"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Monday, January 25, 2016

"They can make all different colors in their books."

True stories about people who make or made a difference.

The first graders started their Biography Unit. I co-plan and co-teach the unit with the classroom teachers. In order to reinforce our school definition of biography, a true story about a person who makes or made a difference, I asked the students how they, or people in general,  can make a difference. Here are their answers:
After this discussion and a quick location and access lesson (explanation of where you can find the biography neighborhood and which color sticker in on the spine label of the books), I showed the students two biographies on Wilma Rudolph, Wilma Unlimited and Wilma Rudolph and talked about the different formats of the books.
We then read the Capstone book, Wilma Rudolph. We used the glossary to understand some terms and had a few conversations. I paused after reading the page about the parade in Wilma's hometown, Clarksville, Tennessee, that occurred after the 1960 Olympics, where Wilma had won three gold medals. 

I had a plan. 

I had a story quilt in mind. Monday was the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we had had an all school assembly where each grade performed a song or poem related to Martin Luther King, Jr. The first graders had already started to learn about people who make a difference. 

I had a plan because I had just received the perfect book in the mail. In the mail had arrived, The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Frank Morrison. As soon as I read the book, I knew I had to share it with my students.
I had a plan because the story in The Quickest Kid in Clarksville takes place during Wilma Rudolph's visit to her hometown to celebrate her three Olympic Gold Medals. 

From Chronicle books, "It's the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She'll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn't matter that Alta's shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a timeless story of dreams, determination, and the power of friendship."

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a great read and will spark important conversations. I loved sharing it with students.  

Pat Zietlow Miller explains that Wilma required the organizers in Clarksville to ensure that any event she attended to be integrated, the first time in the city's history. Wilma was a person who made a difference in so many ways, including standing up for what she knew was right.  

This book was the perfect way to tie together all the learning happening during the week. I love when story threads come together.

What threads are you weaving this week?

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