My students are a diverse group of sophomores that need academic support in reading, writing and vocabulary acquisition. They are ethnically diverse, speaking eight different languages in the class and deserve engaging texts at their reading level to help them develop a love of reading and a sense of success.
Most of my students need support in reading comprehension and writing skills.
Although some students are high skilled and read for leisure, the majority of my students would benefit from expanding our classroom library. Having current titles at a variety of reading levels would allow me to match each student with a book that they will enjoy and feel successful with.
Many of my students have a mixed cultural identity but don't have access to culturally relevant texts. I would like my students to have culturally diverse texts available to them in my classroom to use for literature circle discussions and whole class discussion. My students are resilient, engaged and interested in stories from around the globe. I hope to be able to expand their knowledge of the world and global issues through the literature that we read.
"When the Elephants Dance" by Tess Uriza Holthe is a complex tale based on the experience of her grandparents during the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese during World War II. This book beautifully weaves in Filipino mythology and culture while illustrating the hardships of living through imperialism and war. I believe this book will challenge my brightest students as it is laden with symbolism and metaphor, engage my most reluctant students with its nail biting plot, and teach all of my students important lessons about morality and survival. While my tenth grade class reads many novels that represent diverse backgrounds from Iranian to South African, a book written by a Filipino author is not in our curriculum at any grade level.
Our student body is 6% Filipino and deserves the opportunity to be represented in the literature that we read in class.
Many of the novels we read supplement the units that our 10th Graders study in Modern World History. While "Night" is a book that is used to expand and personalize student's understanding of the Holocaust, "When the Elephants Dance" can help students to grasp a personal account of colonization and the scope of World War II. I'm excited to teach this novel and have students explore mythology in their own culture and family.
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