Our fab fifth-grader students hail from New York and are proud members of gifted and talented program in an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse public school community. Throughout the years, they have flourished as critical thinkers, readers, writers, creative problem solvers, and observers of the world in which we live. From the first day of school, students are encouraged to think for themselves and engage in activities and discussions that allow for an in-depth analysis of texts and life issues without having to find the “right answer.” They are empowered to know that they can make a difference in making the world better and brighter.
The first step to building literacy and social comprehension skills is by finding humanity in ourselves and in others along with the realization of the power of one individual's ability to change his or community and better the lives of those around him By providing students with engaging texts, we help deepen their interpretive analysis in exploring themes, symbols and other important ideas.
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate is an immigrant's journey from hardship to hope as the main character, Kek, comes from Africa to America, sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting and wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter – cold and unkind. The protagonist awaits word of his mother's fate, weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.
Students will experience the personal journey of the resilient young protagonist, enhance their own empathy skills while building their agency and independence in literacy--recognizing that they are in charge of their own reading lives.
This terrific text will facilitate engaging conversations and help students build essential skills such as fluency, envisioning, prediction, making deeper inferences, and finding main ideas.
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