Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sample Posting: Just Like Me

Just like Me: Stories and Self-Portraits by Fourteen Artists
by Harriet Rohmer (Editor), Tomie Arai, Tomie Arai

Hello, I want to share about a GREAT book called Just Like Me. I was lucky to be part of a project when I was teaching in Oakland, in which the publishing company, Childrens Book Press, gave me class sets of their amazing books and sent illustrators to my classroom to do art projects with my students. In exchange, I helped them to develop teachers' guides to go with the books. Just Like Me was one of the books we used, and there is a link to the teachers guide that my colleagues and I came up with. Here's the Guide.

This is a beautiful book that is easy to use in the classroom. Each two page spread is dedicated to a current artist. One page is an autobiography of the artist, and the other is a self-portrait. This makes it really adaptable to class projects that deal with autobiographies. Since each artist's spread contains basically the same information, it can be used as a template for students to write their own. It's also very interesting to see the different styles the artists use to make their self-portraits.

This book fits the levels of SJ education because it explores a diverse group of artists, who all talk about their own cultural backgrounds. The artists talk about how art is part of their cultural heritage. This sets a good model for students to do the same. In schools where artists are typically white men (Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh...), this book provides role models that show students that artists come from all types of communities.

This link to shows you a little from inside the book: Amazon sells it for about $12.

If any of you have used this, or have ideas, feel free to leave a comment about how we can use this book in the classroom.


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