Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our Children Can Soar

Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack and the Pioneers of Change
By Michelle Cook
10 Different Illustrators
5/5 *****
1st-6th Graders

Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack and the Pioneers of Change, is an amazing book, and is great for all different ages.  There are very few words, and the pictures are fantastic.  The book highlights different African-Americans throughout history and in a sentence mentions how they have impacted our society.   There are short biographies at the end of the book, great for slightly older students who are more confident readers and who have a better understanding of American history.

So far in the Education Program here at Iowa, I have learned in nearly all of my classes how important it is to strive to reach every student, to show students they can dream and can impact others and to capitalize on diversity and diverse figures in history.  I think this book is a perfect example of one way to strive to meet those goals.

This book is mostly applicable and relatable to history lessons.  Each figure highlighted in the book had a major impact on history; one way to use it would be to form groups and assign each group a person from the book.  Have the students do some type of research on that person and present it creatively to the class (poster, skit, artistic representation, story book of their lives etc...).  If the person represents an issue in history (civil rights, slavery, music), the students could research that issue and simply mention the person from the book.  If the students were younger, the teacher could help the students write the names of the people in the book on a timeline of history, briefly explaining their significance.  If the students were even younger (K-1) the teacher could talk about Barack Obama being President, and have the students write about what they might want to be when they grow up.  There are lots of activities for varying ability levels that could be done after reading this book.

I was given this book by a family friend of mine (a teacher!) to start my library for my future classroom. She recommended that I read it to my future students on the first day of school, and after thinking about all of the activities and ways I could apply it to other learning experiences, I think that it would be a great idea :)

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