Multi Cultural Children's Book Month Re-Cap

My ELD readers thoroughly enjoyed our January multi-cultural children's lit titles. We had just begun a non-fiction unit, so it worked out to read several biographical children's books.

I've begun teaching Beers' and Probst's close reading strategies from Notice and Note. Each strategy lesson clearly lays out signposts that strong readers pay attention to in a text. These sign posts have student friendly names, a great scaffold to academic vocabulary. For example: the literary device "flashback" is the signpost "memory moment." In the context of workshop with a mini-lesson format, My ELLs are engaging concepts such as character motivation, plot development, and theme.

These are the titles we read and the strategies we taught with them:

Salt In His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris Jordan (Author), Roslyn M. Jordan (Author)

Great for teaching "Ah Ha Moments" (turning points in a text) or "Memory Moments" (flashbacks). Dive deeper with character change and motivation.

Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx / La juez que crecio en el Bronx (Spanish and English Edition) by Jonah Winter

This gorgeous illustrations in this bilingual (Spanish-English) texts are the icing on the cake. Sotomayor's personal journey from a working class immigrant neighborhood to the US Supreme Court brims with turning points "Ah Ha Moments" and theme "Words of the Wiser."

A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson  

Eric Velasquez's stark yet poignant illustrations create a riveting visual complement to Johnson's lyrical prose. The story of Civil Rights movement marches told through the perspective a child makes this a perfect text for teaching repetition "Again and Again" and story structure.

Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan: Two Stories of Bravery Hardcover by Jeanette Winter

Pardon my inner geek, but a two sided book as in 2-in-1?? How cool! While the text isn't particularly inspiring, the double-book feature aids students in drawing connections between two contemporary Pakistani children whose fight for children's rights was not stymied by intense violence. This is a great text for character motivation "Contrasts and Contradictions," and  "Tough Questions". It's delicate, kid-friendly treatment of gruesome realities makes it a great jumping off point for conversations about injustice.