Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
By: Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria
Summary: This is a picture book about colors, but it is all black. It gives insight into how blind people “see” colors. For those of us who know what colors look like, it is so difficult to imagine how blind people see them in their minds. This book describes colors through the four other senses we often take for granted; touch, taste, smell and hearing. The words are written in white and accompanied by Braille. The opposite page depicts the description. The black line drawings are raised in different ways so that the illustrations can be felt. This book gives an idea of what it is like for the blind population on a daily basis. The Braille alphabet is also at the end of the book.
How it could be used: You could use the book to teach how there's many ways to enjoy and experience the world, the five senses and the symbolism of color. In the classroom, I would read the book to the students and have them explore what the pages feel like. I would discuss with them how, when you cannot see something, you can still enjoy and experience it because you can feel it, hear it...I would then discuss the five senses and the way each color was described in the book. I would then have the students think of what each color feels like, sounds like...to them personally, and then have them write poems for each color using the sensory descriptions they came up with.
Self Love and Acceptance: Children Learn about their own culture. The book explores color an unconventional way. Since experiencing color affects almost everybody, this exploration helps show the significance of using our other senses to explain something that is traditionally perceived by only one of our senses.
Respect for Others: Strengthens intercultural competence. Because this book focuses on giving an explanation of something we normally visually perceive without giving us the visuals to see it, The Black Book of Colors helps us understand what it may feel like to be blind. It makes the reader aware of the difficulties of explaining something when you cannot see it, but also of the benefits of experiencing something, such as color, in a different way. Also, students are exposed to Braille, the alphabet and reading system that the Blind use.
Exploring Issues of Social Justice: Racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression are confronted. People do not often think that blind people would fall into a social injustice because being blind does not have anything to do with race or beliefs, but people do not realize that Blind people are oppressed in ways that we take for granted. This is a picture book with illustrations in black and white, something that normally does not appeal to children who like to be visually stimulated. Most books out there, especially for children, rely on illustrations to strengthen its meaning. The Black Book of Colors itself confronts the idea that something as simple as colors should not be excluded from a Blind person’s experience.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Use: This book can be a great resource if doing a study on Korea or the conflict between the two hemispheres of Korea in Social Studies. It goes beyond mere fact and enters into a personal story. Other historical events like the Korean War can also be introduced. We also thought this book could be used in a writing lesson. The main character uses very descriptive language to describe the setting and a lesson on using such language can be beneficial to student writing. Additionally, this book can be part of a study on personal narratives and help students write their own real-life story.
1. Self-love and Acceptance: Korean students can learn about "who they are" and "where they come from" through this book. The beauty of Korean landscape as well as a few aspects of Korean culture are highlighted.
2. Respect for Others: Exploring Korean culture (games, words, characters, etc).
3. Exploring Issues of Social Injustice: Touching upon the injustice experienced by those living in North Korea.
5. Taking Social Action: The notion of fighting for you freedom, leaving the place you call home to attain it, is extremely powerful. While the book only talks about this one family, this could definitely be viewed on a wider scale, and the book can help initiate such conservation.
Summary: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson is about a young boy who is growing up in foster care. The story is told through a book of poems. Lonnie, also known as Locomotion, expresses his experiences in school, with his foster mom, his sister, and memories of his parents in all different forms of poems. The story deals with deep issues regarding race, social class, and war.
Group Members: Angelica Conway, Christina Kirsch, Sarah North
This book tells the story of a little girl named Evelina, who is born in Puerto Rico during the Great Depression. Her mother sends her by herself to the US, where she goes to live with her aunt and uncle in El Barrio in Manhattan. It takes a little while, but she soon learns English and fits in at school, making a close friend named Sarah. A few black girls at school bully and tease her, but Evelina learns not to use violence and is able to stand up to them, and the girls soon become friends. Because of the depression, many of the families in El Barrio are on welfare and are entitled to collect food, but many are too embarrassed to go get it. Evelina arranges a way to get the food herself and deliver it to the needy families. She begins to encourage them to start going themselves, pointing out it is ok to accept help. Evelina has saved up many she has made translating for people in the neighborhood who speak only Spanish, and soon her mother and sisters are able to come live in New York too. As an adult, Evelina continues her activism and becomes involved in improving the education system.
The book can be used during a unit on immigration. Students will have the chance to discuss Evelina's journey and what feelings she had before, during, and after the trip to America. Students can write their own story about coming to America (either real or fictional) and document what it would be like for someone their age to come to the U.S. alone. Students can role play different parts of Evelina's experience and discuss them afterward. This book can also be used when discussing the Great Depression and the hardships people faced at the time. It introduces a culture's experience that is rarely portrayed in books. The book also includes multiple Spanish phrases and words which gives the reader a glimpse into Evelina's home culture and having to deal with making sense out of a new life. This could be something relatable for some students. The book also opens the door to talk about the hardships faced within families and familial relationships. At the beginning of the 1st cha pter it says the mother had to make the hard decision to send Evelina and then she had to deal with leaving her family and missing her siblings grow up. Students can discuss"What's the definition of 'home'?" and "What does that look/feel like to different people?"
Social Justice Education
1. Self-Love and Acceptance: The main character, Evelina, is faced with racism and prejudice from a bully and the bully’s friend but she is able to stand up against it eventually. She does this because she recognizes the importance in speaking up and being proud of your heritage.
2. Respect for Others: Evelina makes a best friend in Sarah and they work together to learn each other’s cultures—Sarah is particularly good about this because she helps Evelina learn English. Evelina’s aunt also explains to Evelina that there is a connection between the other people in her community even if it feels like they are very different. Evelina eventually even became friends with the bully and the bully’s friend.
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: Racism is faced, particularly in the scene with the bully. In this scene the bully picks on Evelina and calls her a “spick girl,” therefore making use of derogatory language. Classism is also certainly addressed rather evidently. Evelina begins to help her neighbors who are poor and unwilling to claim their government-sponsored food. It is indirectly stated that low socioeconomic status means people cannot care for themselves and do not have food to put on their tables.
4. Social Movements and Social Change: The poor people in the community did not want to be perceived as beggars so they have a hard time breaking through the barrier towards social change. Evelina wants to help them change and get food for the poor but it takes some convincing on her part in order to get them to agree.
5. Taking Social Action: Evelina went to her neighbors’ doors and had them fill out the paperwork to receive their food and then she offered to go uptown to pick it all up that day. She recruited people to help her and was eventually able to motivate her neighbors to take care of themselves and gave them the skills they need to be self-sufficient. Evelina also worked to save money for her aunt and uncle who were having a difficult time making ends meet during the Depression.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Book Club Members: Katrina Tattoli, Sara Sepulveda, and Annmarie Forde
Book: The Blind Hunter by Kristina Rodanas
Summary: In the story, a blind man goes hunting with a traveler. The traveler asks him many questions, marveling at his ability to use other senses than sight to keep the couple out of danger. When they set traps and catch two quails, the traveler tries to take advantage of the man’s blindness by giving him the smaller one and telling him it’s the biggest. The blind man knows it’s a trick, and tells the traveler. In the end, they become friends and learn a lesson about morality.
How to use this book: I would use this book to teach awareness about disabilities, especially since in the beginning, the blind man is tending to his plentiful garden, something impressive for anyone despite ability level. It can also be used to discuss Africa, African folk tales, and adaptations, given that it is adapted from am African folk tale. It could be used to teach sharing, to talk about pictures matching words (they match perfectly in this book), to show community/friendship, and to teach about stealing.
Stages of Social Justice Education:
Self-love and acceptance- It can be used in a culture study unit, and students can learn to appreciate African culture if it is their own. It can also be used in a folktale unit with various folktales from the students’ own backgrounds.
Respect for others- Students can learn to respect people with disabilities and see them as able, functioning individuals. Students can do a character comparison between the traveler and the blind man, and see that both of them were valuable, and in this story, the blind man even more so.
Exploring issues of Social Justice- Students can use this book as a springboard for looking at perceptions of people with disabilities. We can use this book in comparison with others that only feature people with disabilities as peripheral characters, or only display characters in wheelchairs. They can look at the new MTV Show “How’s Your News?” and talk about how people react to interviews with people with disabilities.
Social Movements & Social Change- Students can learn about different social action organizations that exist in New York City and throughout the world, including Camp Jabberwocky, an outdoors summer camp for children with disabilities and the Special Olympics. This can help them understand that charities run by able-bodied individuals are not the only thing available to people with disabilities, and that there are many organizations run by people with disabilities trying to affect change. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1996 can also be discussed here.
Taking Social Action- Students can do a classroom library investigation and look at the way people with disabilities are portrayed in classroom books. This can be extended to the school library. Students can write letters, organize petitions, and raise awareness of stereotypes about disabilities that are being perpetrated in which texts. The students can also check if the local libraries or book stores have them, and can write a letter or send the petition to the owners/library director as well.
Friday, February 20, 2009
By: Ira R. Friedman
Everyone uses different utensils when eating different kinds of food – spoons are used to drink soup, forks are used to pick up food, and even hands are used to eat! How My Parents Learned to Eat illustrates a story, narrated by a young girl, about a Japanese woman named Aiko and an American sailor named John who express a fear of dinner dates. Aiko is unfamiliar with using knives and forks as John is with using chopsticks. Fostering similar concerns, the couple secretly tries to learn each other’s tradition of eating, practicing with mashed potatoes and peas and sukiyaki. Eventually, Aiko and John agree to help one another learn and become familiar with each other’s traditions. Ira R. Friedman places great, positive emphasis on the ways in which diverse cultures affect people by broadening their knowledge.
How the book would be used in the classroom.
The book How My Parents Learned to Eat can be used in a variety of ways inside the classroom, particularly in a unit on family. The story of Aiko and John can be used to explore the uniqueness of each family – cultures, traditions, and ways of life. This book can be used to illustrate that each family is different in a positive light. Lessons may also be implemented focusing on different kinds of family structures as the young girl comes from a biracial family.
Domains of Social Justice Education
♦ Self Love and Acceptance: Students will learn about their family, their own culture and their own community. In this story, the mom and dad came from two different cultures, and then formed a bi-racial family. Students should learn to feel proud of their own family, culture and community.
♦ Respect for Others: Students will learn that we all come from different culture and family, and the differences between each culture and family are what make our world beautiful and unique. In the story, mom and dad were willing to learn about each other’s culture and tradition, so they were able to communicate and enjoy the difference between two cultures. The narrator in this story is a bi-racial girl, so teacher can also help students to learn about and respect different types of family.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Summary: A young girl named April experiences living in a diverse society. She is looking forward to visiting her grandmother at the end of the week. On each day that passes, April notices something new about the people in her community. Even though all the people she observes are different in their own ways, April always finds a common similarity. She sees deaf children communicating, people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds shopping for food, a blind woman taking an elevator, adults with common interests, a woman with physical disabilities, and notices the variety of stores and landscapes in her environment. The story explores the world we live in and how we all cohabitate peacefully with one another.
Reflection: Before discussing community, I think it's important to begin with awareness about the different types of people who are around them. It can often be overlooked and once noticed, there are a multitude of observations that students can make. This book is a great way to introduce the differences that make us all individuals but create a unified society of peace and cooperation.
How would I use this in a classroom: This book is a wonderful way to introduce the idea of living in a community and creating awareness about the different types of people who exist. This book can be used with younger grades because the illustrations are very vivid and clearly show what the idea of the story is trying to convey. Students can then write their own stories about the communities that they live in and brainstorm about the different types of people they notice around them. It is a great way to show through written language and illustrations about community, diversity and to celebrate cultural and individual differences.
Domains of Social Justice:
1) Self Love and Acceptance: Children learn about their own culture. Children learn about the culture of their own community. Diversity is celebrated and emphasized by simply noticing and appreciating all the different types of people who coexist.
2) Respect for Others: Strengthens intercultural competence. April points out the differences of each individual she meets but is able to find common ground of similarities. Differences should not be the basis of judgment but rather appreciation. April admires the variety of abilities that others have.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
- Social Movements and Social Change: Alex worked extremely hard to raise money to help children with cancer. And, it was her determination that she was able to accomplish so much at such a young age.
- Taking Social Action: Students can look at their own lives, just as Alex did, to see what specifically needs change and then plan their own "lemonade stand" initiative.
My Life and Art by: Winfred Rembert
Summary/Reflection: This is the true story of Winfred Rembert, a black man who grew up in Georgia in the 1950’s. Passed from his mother to his great aunt, he lived on a plantation and was forced to work. He talks about a corner on the street where every Saturday you could see any “colored folk” you wished to get in touch with. He made friends here, and grew accustomed to visiting the same shops weekly. Winfred began to make his own toys, so original that the other children would buy toys from the toy shop to trade Winfred for his hand-made toys. As a teenager, he began to get very angry about how black people were being treated. Though his great aunt begged him not to, he joined the civil rights movement. He was arrested with no trial and no charge and put in jail for seven years. Here, he had several odd jobs before finding a project he loved; carving illustrations on leather. When he got married and was sharing his stories with his family, his wife suggested he make this his profession. He now creates artwork carving and dying leather. The illustrations accompanying his story are exquisite.
One quote that I think is extremely important in this book is one that he uses to describe a painting of graves from the lynchings: “I have seven graves here, six for the victims I’ve imagined, and a seventh to bury hate, ‘cause I figured that, if we bury hate, then maybe this won’t happen again.”
How to Use This in the Classroom: This would be a great way to add to a civil rights unit. I could see using this story along with Leon’s Story. The illustration are so personal and unique, there could also be many great art projects to do. Children could discuss how recent this issue is. Winfred’s account takes place between the years of 1950 and 1996, very recent.
Domains of Social Justice:
Self-love and acceptance: Winfred always stays positive. He declares from the age of 12 that he will not be working on plantation his whole live. He loves art and finds a way to make that his livelihood.
Exploring Issues of Social Justice: This first hand account describes intimate issues of civil rights, racism, and segregation. It is very honest and informative.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell is a book about sticking to your goals and accomplishing your dreams. Sara Jean's Uncle Jed has a lifelong dream to open up a barbershop, but he had to raise the money to do so first. However, Sara Jean gets sick, and Uncle Jed gives her family money for the surgery, even though this will delay his dream of opening a barbershop. The book takes place in the South in the early 1900s, and gives the reader a glimpse at racism, segregation, sharecropping, and the general life of a Black person living during this time. The tone that the author uses to describe these conditions is really similar to the tone used in Leon's Story, she provides the facts without accusing anyone. When Uncle Jed finally has enough money saved up to start working on getting a barbershop together, one of his friends comes over to break the news- his bank just declared bankruptcy and Uncle Jed has lost all his money- it's the start of the great depression. However, throughout all these hardships, Uncle Jed continues cutting hair, continues working towards his goal, and slowly but surely, he starts saving money all over again. At the end of the story he finally opens his barbershop and people from all over the county come to honor him.
I think this book is a great way to discuss segregation, sharecropping, and the conditions in the Jim Crowe South with the younger grades, as well as the economic situation during the great depression and the economic situation today. The book also strongly promotes saving money, and working little by little to solve a longterm goal.
Domains of Social Justice:
1. Self Love and Acceptance: One of the main themes in this story is to believe in yourself and follow your dreams- I think that's a huge aspect of accepting and loving yourself!
2. Respect for Others: Throughout the whole book, the author highlights moments in which people show each other care and respect. For instance, when Uncle Jed gave his hard earned money to Sara Jean for her surgery, or during the great depression when Uncle Jed continued traveling around the county and cutting hair, even though most of his customers couldn't afford it. In turn, his customers share with him whatever food they have.
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: The author delicately touches upon topics such as racism, segregation, and delivers this information in such a way that it influences the reader to think about the injustices, without attacking any group of people.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad by James Rumford
SUMMARY: Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad is a beautifully illustrated picture book with a powerful message. Like many other children his age, Ali enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and dancing. However his favorite thing to do is practice the art of calligraphy. Ali uses the beauty of calligraphy to bring him inner peace as he grapples with the devastation and terror of war. Detailed and intricate calligraphy bring the pages to life as Ali tells his story.
USE: This book would be a great read-aloud in a unit exploring different cultures and/or looking deeper into the effects of war. Additionally it highlights how one child living in a worn-torn area finds inner peace. This could be grounds for multiple forms of discussion ranging from the effects of war on individuals to how people find outlets to express what they are going through. This could potentially turn into a larger study on current events and the U.S.' involvement in the war in the middle east. Students can write journal entries and/or create a piece of art in the perspective of a child living in a war-torn area.
REFLECTION: The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful! It starts out rather simple, explaining the main character's hobbies and his fascination with calligraphy. The powerful message of this book is made apparent when Ali describes his experience with war and how he deals with consequential fright. The very end of the book has a very moving and beautiful metaphor about the ease with which we can fall into war and how difficult it can be to obtain a much needed freedom. Love it!
STAGES OF SJE:
1. Self-love and Acceptance: Middle-eastern and Muslim students will learn a little more about their culture through this book, exploring the beauty of calligraphy and the effects of living in war-torn Baghdad.
2. Respect for Others: Students will learn more about middle-eastern and Muslim culture as they read this story.
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: Students will start to become aware of the harmful and unjust effects of war as Ali describes the fear he experiences when bombs fall on his city.
TO PURCHASE/LEARN MORE ABOUT:
Check it out at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Teammates/Peter-Golenbock/e/9780152842864/?im=2
Author: Chieri Uegaki
This story is about a young girl named Suki. It is the first day back to school and Suki decides to wear a kimono her grandmother (obachan)bought for her to wear on a special day they shared that summer at a festival. Suki's sisters that it was a ridiculous idea for Suki to wear it to school and warned her that she would be made fun of but Suki didn't care. Once at school other kids approach Suki questioning and making fun of the way she dressed. The teacher allowed all the students the opportunity to say one thing about their summer. Suki shared her special moment at the festival in her kimono. By the end, all the students were interested and liked her story and her kimono and gave Suki a nice round of applause.
How can this book be used in the classroom:
This book can be used with younger grades (K-2 possibly 3) in teaching respecting others' differences but especially self pride of one's culture. I feel that many students don't have the opportunity of exploring, learning, and then sharing their culture. This book can be used during the beginning of the school year to springboard into a 'Getting to know you' activity involving the students' cultures. For older grades (3-5) this book can be used to introduce the concept of Americanization and explore the struggle of maintaining one's traditional culture while adopting to the American culture.
How does this book relate to Social Justice Education:
1. Self-love and Acceptance: Children learn about their own culture.
This book shows how a child, Suki, has explored and learned more about her culture through the experiences she shares with her family.
2. Respect for Others: Strengthens intercultural competence.
This book shows how the other students showed or lacked respect and understanding of Suki's culture which probably differs from their own culture. Penny's questioning and inquiry of Suki's outfit show a beginning step in learning and respecting another's culture.
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: Racism
This book shows the mean treatment some of the students gave Suki as well as the way Suki dealt with the situation. Suki ignored many of the mean comments made by the children. More importantly, she decided to share and inform others about the differences they were ridiculing which helped theme learn about her culture and find a respect for Suki and her culture.
by William Armstrong.
Summary: This book tells us about a coon dog and a boy who live with his parents and three younger siblings in a plantation. There was scarcely any food for the family to eat. Every night, the boy’s father and Sounder would go hunting, but it was becoming more and more difficult to catch anything. Night after night he would come home empty handed. But in desperate need to feed his hungry family, the boy’s father when out one night and stole some food. He was then jailed for stealing food and Sounder seeing his master being taken away tries to protect him and was shot getting wounded badly. Sounded ran off and hides, he returns after a few weeks and even then it was very tough for the family. The boy now has to take care of the family while his father is in prison. His father was sent to hard labor for his crime. The boy was curious to where his father was and everyday, after doing his chores he would go on long journey in search of his father. The boy was always curious and wanted to learn to read. While on his long journey, he came across this stranger who was a teacher and was willing to teach him to read. The boy was full of enthusiasm to learn to read and although his father and Sounder died the boy was determine to continue to go to school.
Reflection and use of book: This book would be a great addition to a classroom library because it describe the struggles difficulties a typical black family went through to survive; barely having enough food to eat. It also talks about the determination and courage of a boy who learned to read and how it renewed his strength and gave him hope. This book can be used in a nonfiction unit depicting discrimination and inequality of blacks and whites. It shows how some blacks barely had any food to eat and many times went hungry and the hardships they faced trying to survive.
Social Justice Domains:
1) Self-love and acceptance: Even though the boy had the difficulties to joggle to take care of his family and working, he was still determined to learn to read. A few days after his father died, he made sure that his family had enough chopped wood and food and went on his long journey for school.
2) Respect For others: Throughout the story, the boy was always respectful to his parents and everyone else. Even when he visited his father in jail and he was very angry with the guard for mistreating him, he was still respectful.
3) Exploring Issues of Social injustice: The boy was determined to learn to read and although he had no idea how he was going to accomplish it he kept the dream alive in his mind.
4) Social Movement and Social change: During one of the boy’s long journey, he discovered that his dream would finally learn to read. Somehow deep down inside him, he knew that it would change his life.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Author: Margaree King Mitchell
The story takes place in the South just before the Great Depression. Uncle Jed, Sarah Jean’s granduncle, was the only black barber in the county. He dreamt of opening up his own barbershop one day in the future. In those days, dreams like that were uncommon, yet Uncle Jed head steadfast to that dream. He wasn’t able to open his barbershop for a long time though due to a couple setbacks - he paid for Sarah Jean’s emergency operation and then because of the Great Depression he lost all his money kept in the bank. He finally opened his barbershop on his 79th birthday – he made his dream come true. Throughout the story, concepts of discrimination and poverty are explained for straightforwardly, making it easier for young children to understand. Besides these concepts, the importance of family, friends, and community are also emphasized.
To be honest the first read through the book I could feel some tears welling up in my eyes! I loved how Uncle Jed never broke out in anger; he just started saving up all over again. By the last couple pages the reader shares in the joy Uncle Jed feels when he finally opens up his barbershop. The reader not only learns about the poverty and discrimination in that time, but also learns about community. What a great book to teach with!
Uses For Book
This book brings a lot to the table. It describes the hardship and struggle of being black and living in the south before and during the Great Depression. It also talks about segregation and poverty. Thus, this book can be used on various units on The Great Depression and on racism and segregation. Since this book is a fictional story, it will give students a good idea of what life was like in that time period. Students may choose to do more research on real families who lived in that time. This is a great book to be used for children of younger ages since they wording of the story is very simplified and straightforward. This would also be a great book to read through multiple times and pull various lessons from it.
Social Justice Education
Self Love and Acceptance
Despite a few setbacks, Uncle Jed still pursued his dream even if it did take him a long time. He kept his dream alive and worked hard to fulfill his dream. He passed this same determination and passion on to Sarah Jean. She learned to fight for her dreams as well. A great message that this story has simply that – to fight for your dreams and don’t let anyone stop you. In order to do that you must believe in yourself.
Respect for Others
Throughout the story, Uncle Jed always had respect for everyone – his clients, his family, and even the bank. He knew that the times were hard and that people were struggling. He never judged or complained about others. His respect for all these people was admirable.
Exploring Issues of Social Justice
There were two instances were issues of social justice was brought up. In one part, Sarah Jeans talks about what living in the South was like. At that time, many families lived in poverty. In fact, many of them were sharecroppers forced to work someone else’s land in exchange for a share of the crop. Later, Sarah Jean talks about the segregation at the time and how whites and blacks were forced to use separate restrooms, water fountains, and schools. When Sarah Jean was brought to the hospital, she was looked at only after all the white patients were taken care of. These issues are all well integrated into the story, but they still give you a good sense of what some of the injustices were at the time.
Social Movements and Social Change
When people like Uncle Jed accomplished their goals and fulfilled the dreams, they were making social change. It was common for people to succeed in such a way. By establishing the barbershop he was making great leaps for equality for the blacks.
Taking Social Action
This story teaches you to dream and to work hard to fulfill those dreams. I think students will realize that they too get fight for what they believe in. The can achieve the goals they set if they really work hard for it. And since the story introduces a few concepts related to racism and discrimination, I feel that they will be motivated to explore how these topics are still relevant today.
Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
Summary: The book, Rosa, tells a real historical event that happened in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Mrs. Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white passenger on a bus. The injustice to Mrs. Parks encouraged Women’s Political Council to take actions for making a change to their community. They first send out stencil posters to encourage “colored” people in Montgomery to boycott the buses by walking. Through this peaceful movement and the courage of Mrs. Rosa Park, many people felt that they were united together to say “no” to all the social injustice that they suffered. After one year of walking, the supreme court of the United Stated ruled that any kind of segregation was illegal including segregation on the bus. This story book vividly describes and illustrates this powerful revolutionary event in our history.
Stages of Social Justice Education:
Exploring issues of social justice: Students will be able to look at the social injustice that Rosa Parks was facing at that time. They will compare with our current situation with Rosa Park’s every life to see how we live differently or similarly. Then ask students to explore if our society is really as perfect as many people think. Encourage students to look at current social injustice issues by comparing with Rosa Park’s bus incident.
Social Movements and Social Change: Students will be able to learn from Rosa Park and people in Montgomery, Alabama that they have ability to make a change. However it is also important to know that we should take peaceful, never violent, action to protest.
Reflection and Use: I chose this book for our book club because I believe that students should remember what happened in our history and how people stood up together to against social injustice. I could use this book for a unit study of “Civil Rights Movement.” It could be used as a read-aloud book. However, teacher need to provide historical background information before the lesson and students can also do further research after the lesson. This book can also be used for book club. Students will compare Lisa's story with the other book clubs to find how different people react differently or similarly to the same issue. From this unit, students will learn how people in the past united to say “No” to social injustice through peaceful but brave movements, and finally brought justice to our society. I also want my students to learn that they have models to follow from our history and none of us is alone.
To learn more about Rosa Parks, or more teaching resources: