ETFO's "Social Justice Begins with Me" kit has provided many of the rich mentor texts I've been using for this endeavour, and with the new Smart Board in my classroom this year, I have found it quite practical to prepare "lessons" for these picture books in advance.
Today was an especially successful day, in terms of rich thinking being promoted through group conversation. It was Day 3 of a 3-day lesson about this book (well, Day 4, if you include the "preview day", where I put a bunch of random words form the story up on a chart paper, and had students predict what the story might be about, before showing them the cover and reading them the title, and then the synopsis on the back cover).
Students had had the opportunity to listen to the story thrice: Once, as they selected a character (Abe, Willie or Grandfather), and wrote in role at various topping points throughout the readaloud, a second time when they completed a "Bloom of the Whole Self" while listening to the story again, following which we practiced using comparing and contrasting words from page 26 of Many Roots, Many Voices by writing sentences describing similarities and differences between the two main characters in the book.
And, today, students heard the story a third time, as they considered various thinking questions about personal strengths and affinities, family pressures, and general values in society, before going off to have a "grand conversation" with their group, using the elements of rich talk we have been practising all year.
Finally, today, it all came together...
I invite you to check out the slides below, if you would like to read and discuss this book with your own students: