My students are all English Language Learners. Many are within their first few years in the United States. Some come from families with very little literacy. They are wondering what opportunities are available to them and how they fit into our community.
Their enthusiasm and drive to make the best of their circumstances is inspiring.
Many will be the first in their families to graduate from high school or go to college. They are resilient, hardworking and funny! They have been willing to take risks in learning with me by singing, going camping, learning dance, going to the theater. All of these activities help them expand their ideas of what they can do and how they can contribute to our school, neighborhood and city.
Many of my students have had to flee their countries. They often don't see themselves and their experiences reflected in the books they are asked to read. They will read Ms. Yang's book, a tribute to her father, and look for the similarities to their own families.
This book may help them reframe their histories as examples of resilience and help them see the treasures in their midst.
The students and their families have talents and abilities that they may not see as valuable. I hope that reading this story, doing some writing activities connected to the book, and meeting the author, will convince students that their voices matter.
This will be part of the "Writer of the Month Club" project wherein my students will read different genres of writing by local authors and the writers will come into our classroom to talk about their work.
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