My students need 12 copies of the following novels: The Jacket, My Name is Maria Isabel, One Crazy Summer, How Tia Lola Came to Visit/Stay and The Watsons Go to Birmingham.
I currently teach fourth grade at a Title I school in Texas. Our school houses two coexisting education programs, the bilingual program and the regular (English-only) program. Upon visiting my school, one quickly realizes that the bilingual and regular program students rarely interact.
Racial prejudice wields a powerful force within my school's community.
For somewhere between the African American, English-only students and the Latino, bilingual students exists a seemingly impenetrable wall of misunderstanding, competition, and frustration. This barrier endures at all levels of the school community. It is silently acknowledged amongst educators; its existence is unknowingly reinforced in daily hallway conversation. Ultimately, this barrier trickles down to irrevocably define the interactions shared between our students. My kids desperately need the opportunity to positively interact with children who look, speak, and act differently from themselves. Through this Donors Choose project, I hope to engage my students in a year-long dialogue about prejudice, tolerance, and diversity. I plan to use children's fictional literature as a conduit by which my students and myself will access, analyze, and connect to the aforementioned social issues.
I will use an online assessment to determine my students' reading levels. Incorporating this data, I will divide my students into leveled reading groups. Each team will be assigned a chapter book pathway, which will ensure that students are consistently reading a text that is equivalent to their instructional reading level. The pathways will be comprised of the following novels, in order from least to most rigorous: The Jacket, My Name is María Isabel, How Tía Lola Came to Visit/Stay, and The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963. Each novel focuses on the relationships and prejudices shared between racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse characters. In addition to teaching students literacy comprehension skills, I would like to use these fictional texts as a way to help our class draw connections between ourselves, our biases, and the literature itself. I believe that these novels will help my students and I develop a vocabulary with which we can constructively discuss such issues.
As part of a school district that is plagued by instances of gang violence at the middle and high school levels, teaching my students about racial and ethnic tolerance becomes an increasingly necessary pursuit.
I feel that children's fictional literature will provide the best tool to address race relations within my school's community, the 'elephant in the (class)room'. Ideally, students will progress from initially interpreting book characters' prejudices to eventually analyzing their own.Read More
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|The Jacket • Amazon Business||$6.99||12||$83.88|
|How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay (The Tia Lola Stories) • Amazon Business||$6.29||13||$81.77|
|The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 • Amazon Business||$6.00||13||$78.00|
|One Crazy Summer • Amazon Business||$6.00||12||$72.00|
|My Name Is Maria Isabel • Amazon Business||$4.40||12||$52.80|
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