Reading to End Racism is working to provide links to online readings of appropriate books for the elementary grades we usually work with locally, and will be posting them in the tabs above in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!
This is our first taste of the new Online system that will be in place until our volunteers are able to return to classrooms again. We do not own the rights to these books, but are providing links to publicly available videos. We think you should buy these wonderful books for your school or home library!
For each book, there will be a description of the book with a link to an online reading of the book. Additionally, we will provide some Introduction for the teacher or parent, followed by suggested Activities and/or Discussion opportunities. Click on the book cover or the enlarged title to link to the video reading.
by Jacqueline Woodson, 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and National Book Award Winner/New York Times #1 Bestseller, 2019 Jane Addams Children's Book Award. Illustrated by Rafael López, two-time winner of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. The book in the video is read by “Miss Linda” of Brightly Books, who sets the story in a friendly context. Words in the story are highlighted as they are read.
What better way to start the new school year than with a picture book about a first day of school experience! Students in your class will quickly identify with the main character who feels she hasn’t done as many exciting things over the summer as the rest of her classmates. This book, written and illustrated by an award winning team, is narrated by a young African-American girl on her first day of school. Everyone else is talking about their exciting summers, but she has spent the summer in her city apartment taking care of her sister and reading books. What will she say when it is her turn? When Angelina (and her classmates) discover how to share their stories, it opens the way up for making new connections. In the words of the author, the other people have “something a little like you, and something else, so fabulously not quite like you at all.”
Discussions about this book might center around whether students have ever been uncomfortable on the first day of school (or in another new setting) because they feel different. Can they tell a story about a time they unexpectedly discovered that they have something in common with another person?
There are many other books by Jacqueline Woodson, and other age-appropriate ones could be shown to students. The Other Side is particularly good for primary students. Each Kindness is better for 3rd grade and up. Jacqueline Woodson herself reads out loud from her book Each Kindness which tells the story of what happened when students did NOT try to find something in common with a classmate, perhaps a book for later in the year. An advanced student might be interested in reading a second book by this author and then comparing the themes of the two different books.
Activity 1: Play a pandemic version of "fruit basket" with the whole class. The students sit in a circle. The student who starts calls out something true of themselves such as “likes the color blue”. All the students who like the color blue stand up. Each student in turn calls out something true of themselves and the others stand up if it applies to them. It is a great way to find out what other students have in common with you, while playing a game.
Activity 2: Students make a web of their connections to other children in the class. In the center of the paper the child makes a bubble with their own name. Around it the child draws other bubbles with the names of other classmates. The child draws lines connecting their own bubble to each of the classmate’s bubbles. On each line, the student writes something shared in common with that classmate (for example: a pet cat).