Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SOLC # 25 - Non-Fiction - How Much Courage Do You Have?



                Also blogging with my students at Linda & Jonathan's Class Blog

Day Twenty-Five of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.   Tweet at #SOL15

        Thanks to Tara, Dana, Anna, Betsy, Beth and Stacey for helping us say, one week to go. 

SOLC # 24/31-non-fiction - more to learn - linking with Alyson Beecher at KidLit Frenzy, who hosts non-fiction picture book Wednesday, wonderful resources found there!

 Learning about history enriches our lives and when we share, enriches that of our students, too. This time I'm sharing two books of ordinary people, like you and me, that became extraordinary. They made our lives today better, and isn't that wonderful?


Seeds of Freedom, The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama - written by Hester Bass and illustrated by E.B. Lewis
            I think I've brave and I have done some personally courageous things in my life, but none that jeopardized my physical well-being. Oh, I could have fallen when rock-climbing or on a zipline, I guess, but I mean physical harm from other people. This story shares the efforts of a whole lot of African-American people who sat in at lunch counters, took their children to forbidden parks, and walked through crowds of people who didn't want them there to take their children to the "better" white schools. I believe I could do it; I believe in fighting for what's right. This story tells the small seeds of beginning to the triumph of the end of segregation in Huntsville.  In his beautiful illustrations, E.B. White shows the serious and the triumphant parts of this time. It was peaceful, but civil rights were a long time coming. You will enjoy hearing about it from Hester Bass.


The Founding Fathers! Those Horse-Ridin', Fiddle-Playin', Book-Readin', Gun-Totin',
Gentlemen Who Started America - written by Jonah Winter and Illustrated by Barry Blitt
         Jonah Winter is known for writing great picture book biographies, and in this one, readers get a glimpse of the basic ideas of just who is a founding father, read and enjoy two page biographies of fourteen of them. The cartoon illustrations of Barry Blitt help the tongue-in-cheek  stories through amusing creations. For example, there is the large drawing of John Adams, whom the book says "sighed, sobbed, and groaned, and sometimes screeched and screamed . . . and sometimes swore." It shows Adams sitting at a table strewn with tissues while one is being raised to his cheek, presumably he has cried at something with which he disagrees! Funny, but also serious, students are bound to enjoy the information and the entertaining pictures. There is additional back matter, and many small pictures of extra material.

Whether reading and learning about courage during times of long ago, or NOT so long ago, it's inspiring to feel these people's presence in a history story.

28 comments:

  1. For a long time the school where I taught was weak in providing non-fiction books for our students. I am glad that this has changed over the years. I feel that it is important for students to realize that great things were accomplished by ordinary people with a dream.

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    1. There have always been some good n-f books, but in these recent years, the creative approaches have enhanced them, seems to me. There are some really gorgeous and interesting approaches to many topics.

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  2. Thanks Linda. This is not where I am usually but so good to read about these books.
    Digital Bonnie

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    1. For you and your writing groups, it's good to be aware that these are out there, right? Thanks, Bonnie.

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  3. Hester Bass is amazing; a real dynamo. Seeds of Freedom is a welcome picture book addition to Civil Rights history.

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    1. She's written quite a few wonderful books, I agree. I loved this story! Thanks, Teresa.

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  4. Thanks, once again for introducing some great new books! I am soooo out of the loop with kids' books now! I really need a day at the library to just sit and read in the children's section.

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    1. There are some wonderful ones lately, Donna. I'm enjoying them too, not only to share with my students.

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  5. I love the theme and question of this week's post! We definitely can learn from all the great men and women from the past who've had to overcome various obstacles to get what they want- and sometimes shape and affect people's lives.

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    1. Thanks Earl, I agree that we can learn from others, and know that if they did it, we can too.

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  6. These are great! I love the idea behind "seeds" of freedom - that little actions can grow into big changes. An important message for kids to internalize.

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    1. I hope that these recent books about inspiring acts will help our students learn that their actions are important, too. Thanks, Katie.

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    1. Good to read about those who have meaning to us from the past. I agree-inspiring.

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  8. Oh that Seeds of Freedom looks wonderful and I like how you've paired it with the Founding Fathers. Interesting match up there.

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    1. Both have good information that would be interesting for many kinds of readers. So often older kids skip the picture books, yet there is a lot to learn from them. Thanks, Lee Ann!

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  9. Both books sound great, but I am really drawn to Seeds of Freedom...love the illustrator! I wonder if this is appropriate for my preschoolers? They have so many questions about their "noticings" - differences between one another. I will check it out! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It may be a little old, but there are parts of the story and the pictures that could work. You'll need to check it out as you said, Maureen.

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  10. Two great books for my social studies classes, Linda, thank you!

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  11. I have, and love, Seeds of Freedom. I think I'll enjoy The Founding Fathers too. (That cover is hysterical!)

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    1. It is full of the basic information, but those small stories are what are delightful. Hope you do enjoy it, Stacey. Yes, the Seeds of Freedom is wonderful!

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  12. Seeds of Freedom looks amazing! It also seems like it may be a good companion to Lions of Little Rock.?

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    1. Yes, Seeds of Freedom will work as a good intro to Lions of Little Rock, and a companion to others, too, Kellee. It was good!

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  13. I loved Seeds of Freedom--you wrote about it beautifully. I love thinking about the courage that was shown by so many. Thanks for sharing the Founding Fathers, Linda.

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    1. You're welcome, Melanie, and thank you. I'm happy to hear that so many have already read Seeds of Freedom.

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  14. I really enjoyed Seeds of Freedom. I've held off purchasing it because I don't have a need for it, but I think the need to own that book will win out soon enough :)
    I have Founding Fathers in my stack to read in the next two weeks or so. My quick glimpse looked a bit tongue-in-cheek!

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    1. Both good, both in content needed for that purpose. For mentor texts with lots of non-fiction content, Founding Fathers will be good. Thanks, Michele!

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