Do you remember the first book that touched your heart and brought tears to your eyes? For many of my students, this book is "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes". I teach 30 energetic third graders in an urban area. I am always looking for ways to engage my students in reading.
I will never forget the feeling that came over me, the shudder of electricity that ran through me, the first time I finished reading “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” aloud to my students. You could have heard a pin drop, but nobody would have flinched. My third grade students were speechless, stunned, heartbroken, some even drop-jawed. I knew that this was a great story (I had loved it when I was a child), but had no idea the reaction that I would get from reading it to a class. I held back my own tears, touched by the visible respect and empathy my students showed. This is not always an easy task. Getting students excited about reading can be quite a task. If the book that grabs them also teaches them something about history or science, it is perfect! Many of my students need to find a book that does this for them!
I would never have expected the enthusiasm toward learning about Japanese culture, history, and origami that this book generated! I have read it every year since, and the student reaction keeps me reaching for it every year. For those who haven’t read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”, it is a beginning chapter book based on a true story about a girl living in Hiroshima, Japan just after World War II who is found to have leukemia, presumably from radiation from the atom bomb. Sadako and her friends and family attempt to fold 1,000 paper cranes because legend says that if they do they will be able to make a wish to be cured. It is a bittersweet story of courage, and always sparks many historical questions as well. Of course, after the students have heard the book, they argue over who will get to read it first during their independent reading time. They are inspired to read!
I would like each of my students to have a copy of this book to pour through on their own, and read along as we read together. I believe this book sparks a love of reading, and a spirit of courage and empathy toward others. Thank you for reading! I hope that you will help Sadako touch the hearts of more children this year!
|ASTROBRIGHTS ASSORTED PACK - ASST#2 -- Wausau 24-Lb. Astrobrights Colored Paper; 8-1/2x11", Letter Size, Assorted • Quill Corporation||$13.67||2||$27.34|
|Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes • AKJ Books||$5.22||30||$156.60|
|Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes -- Teacher Guide • AKJ Books||$10.46||1||$10.46|
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