Wednesday, August 16, 2017

One Race: Human. What we Need to Teach our Students



Teaching Students about racism
Sometimes, in this country, I feel like a stranger in a strange land.

I can usually wrap my head around the thinking of people whose views are different than my own.
I may not agree with them.

But I get where they're coming from.

Not so much anymore.  And, after the events in Charlottesville this past weekend, I don't want to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Again.

Nope, I want to go, with renewed commitment, into my classroom, and gently remind and demonstrate through my actions, that labels we put on each other are just that.  Labels.  Labels can be good, but they can also divide.  We need to remember that we are all people, allowed to share this amazing planet we live on, for however brief or long a time as we get to spend here.  And we are strengthened when we work with, not against each other.  Our race, gender, religion, sexuality, or political views demonstrate that we can be unique.

TOGETHER.

We are needed, now more than ever, to teach that message to our students.  Our strength as a society comes when working for "we" becomes more important than working for "me."  We need to be explicit in our teaching and not be afraid to address racism by name.  We can not let fear, which is most often based on ignorance, rule the day.  We are better than that.  And our students need to hear from us.  Because maybe, this is the only place they're hearing it.

TWO HELPFUL RESOURCES:

  • Pernille Ripp shared this google docs to her Passionate Readers group on Facebook.  It was put together by several people in response to the events in Charlottesville.  Please download it for a source of good articles and thoughts about how to address this with your children or students.
  • Mary Ramming Chappell of The Librarian's Literature Links posted this video about the book, Let's Talk about Race.  It looks like a great book, worth reading with elementary children.  





P.S.  Although I've searched online, I do not know the graphic artist who created the picture above. If you should happen to know, please comment below, so that I can give credit where it's deserved. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Why your students should read Echo: a video review

Video review of Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Have you ever read a book where you marveled about how the author came up with the ideas?  I admit, I do that pretty often, but nothing like how I felt when I read Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan.  My word!

The author has managed to intertwine five different stories: a fairy tale and four different historical fiction stories.  What’s the common thread?  A harmonica.  Yup, you read that correctly.  And if that doesn’t sound interesting, trust me when I tell you that some of your upper elementary or middle school students will be completely blown away by this book.

I hope your students enjoy it as much as my students and I have!