It all started with a(nother) bookPosted: April 8, 2013
It should come as no surprise that lessons in the library learning space start with a book. The wonder comes when the lesson morphs into something more than expected. The Readers’ Theater project (written about in an earlier post) began as a lesson in choosing “Just Right” books, but grew into a performance that showcased both the fluency and artwork of a first grade class.
A Peasleecott lesson earlier this year also segued into something far beyond the original intentions of the mock Caldecott unit it was a part of. Mrs. Greenspan’s second grade class voted for Unspoken by Henry Cole as their class’s honoree for Peasleecott gold. This powerful tale, told entirely in illustrations, gave the students a glimpse into the time and place of the Underground Railroad and raised a lot of questions that, quite frankly, I could not answer. And so, an idea was born. A small group of interested students was identified and we began to meet twice a week for several weeks to research the world of safe houses, drinking gourds and the brave souls who “rode” on the Underground Railroad.
Some of the research was messy. Some of the meetings got (slightly) out of control. But when all was said and done, seven young researchers were very excited to share their self-driven (for the most part) study with the rest of their class via a mural showcased in this video.