Readers may recall that the winners for this month were "Those Shoes", "A+ Custodian" and "The Chimpanzees I Love".
I must confess, as I was preparing these lessons, that I thought about how true it is that WE (the teachers) are the curriculum -- there is no "objective" teaching; the resources we choose to use in our classrooms, and how we use them reflect our beliefs, and invariably, rub off on the students in our care for the year. (Case in point: One of my African Canadian students had such a look of pride and joy on her face this morning when I read aloud Langston Hughes' "My People" just before lunch, enthusiastically telling the kids how Hughes was one of my favourite poets, and excitedly sharing with them how I had recently learned that he was one of the first black writers in North America to actually make a living from his craft... how would this child's interpretation of the poets of her people be different had I not shared his work quite so enthusiastically -- or even not shared his work at all -- in class?! And what about the Asian student whom I "shushed" as he was about to say something about how he didn't like all those black people in the photographs of the book I was reading? Did my reaction teach him that black is beautiful? Or did he learn -- not my intention, but a possible side effect of my impulse -- that his opinion doesn't count?)
In the lessons below, I am selling empathy and awareness of blue-collar professions, generosity and sharing, and animal rights activism.
If you have a Smart Board and a few good books, you can sell these, too -- Enjoy!