My students are the children of immigrants and refugees. They come from many different places, and their prior experiences with education are similarly varied. Some grew up in refugee camps and attended school irregularly; others have strong educational backgrounds. All are learning English.
Sitting in a room with teenagers from all over the world is a beautiful thing.
One day in class, a student noted that in Iraq, he and his friend, a Kurd, wouldn't have been able to walk together in the street, yet here they were friends at school!
My students have widely divergent literacy skills, so we need a book that everyone can connect to. Typically, we read the book together as a class, chapter by chapter, and then students re-read the book in groups to discuss and collaborate on study guide questions and other related projects.
Emako Blue is a complex and compelling story; it also introduces my students to the diverse culture of their new country.
And because the language is fairly straightforward, it's ideal for second-language learners.
We're looking forward to beginning the new semester with a book with wide appeal and challenges for everyone.
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