Saturday, February 24, 2018

Books About Making A Difference

I have been home sick this past week and have spent more time than I normally would following all the protests and speeches being given by the school shooting survivors in Florida. I am always impressed when kids stand up for what they believe in-but it helps when they are articulate and passionate as these students are. No matter what is thrown at them they are holding their own. This generation sure knows how to use social media to influence others. Many people are surprised at their political acumen-but I am not. When I did Student Council, one of my favorite aspects of it was seeing these youngsters ask questions and develop understandings for concepts I didn't comprehend the first time I voted. I am embarrassed to admit-I could not tell you the difference between a Democrat and  Republican the first time I pulled those voting booth levers. I think this generation will be different. 

Literature is the foundation of my lessons. If I want to help model courage and risk-taking for my students-I read them stories about characters with those qualities. I want my students to grow up and stand up for what they believe in-so I read them stories about others from history who have done just that.

Because of the efforts of Silvia Mendez' family, Hispanic students were no longer relegated to segregated schools.

She wouldn't even give in when they tried to prevent her from being left-handed. From a child RBG stood up for what she believed. My all-time favorite quote from her is about how she has had a successful marriage - ÿou have to be a little deaf sometimes". :) 

Alice Roosevelt was her own person. She wouldn't conform to what others wanted her to be (much to her father's chagrin). But she was also influential and became a darling of the people.

Imogene stands up to save a historical monument in her town. Protesting at its finest!

I like this story because it shows that just taking a little step can help change the world. She creates a bit of a sanctuary in her yard that grows and grows.

The true story of a town's efforts to save their sea turtles. The kids went door-to-door to ask people to keep off their external lights so it wouldn't confuse the babies. A community effort started by children!

I knew about the sit-ins from this time period, but I never heard the whole story. These college students endured threats and having food thrown on them to stand up for what they believed needed to be changed. And it worked!

Chapter Books:

Tua does not like the way the elephant is being treated by its trainers. So she helps it escapes and gets it to an elephant sanctuary-with a little help from their friends.

A girl goes back in time to help save her father from death row. It's a story about standing up to corruption in the name of justice.

Standing up to racism and segregation, the protagonist puts herself on the line. She knows changes are important, even if that begins with allowing all children to swim in a public pool. It starts with a letter to the editor and goes from there.

I am in awe of all the student protesters out there today. I hope they can be strong and hold out for the changes they are asking for.

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