My students need a class set of the young reader's version of Malala Yousafzai's "I Am Malala" to further incorporate diverse texts into my classroom, and to better complement our grade's perseverance unit.
Over the last couple years, with the help of three separate DonorsChoose.org projects, I have been able to get over 100 new graphic novels and manga books into my classroom library. Continuing to provide access to a diverse set of texts is imperative for me to further develop a classroom environment built upon enthusiasm for reading and for learning.
The impact since has been tremendous.
My students are checking out the books regularly, and they are reading whenever they have any free time, even during lunch. Perhaps the most overwhelming takeaway from the presence of these books is seeing specific students taking these books out, in particular those who say they "hate reading" or never showed much interest. These are students who may have once questioned their ability to read or displayed significant reluctance that are now finding stories that are relatable, entertaining, and deeply meaningful. This, in turn, translates to more success and confidence within the classroom.
Our sixth grade curriculum is based on various thematic concerns, one of which is perseverance, and how people develop and maintain it. While many of the stories and articles we read are instructive and beneficial, it would be far more impactful for my students to read about someone their age.
The young reader's edition of "I Am Malala" would provide my students with a more relatable and inspiring message of perseverance, hope, and the power of education.
It would also provide another diverse and engaging text within my classroom.
Sixth graders are quite impressionable, so to read about and learn Malala's life story can make a significant impact.
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