Starting this month, during my weekly designated library time with our 1st-4th grade students, I have launched the 2020 Global Read Aloud initiative. Information about Global Read Aloud can be found at https://theglobalreadaloud.com. The program allows schools throughout the world to connect through designated children’s books that raise awareness. I am happy to share we are connecting with schools in New Jersey and Maine.
Our 1st grade students are exploring the wonderful illustrations found in books illustrated by the very talented Juana Martinez-Neal. I have collaborated with our art teacher, Ms. Risko and she is incorporating some of the artist’s work into our 1st grade art projects.
2nd and 3rd grade students are reading the book, Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian. In this book, Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?! But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! This book ties in beautifully with 3rd grade’s upcoming Poetry Pals program, which will teach our students to learn to honor our differences and celebrate our similarities with other Abrahamic faiths. Omar and his family are Islamic, so this will offer rich opportunities for reflection.
4th grade is reading the book Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell. This work of historical fiction centers around Regina Petit’s family who are Umpqua, and live on the Grand Ronde Tribe’s reservation. But when the federal government enacts a law that says Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes “Indian No More” overnight—even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations. This title compliments what our 4th grade students are studying in social studies.
We are fortunate to participate in this program which allows our students greater insight to create pathways around the world, expanding our knowledge but shrinking our otherization, growing our curiosity, and diminishing hate. As always, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com if you seek book recommendations for your students.