For as long as I can remember in my teaching career, I have enjoyed quality children's literature. This is still one of my greatest joys and an argument for why we need to be teaching history to young students. History is one GIANT collection of amazing stories and how easy it is to discuss character, setting, problem, solution and sequence of events. I say this now more than ever! The fabulous books on Jackie Robinson are no exception and the diversity of formats is wide.
Below is a Youtube link to my favorite Jackie Robinson book. It is written by his daughter, Sharon, and illustrated by the talented Kadir Nelson. Enjoy!
As I have written before, I grew up listening to country music with my dad as a square dance caller. A little over a year ago, I came across a copy of the book "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton. At the same time, I acquired a copy of "Good Night Tennessee," part of the Good Night Our World series. As these two books came into my library, I started reading more and then listening to the many songs written by Dolly over her amazing career.
As an adult, I listened to the lyrics with an entire new perspective. Having gone through immense training on primary sources, her lyrics are such a storytelling gem. I also came across her DVD from her live concert in London from 2008. This clip below doesn't do her story justice (even though I can listen to the song over and over). Dolly's lead in story speaks about the love she felt in her family despite the fact that the roof leaked, there could be a lack of food, her father worked endless hours and her mother was busy raising 12 children.
What makes me even more appreciative of her is her dedication to early childhood education. Years ago, she started the Imagination Library to supply children with books from birth to age 5 so that they are ready for Kindergarten. Her father never had the opportunity to learn how to read and she is very proud that her father lived to see her start the Imagination Library. Kids fondly call her the "book lady."
I love reading the "Coat of Many Colors" to my students. We spend time reading the book and then writing about their own small moments. Today we celebrated her birthday as we learned about Tennessee.
Happy birthday to an amazing woman and great role model!
On this date...Teddy Roosevelt uses the Antiquities Act to declare the Grand Canyon as a National Monument
Teddy Roosevelt first visited the Grand Canyon area in May 1903 on his first trip to Arizona. He was on a rigorous tour of the west stopping to give speeches along the way. His awe of the natural wonder of the Grand Canyon is evident in this quote and he encourages the caretakers to leave it as it is for "our children's children."
I personally have very vague memories and no personal photos of the Grand Canyon as I made a brief stop there in high school on a school band trip driving to California. Needless to say, the beauty and wonder of the park was incredibly wasted on a teenager. Visiting it again is high on my bucket list (although it also competes with Yellowstone)!
The NPS Grand Canyon website is full of resources for teachers. Traveling trunks are available as well as written lesson plans. Below you will even find a Youtube clip done in partnership with Sesame Street.
I personally love using the book "Whose Tail On The Trail Grand Canyon" when we learn about it. The kids love the rhyming and predictable text and it can serve as a great lesson on adjectives or as a writing prompt.