Saturday, December 4, 2021
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Saturday, November 27, 2021
Author: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
This book teaches children that everyone is different, but we are all the same and have a lot in common. The book teaches students that people all over the world belong to different races and cultures. It teaches children that we must accept others for who they are, and also teaches students that we must respect other cultures and welcome them into our world. Learning from another culture allows children to respect and learn from that culture and race. All races and cultures are ultimately different, but we are all the same and have a lot in common.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
The Port Chicago 50
Author: Steve Sheinkin
Genre: Historical Nonfiction
Grade level/ Age level: Grades 5-9 / Age: 10-14
Port Chicago 50 is a nonfiction book about 50 African American sailors, most of whom were teenagers, fighting against prejudice, discrimination and injustice in the United States armed forces. After a massive explosion killed more than 300 sailors on the segregated Port Chicago Navy base, these sailors stood up against injustice and refused to return to unsafe working conditions, unless they were addressed. With great detail, direct quotes and photographs, this book retells the story of how 50 young sailors fought for their basic civil rights with the help of organizations such as the N.A.A.C.P. and their lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall.
Element 4, Social Movements and Social Change:
Serving in the U.S. military as an African American in the 1940s meant you were treated as a second class citizen being segregated and oppressed, even though you were risking your life for your country. The story of the Port Chicago 50 teaches readers how to use social capital to fight for their basic civil rights. The refusal of these 50 black sailors to return to unsafe working conditions after a massive explosion, with the consequence of being arrested or worse, shows resistance capital. Their actions and those who joined with them, in a legal battle against the U.S. military, shows how ordinary individuals can band together and begin a movement to create social change. The heroism of their actions eventually led to the ending of segregation in the Navy, the first branch of the U.S. military, in 1946.
This book can be used in social studies curricula, to teach about the civil rights movement and how it has shaped the ways we fight for social change today. Students in grades 5 and 6 can do activities to compare and contrast different events of the civil rights movement to the events and actions in Port Chicago 50. They can also write articles and/or social media posts, including the photos from the book , to address issues of injustice in the military, as if it were happening in the present. In these editorial articles or posts, they can take on the role of an N.A.A.C.P. lawyer/activist, a Navy officer, or an ordinary citizen. For ELA curriculum, students can develop persuasive arguments for another social issue of their choice, and apply what they have learned about social movements for change.
by Deborah Hopkinson and Illustrated by Ron Husband
Reading Level: K - 2, Age 5-8
Genre: Historical Fiction
In this inspiring picture book, based on the true story of Reverend John Berry Meachum, a story of determination, courage and resourcefulness is told. James, the protagonist, and Rev. Meachums’s students are faced with a threat to their education, when the state of Missouri passes a law prohibiting the education of African Americans in the 1840s. Carefully and courageously, Meachum organizes a school in the basement of a home in the community to protect his students right to an education, until authorities find out. To circumvent this unjust law, Meachum decides to build the innovative Steamboat School, which can float in the Mississippi River and operate outside of Missouri State boundaries.
Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice
This book explores issues of social injustice from our country's past history that are relevant today. Although education is a basic human right, many federal and state laws affect our children’s access to an education. Resistance to this injustice is shown in the examples of the students and their teacher, who stood up to fight for their right to an education and thought of ways to undermine this racist law. Students who read this book will learn that they should not allow oppression to prevent them from their right to an education or any other right. They will also learn about how they can use creativity, ingenuity and community capital to find solutions to social injustice.
Since this book is recommended for grades K-2, a possible activity would be to have them create their own school to help students gain access to education. Each student will bring an empty shoe box to school where they will use their own creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity to design their own school. It could be a mobile school, a Steamboat school, or other type of school. Students will also create paper dolls to represent the main characters in the story and write on each character what they did to fight for their education.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Author: Joy Michael Ellison
Illustrator: Teshika Silver
Grade Level: 3 and up
This wonderful book tells the story of Sylvia and Marsha, two transgender girls of color who are not accepted by their families or the police. Both women shared a friendship so strong that they were like sisters and their goal was to help more transgender people like themselves! Sylvia saw how badly the transgender people in her community were treated and it reminded her of when she wore a dress as young kid and her grandmother frowned upon her and yelled, “You’re a boy!” Syliva remembered how wearing the dress made her feel free and she, along with Marsha decided that transgender people should not suffer for being themselves! “Here comes Alice in the blue dress” is the waring transgender girls had for each other and it was code for the arrival of the police who had the power to arrest transgender girls for wearing dresses. Syliva and Marsha wanted to bring positive change to their lives and the lives of their sisters so on June 28, 1969 the police were bothering them once again and a revolution broke out at Stonewall! That did not stop the police. Marsha and Syvlia decided that they were going to take things a step further by giving their transgender sisters their frienship and opened a home for those living on the streets. They all took care of each other and also fought for their rights together!
Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice:
This books explores issues of social injustice because as it moves away from celebrating diversity we delve into historical fiction to learn about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson; two very important transgender icons whose involement on the Stonewall Rebellion made great contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Students also learn about how shame and oppression affected girls like Marsha and Slyvia, so much that they had to come up with code phrases to help each other out.
Have students reflect on the importance of feeling free and comfortable in one’s own skin because no one has the right to tell individuals who they should and should not be. Then, students will create signs that support individuality and inspiring kindness towards one another.
Buy it here!
Teacher and Parent Resources:
Written by Jai'Colby'E Kirvin, Illustrated by Jai'Colby'E Kirvin
*“No No Square” is a children's book written by Jai'Colby'E Kirvin. This book was written by an African American author who brings awareness to rape in African American boys and girls. This book educates children to say “no” when people try to touch them inappropriately. This book teaches children what to say and do when strangers, family members, or other kids try to sexually assault them at an early age. This book allows children to set boundaries rather it be with other children or adults. The two characters in this book are Maya and Kobe, they both have encounters with monsters. They were taught how to properly set boundaries and not allow anyone to touch them inappropriately.
Element 5: Raising Awareness
*This book coincides with element five “raising awareness.” In the African American community, rape is one of the common social justice issues present. Rape not only affects girls, but it affects boys as well. Many boys never report rape or even tell their stories, therefore mental health issues / trauma can be seen in black men. This book raises awareness about these issues, educates young readers, and gives good steps to prevent bad things from happening. This book always brings awareness to the word “no.” It teaches children to say no when they’re feeling uncomfortable or when someone is trying to assault them.
*This activity can be taught for kids in Pre-K to twelfth grade. My goal for the activity is to teach students about consent. The word sex is removed when teaching consent to elementary students, the end goal is to help prevent sexual harassment and assault by teaching students about personal boundaries. When it comes to children, I know that rape is a sensitive topic. I would first go over what consent means, and the importance of asking permission. The students will be educated o. what consent sounds like. For example, :sure,” “yes,” “okay.” What consent does not sound like. For example, “stop,” “no,” “move.” When consent is needed. For example, kissing, touching, hugging. What to say when consent wasn’t given. For example, “no,” “I don’t feel comfortable,” “ask me again later.” Students can be non-extreme questions; the goal is for them to understand consent and use it in. different scenarios when they feel uncomfortable.
Links to purchase “No No Square book.”