Posts tagged ‘immigration’
Retell: This is the story of Jose Limon, who left his family to move to New York. Frustrated by his poor artistic talent he fell in love with dance and worked to become a famous dancer and choreographer.
Topics: dance, war, family, Mexico, immigration, art, music, English, Spanish, death, New York, California
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Social Issues
Tribes: personal best, appreciations/no put-downs, mutual respect
Habits of Mind: persisting
Reading Skills: synthesis, monitoring for sense, envisionment
Writing Skills: using sound effects, zooming in on a small moment
My Thoughts: This text has multiple teaching purposes. It’s a great text for introducing or reinforcing the habit of mind–persistence. There are many moments in the story when Jose persists. He struggles to learn English but persists despite his cruel classmates. He is determined to become a dancer and shows persistence each day during rehearsal despite sore, aching muscles. During the read aloud we can hope that students understand that successful people, no matter what their focus, work hard and persist, even when they face adversity.
Topics: New York, family, Statue of Liberty, grandparents, immigration
Units of Study: Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: prediction, envisionment, inference, questioning
My Thoughts: This book is typically read during an Immigration unit. However I don’t think I can wait that long to read this book. A scene that stuck out for me was the part when Tony helps a young woman who pulls on his jacket, worried that the last boat has left. Apparently no one has been able to help her because she doesn’t speak English. Tony is patient with her and through gestures explains that another boat is on the way. When reading this aloud, I plan on emphasizing this moment and hope it will spark a meaningful discussion about how we can help students who have limited English skills.
This is a great text for modeling expression. Each character has a distinctive personality which may come out best if the reader creates voices for each character. For example, Rosa talks in “a reading kind of way” and should sound official (or as we say in conferences “like a teacher”). Mike seems a bit mischievous and should sound like it.
Topics: Hudson River, New York, Native Americans, Henry Hudson, dreamers, Dutch, explorers, British, American Revolution, Robert Fulton, Erie Canal, trade, Hudson River School Painters, Industrial Revolution, environment, Franny Reese, pollution, immigration
Units of Study: Nonfiction, Social Issues, Content Area
Tribes: mutual respect
Reading Skills: envisionment, determining importance, questioning, synthesis
Writing Skills: including expository text features
My Thoughts: My eyes grew wide when I spotted this book in Barnes and Noble this afternoon. This book is treasure for New York 4th grade teachers who will be embarking on a year-long study of New York history. A timeline painted in the shape of the Hudson River winds throughout the book noting historic events including: the American Revolution, the commercial success of Fulton’s steamboat, the opening of the Erie Canal, and the Scenic Hudson Decision. I think I may read this book in September when we discuss what we will be learning in Social Studies this year. When we get to a new unit, I think I’ll reread corresponding sections of River of Dreams. Talbott also highlights writers and artists who were inspired by the Hudson River such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper and the Hudson River School Painters. This is a great book to use when discussing trade and industry. There is a beautiful painting in the book that shows the Hudson River bursting with steamboats and schooners–“America’s first superhighway.” I like how the story includes the environmental impact of industrial pollution and the story ends with a strong message–it’s up to us to protect the beauty of this river.
Retell: One Green Apple is the story of Farah, a Muslim immigrant, who struggles to fit in. Despite the language barrier she manages to make friends and participate during the field trip to the apple orchard.
Topics: immigration, language barrier, dupatta, field trips, friendship, Muslim characters
Units of Study: Social Issues, Talking and Writing About Texts, Realistic Fiction
Tribes: mutual respect, right to pass
Reading Skills: interpretation, inference, empathy
Writing Skills: including metaphors, using sensory details
My Thoughts: I wish I knew about this book last year. I had two students who recently came from China. Other students were having difficulty communicating with them. They got frustrated when the Chinese students didn’t understand their rapid speech. The Chinese students got frustrated when people spoke too loud to them and ‘dumbed material down’. I intend to use this book to address language issues. In the story Farah thinks to herself, “I understand. It’s not that I am stupid. It is just that I am lost in this new place.” I can see using this book as a mentor text for teaching about metaphors. You could discuss Eve Bunting’s decision to make Farah choose a green apple rather than a red apple like the others.
Retell: Like the title suggests, this is a young people’s version of his famous book, A People’s History of the United States. Together with Rebecca Stefoff, Zinn manages to tell a version of history that attempts to include the perspectives of groups that are usually left out (women, people of color, Native people, children, etc.)
Topics: United States, history, exploration, racism, slavery, colonialism, rights, justice, revolution, war, emancipation, industrialization, immigration, empire, protests, terrorism, resistance, freedom of speech
Units of Study: Content Area, Nonfiction, Social Issues, Personal Essay, Historical Fiction
Tribes: mutual respect, personal best
Reading Skills: questioning, synthesis, prediction, determining importance, inference, interpretation
Writing Skills: using evidence to support a thesis or main idea, inserting anecdotes and quotations
My Thoughts: I was so thrilled to find this book on the shelves. I read A People’s History of the United States several years ago and often reread sections before embarking on Social Studies units. Though I thought this book was going to present a child’s perspective of historical events, Zinn does manage to tuck in a few stories of young people working to make a difference. For example, he includes the story about how children started the first milll strike in Paterson, New Jersey. I intend to read aloud exerpts from this book to support and/or challenge what they may be reading in their own nonfiction texts. This book is also available in two volumes. Volume I covers Columbus to the Spanish-American War. Volume II covers World War I to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.