Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ten Amazing People and How They Changed the World

Title: Ten Amazing People and How They Changed the World
Author: Maura Shaw
Age Range: 6 and up
Summary: This is a non-fiction reference book to keep in your classroom. Each with a four-page spread, ten different peaceful leaders and advocates of social change are highlighted in this book. These leaders include: Black Elk, Dorothy Day, Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Janusz Korczak, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Desmond Tutu. While some of the individuals are well-known, this book includes lesser-known names. Furthermore, the range of individuals is quite diverse, including individuals from many different countries, religions, cultures, and with different causes.

Reflections: I was immediately drawn in by the fantastic illustrations in this book. (In the back there are even a few sentences explaining each illustration). The language is very accessible to children. For younger children, it is a great way to introduce them to different leaders. Besides a general overview of each person and a stunning portrait, there are “Fascinating Facts,” a timeline of important events, famous quotes, and sometimes important vocabulary for each of these leaders. The book is very visually stimulating (without being overwhelming) in order to help attract kids to reading this book. For older children, this book is a great starting point for them to understand some of these extraordinary individuals.

How to use this book in the curriculum:
- great Read Aloud
- a model for features of non-fiction
- could be used during a biography unit
- could be used during a research unit

Domains of Social Justice:
Self-Love and Acceptance – If any of my students share the same background of one of these individuals they are learning about how their people have made a difference in the world, creating a sense of pride.
Respect for Others – This book includes different leaders of many cultures and which have worked along side an even wider range of people from around the world. This introduction to these leaders and their work will increase my students’ intercultural competence.
Exploring Issues of Social Justice – Because each of these leaders have various causes for which they fought, the readers will be exposed to a variety of issues of social justice.
Social Movements and Social Change – This book mostly falls under this category. Though not an in-depth book focusing on one person, this book will help students learn about ten different figures in history which have struggled for social change.

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