In a Northfield second grade class, Barbara Bendix read the book Honoring Our Ancestors: Stories and Pictures by Fourteen Artists, edited by Harriet Rohmer.
This book brings together fourteen outstanding and diverse artists to honor the ancestors who most touched their lives and to pay playful tribute to the influential and loving people who came before them. Caryl Henry honors her grandmother and Madame C. J. Walker, America's first Black woman millionaire.
Nancy Hom honors her father who worked in a Chinese restaurant but possessed the strength of a mighty warrior. George Crespo honors his Puerto Rican grandfather and his Taino ancestors. Mira Reisberg honors her Jewish grandparents who were killed in the Holocaust and the ancestors in spirit who shaped her life.
The book is a compilation of one page stories from 14 visual artists of various ethnic backgrounds. Each brief story had wonderful, kid-beguiling illustrations.
Activity: I brought an enormous world map, and we found the places some of the stories had begun, engaging children with the largeness and diversity of the world, and the reality of places outside our own country where they have a different language and culture.
We also talked about bullying as the beginning of racism, as this discussion was with seven year olds, and this seemed an age-appropriate introduction to the topic.