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Help me give my students passport art kits and books that encourage empathy by engaging them in stories with diverse characters and cultures from around the world.
Hi, I'm a lower Elementary, Montessori-trained teacher within a public school. My students are curious, enthusiastic, and eager to learn. Many of them come from low income homes, but this doesn't stop them from coming to school with smiles on their faces. I am proud to be a part of an urban school district that offers Montessori education as an option to all families. It is amazing to see how my students can progress academically through this hands-on approach to learning.
One of my classroom goals this year is to introduce more books that encourage empathy and kindness. Empathy allows students to: give consideration to the thoughts and ideas of other people, complete group work more effectively, innovate via collaboration, think about the social/emotional consequences of their choices, and overall be better & kinder human beings.
My plan focuses on providing access to a wider selection of books that feature a protagonist who is a person of color, part of a family that comes from a different country, or is someone struggling with something that makes them feel different.
In conjunction with reading these books, I would like my students to keep a reading passport, which will be similar to a type of reading log/visual journal. For each story they read, they will be asked to fill out a 2 page spread in their passport with the following images:
(1) The flag of the country the character (or his/her family) lives in or was born in; if this detail is unknown, a picture of a physical landmark mentioned in the story.
(2) A picture that illustrates something that makes one of the characters special/unique.
(3) A picture that illustrates something that my student has in common with that same character.
At the end of the day, my hope for this project is to get my students to reflect a little more on the stories, through art, by acknowledging the differences among us while emphasizing the fundamental things we have in common.
This project includes a wide variety of books with diverse characters and 2 sets of passport art kits for them to log the books they read.
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