on the right path to freedom. In class, students can have a chance to make their own quilt pieces. Children will take home a fabric square and decorate it with their family. Their square represents them. Once all the squares are completed, the teacher will sew them all together to make one big class quilt, combining every culture and family in the class together.
Click here for another great review of the book!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
FROM Slave Ship
Monday, October 18, 2010
Title: The Rock and the River Ages 9-14
Author: Kelka Magoon
The Rock and the River depicts how a young fourteen year old African-American boy struggles with being the son of a known civil rights activist. Especially when his older brother Stick, begins to show interest in the Black Panthers, a group that seems to be against everything his father has taught him.
Sam has believed for so long that you can effect change through non-violent acts, but his beliefs become questionable as he witnesses his family and friends suffer at the hands of racism in their own community. As a result Sam begins to explore the ideas and beliefs of the Black Panther organization with his brother, but soon is put in a position that he never would have imagined himself to be in.
But its up to him to look deep within himself, and make the decision only he can make. He no longer can follow his father or brothers footsteps, he has to create his own path.
Although this is a fictional story, it depicts the real life events and challenges that many teens faced during the civil tights movement in 1968. This book stays true to the viewpoint of a teenager. It isn't often that a child's point of view is taken when retelling history and the struggles that one may endure, this book does that for its readers. It makes their presence during life situations realistic.
Connection to Element 3: This book helps gives students a view from the participators point of view during the civil rights movement, rather than the civil right leaders point of view. It encourages students to think about how society today may challenge their beliefs today, and consider how they would, if they could, attempt to evoke change.
Teacher Resource: Kelka Magoon visits schools to encourage and incorporate guided discussion with students about themes explored in The Rock and the River, Readers' Theatre, and Q&A about Kekla's process for researching and writing the novel. These discussions can be tailored to suit small groups, classroom groups and large audiences. If you or your school is interested in having Kelka come visit, contact her at: email@example.com
Nobody Gonna Turn Me Round: Stories and songs of the civil rights movement
Author: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrator: Shane W. Evans
Summary: This book demonstrates the important events that African Americans experience during the Civil Rights Movement. The author creates a powerful informative text by bringing it to life. Rappaport includes songs, poems, memories, and quotes from well known activist as well as unheard individuals. The images of this book are vivid, direct, and emotionally moving. It illustrates the fear, sadness, determination, struggles, beliefs, and hopes for one day to be freed and treated equally.
In reading this book, children will learn and have an understanding about the history of racism that African Americans encountered during the Civil Rights Movement. In this book, teachers can demonstrate the meaning of the word racism but, also, show the effects that racism had on individuals. Furthermore, this book illustrates that not only African American adults were treated unfairly but children of their age faced threats, too. It took brave individuals to take a stand and make a difference in the world. By this students are able to understand the journey that the African Americans had to overcome in order to be treated equally. After all, everyone should have equal rights no matter their sex, color, or religion.
Some activities that can be done from this book:
- Students can be put into groups and select an event from the story. The children, then, can perform the part to the class.
- Students can become storytellers and pick an event from the story that they liked.
- Discuss or write about events in today’s society that deals with prejudice. For example, you can discuss about the Immigration reform and the Trail of Dream. This can be compared to the events in the book.
Purchase this book for $9.99.
Additional activities that are related to this book can be found in the author's webpage.
Title- Jackie Robinson
Author- Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
Illustration- Tad Butler
Ages- 7 to 10
Summary- This book is a chronicle of Jackie Robinson’s life. It gives a timeline of historical events that were influential for not only his life but for the lives of some many people. By breaking down his life in different stages it help the reader understand and follow his events and see how he dealt with adversity.
Link for teachers- This website has a variety of lessons and discussions on the subject of racism.
SJE- I feel that this book fall into the element of “Exploring Issues of Social Injustice” because it discusses the issue of segregation and racism that occurred in the mid 1900’s. It also briefly discusses the civil rights movement.
How I would use- I would use this book to describe to the students what racism is. By explaining briefly what it is I would use Jackie Robinson as an example and have them read about his trail and tribulations. Possible save this lesson for the month of February because that is black history month and show them how Jackie and others made great strides to gain equality.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Title: Remember: The Journey to School
Author: Toni Morrison
Recommended for ages 8-10, grades 3-5.
Purchase here! ($13)
For lesson plans. (click "View Printable")
Summary: In this book, Toni Morrison puts words into pictures and depicts conversations, thoughts, and actions that would have occurred during the period of school integration. The book thoroughly explores the ideas of white children and adults whether they were for or against integration, as well as what black students and parents went through amidst fears of how integration would be handled. Throughout every few pages and as stated in the beginning of the book, the story of school integration and integration in general impacts students and people today because had it not been for the past, we would not be where we are today. Morrison categorizes it as "the Narrow Path, the Open Gate, and the Wide Road". The book allows children from every ethnicity to open their minds and put themselves in another's shoes to explore what integration, segregation, and racism would have been like for that other person.
Representation of Social Injustice: Social injustice is represented in this book through the pictures of blacks and whites fighting with each other, white children influenced by their friends to stand for segregation, and the white people who chose to sit with the black people and profess integration, to just name a few. Blacks wanted to be treated as an equal, not as though they were an equal. The biggest injustice and humiliating thing for blacks was that they were not given the same education as white children. Blacks were seen as inferior; hence, there is no such thing as "separate but equal".
To Use This Book: I would use this book in my classroom when teaching about Brown v. Board of Education. I might also try to really give students of a feeling of what segregation was like by separating the classroom where one ethnicity of children sat in the front and others sat in the back and at the end of the day ask students how it felt to be treated unfairly. Social injustice of ethnicity or races goes beyond just that category and extends to religious intolerance and social classes, as is illustrated in F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby and the history of the Holocaust. Social injustice would be an interesting way to transition into bullying. I would ask a student "why won't you let "Jane" go down the slide? Would you want "Jane" to not let you go down the slide?" To make another transition, into Social Element 4: Social Movements and Social Change, I would encourage students to find something that they believe is worth fighting for justice and work to make a difference. Some examples may include animal rights, nuclear weapons/war, the education system. Students can right letters and petitions to fight for the causes they deem important to them.
Click here for another great review of the book!
What if the Zebras Lost Their Stripes?
By: John Reitano
Illustrated By: William Haines
Available for purchase at: Barnes & Noble and Amazon
Summary: In this book zebras loose their stripes and become different than each other. Some zebras are only white and other zebras are only black. The book analyzes what would happen if zebras lost their stripes and if they were left as only black or white. Through rhymes and questions children become aware that no matter what a zebras skin color is, it doesn't change the fact that they are an animal like any other.
Social Injustice: This book deals with prejudice helping children understand how to avoid it. Through zebras this book helps teach children about being different races and how that is okay. Zebras obviously being compared to humans and different races will help children understand a persons skin color doesn't make them the kind of person they are. People should be looked at from the inside out. If they are a nice person then they are a good friend and should be treated with respect. This book will hopefully show students it is okay to be friends with children who make not look the same way you do.
Activities That Can Come From this Book:
-Using different skin toned paints children can paint each others faces and hang them all together on a wall in the classroom.
-Researching different races and classifying unique things from each race.
An ingenious look at prejudice, profound in its simplicity. Reitano and Haines should be commended- this book is flawless! - Childrens Magazine, by Elain Gant, February 1999.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The Egyptian Cinderella is a new and different cultural take on the classic Cinderella fairy tale. Rhodopis is the Cinderella in this story. She has no mother or father. From Greece originally, she was sold as a slave to Egypt. The Egyptian servant girls look down upon her because she is different. They all have straight black hair, brown eyes, and tan skin while Rhodopis has green eyes, tangled hair, and rosy skin from the sun. The Egyptian servant girls make fun of her and force her to do more work than she has to. Rhodopis has a talent in dancing and her master sees that one-day. He decides to buy her new beautiful shoes that are perfect for dancing. The Pharaoh of Egypt comes across one of her shoes when a falcon has stolen it and dropped it in front of him. He is determined to find the owner. He finds Rhodopis and the Egyptian servants are angry proclaiming that she is not Egyptian and therefore cannot be with the Pharaoh. The prince sees past the differences and says, “She is the most Egyptian of all…For her eyes are as green as the Nile, her hair as feathery as papyrus, and her skin the pink of a lotus flower.” The Pharaoh and Rhodopis are then married.
Element three is about exploring the issues of social justice, for instance, racism. This book shows racism from the Egyptian servant girls. They did not take kindly to Rhodopis because she looked different than they. When it came to the master and the Pharaoh, they were able to look past the appearances and differences and accept Rhodopis for who she was not what color skin she had. This book can show students that racism is not only in America it is a global issue. In class, especially a first grade or kindergarten class, we can do an activity that seems simple but sends a strong message. The teacher can print out blank faces on pieces of paper and have each child draw and color their own portrait. Once the portraits are finished, the teacher would hang them on a board in the classroom. This shows children that we are all different in our own ways and our skin color does not matter.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Author: Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander
Illustrated by: James Ransome
More Information: Description/Author Information
Scholastic Suggested Activities
Grade Level: 2-3 grade
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Element 2: Respect for Others
Title: Some Kids Are Deaf
Author: Lola M. Schaefer
Age: 8-12 years
Grade Level: 3rd-6th
Summary: Simple text and photographs describe children who are deaf, the ways they communicate, and some of their everyday activites. This book support the national social studies standards related to individual development and identity. After reading this book, your students will gain a sense of the day in a life of a deaf child. The book educates readers that some kids are born deaf and others can become deaf. Student readers will become familiar with tools for hearing such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Throughout the book you can find clear pictures to inform readers that deaf kids rely on primarily on photographs to learn. Some kids who are deaf use sign language to communicate by using hand signs that represent letters, words, and numbers. Children will understand that speech therapists help teach kids who are deaf to communicate.
SJE: Even if you do not have deaf children in your classroom, it is imperative to educate your students about deaf culture. This will ensure respect for others in your classroom atmosphere. This author also writes children books about kids who are blind, kids who have autism, kids that use wheelchairs and leg braces.
Activities: As a teacher, I would read the book to my students and elaborate on every aspect of the deaf culture. After educating my students on the deaf world, I would then teach them sign language. First starting with the alphabet and numbers, then exploring into words and phrases in sign language. Through experience, once children are taught to talk with their hands they become infatuated. Hopefully this new exploration will lead to classroom trips that involve deaf experiences.
Read More : Kelley, Walter P. Deaf Culture A to Z. Austin, Texas: Buto Limited, 2003.
Petelinsek, Kathleen, and E. Russell Primm. At School/En la escula. Talking Hands. Chanhassen, Minn.: Child’s World, 2006.
Royston, Angela. Deafness. What’s It Like? Chicago: Heinemann Library, 205.
Author: Janell Cannon
purchase your copy here!
lesson plans, anyone?!
This fictional piece is about a baby fruit bat, Stellaluna, who loses her mother in a dreadful brawl between the two bats and an owl. Stellaluna falls down a great distance and lands among a birds nest. At first, Stellaluna is apprehensive to be around the birds until she grows so hungry that she has to climb from under the nest, where she was hanging, to inside, where the mother bird was dropping bugs for her babies to eat. Stellaluna was not too fond of eating bugs but she did it to survive. Stellaluna acted like a bird for most of the time and thought she was just like the birds because they fly and so can she. The end is where she was found hanging upside down, from a bat's point of view, and she is questioned why she is doing so. One of the bats who came to see this sight was her estranged mother. Stellaluna was then reunited with her mother but still remains friends with the birds.
ELEMENT 2 REPRESENTATION:
This book relates to element two, respect for others, because it clearly shows two animals that may differ in some ways but are also incredibly similar as well. Stellaluna respects the birds just as the birds respect that Stellaluna has diverse attributes and is not like them in every way. Both animals know they are different but that does not stop them from being friends. It allows children to comprehend the fact that although people may appear different, they are still human beings and should be treated with the utmost respect.
I would use this book in a Kindergarten classroom to open their eyes on the diverse world we live in. After doing a read-aloud, I would ask the students to tell me what the book was about to make sure their comprehension skills are in check. Then, I would ask them to tell me some unique things about them that set them apart from everyone else. I would explain to my students that everyone is different in their own way and remind them of how boring life would be if every person looked, dressed, and acted the same. This would allow them to embrace who they are and the individuals around them.
WHY I CHOSE THIS PARTICULAR BOOK:
I chose this book because it is geared towards a younger age group. I believe that if you start your students with respect for other races and cultures at a young age, then they would be more open-minded as they grew older.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Click here for another great review of the book!
Illustrators: Robin Hegan and Kristin Blackwood
Buy it here!
Lesson Plan Guide!
Summary: "My Grampy Can't Walk" is a children's book written for children who are in kindergarten through third grade. The story is about Grampy who has Multiple Sclerosis and is wheelchair bound due to his disability. Additionally, the story is told through the lens of his grandchildren and shows the great relationship they have together even though he is disabled.
Throughout the story the author highlights the many stunning things Grampy does with his grandchildren. The great love and respect the grandchildren have for their Grampy is also apparent throughout the story as well. This book is very moving because Grampy really embraces his disability.
Respect for others: "My Grampy Can't Walk" is a great book that can be used in the classroom to help foster respect for others. This book provides a better understanding about people with a disability for children. Element two is really represented in this book because the author depicts that if someone has a disability they may be different but they still have dignity, and deserve to be loved and respected. Furthermore, the book shows children that even though having a disability can be difficult you can still have respect for yourself and live a great life.
Activity: This book would be appropriate to use for an activity on "Respect for others". I would first gather with my students on our classroom rug and read the book aloud. Then I would ask my students to explain what the story was about. Next I would allow time for some questions and speak about people with disabilities. After this I would let the students each talk about someone they know with a disability. During this time they would also share with the class one thing they love about that person. Afterword we would talk about the importance of respect for others and ourselves regardless of what disabilities one may or may not have. To conclude this activity each student would draw a picture of the person they spoke about and include what they love about them.