Together, we came up with a list of issues found in children's books, and I added some additional ideas off a list I found. It was interesting to hear students' ideas on WHY certain themes come up time and time again. In a nutshell, the students all agreed that writers want kids to think about, read about, and talk about these important topics--and that by doing so, they might better be able to understand themselves and the people around them. We've read a pretty lengthy list of books this year and keep track on a chart...so it was GREAT to be able to revisit the list and remember what we have read. Check out this list of "social issues" we come up with together.
NOTE: I shared "Fly Away Home" by Eve Bunting the day after we made this, so I added "homelessness" to the chart as well!
Today I read my class this book . . . if you haven't seen it, it's a really neat text with LOTS of neat things you could do. It's set in the 1930's where a young girl is sent to work with her uncle in his bakery. The entire text is written in letter format, and the illustrations are gorgeous--it's fun to see what students can notice in them.
So . . . to see what my students were thinking, I asked them to write a summary (we are STILL struggling with this!) and to write a "statement of theme". I am always intrigued to see what the students think BEFORE we discuss!
It was a great discussion about family . . . about keeping spirits up in tough times . . . about making your world a better place for others . . . and for doing whatever is necessary to make things work out. If you haven't seen it--check it out!
Just a reminder that my first post of the book club on "The Differentiated Math Classroom" is coming up on Saturday! I am SO excited to get the discussion going--there are more than 30 people who have signed on! Get that book and highlighter ready! I hope everyone had a great day . . . I am feeling the end-of-year stress for sure!