Learning Objectives:<br />Students will be able to define generosity using their own words and various life examples.<br />Students will be able to identify generosity in a variety of settings with specific examples.<br />Students will collectively choose a worthy cause to which the class can contribute.<br />
Description of Unit:<br /> Most of the texts we will read are at a third grade reading level, though there are some below and above that. While I know that the books may be easy for older readers, I think that the thinking tasks involved are fairly high, so this unit could be adapted and used with older students. <br />This theme fits easily into Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum. Likewise, the theme of generosity would fit well with a Character Counts type of curriculum. So often, teachers are pushed to teach specific content knowledge that it is easy to forget that we are trying to teach young people how to interact with others thoughtfully in a variety of settings.<br />
Description of Unit:<br />My goal for this unit is to push students to think about how they can be more generous to those around them on a daily basis, but also be more generous in a global sense. <br />As a class, we will attempt to define generosity with our background knowledge and a whole class reading of Generosity by Cynthia Klingel and 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy. We will also utilize an online dictionary, if needed. <br />Students will then read a variety of books in small groups. Students will identify who in the text is demonstrating generosity and list specific examples of that generosity. <br />Students will also will keep a journal throughout the unit in which they record acts of generosity they complete or ideas they have for ways they could be more generous in their every day lives. <br />
Assessment:<br />Students will create a definition and description of generosity using a method/medium of their choice. Some options include:<br /><ul><li>Write a poem that defines and describes generosity.
Create a piece of artwork (painting, collage, clay sculpture, t-shirt, poster, etc.) that defines and describes generosity.
Write a song/rap that defines and describes generosity.
Write a story that defines and describes generosity. Your story can be fiction or nonfiction just like the texts we read in class.
Create an Animoto that defines and describes generosity.
Create a Wordle that defines and describes generosity.
Choose a charity you admire and describe in detail how the work of that charity is a model of generosity. </li></li></ul><li>Annotated List of Books:<br />Klingel, C. A. (2008). Learn about values: Generosity. Mankato, MN: The Child's World.<br />Learning About Values: Generosity is a short nonfiction text that defines generosity in student friendly ways. Klingel defines generosity as “giving to others without expecting something in return” (4). She provides many examples of being generous with time, food, things, money, knowledge, family, and feelings. Her simple explanations and choice of photographs helps generosity seem very real. I appreciated her explanation of generosity as more than giving money away; I also want students to see that generosity is about giving from the heart and that often does not include money.<br />
Professional Review:<br /> School Library Journal (November 1, 2007) K-Gr 3-Each book explains the featured value through a simple question-and-answer format. Real-world examples will help children to understand and associate with the subjects and situations. The first book discusses what friendliness is, why it is important, and its benefits. The second book addresses generosity with time, food, money, knowledge, etc. Each chapter spread features a paragraph of text facing a large, clear photo. The full-color pictures are basic, with an even balance of gender and multicultural representation. Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons (HarperCollins, 2006) is great for reinforcement of values.-Colleen D. Bocka, Nathaniel Rochester Community School, Rochester, NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. <br />Klingel, C. A. (2008). Learn about values: Generosity. Mankato, MN: The Child's World.<br />
14 Cows For America is a touching, nonfiction story of generosity. A young adult from Kenya’s Maasai tribe, Kimeli Naiyomah, is studying to become a doctor at a US school. He was in New York City on September 11, 2001, and when he returns to his home in Kenya he tells the story of the terrorist attacks and the thousands of lives lost. The elders of the Maasai tribe taught Kimeli that, “To heal the pain in someone’s heart…you give them something that is close to your own heart.” So Kimeli offers his cow, a sacred gift in the Maasai culture, to the United States. Many other members of his tribe are inspired to do the same, and 14 cows are offered as a sacred gift to America. <br />Deedy, C. A., Naiyomah, W. K., & Gonzalez, T. (2009). 14 cows for America. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree. <br />
Professional Review:<br /> School Library Journal (August 1, 2009) Gr 2-5-Kimeli Naiyomah returned home to his Maasai village from New York City with news of 9/11 terrorist attacks. His story prompted the villagers to give a heartfelt gift to help America heal. Deedy and Gonzalez bring Naiyomah's story to life with pithy prose and vibrant illustrations. Each block of text consists of a few short, elegant sentences: "A child asks if he has brought any stories. Kimeli nods. He has brought with him one story. It has burned a hole in his heart." The suspenseful pace is especially striking when surrounded by Gonzalez's exquisite colored pencil and pastel illustrations. The colors of Kenya explode off the page: rich blues, flaming oranges, fire-engine reds, and chocolate browns. Full-page spreads depict the Maasai people and their land so realistically as to be nearly lifelike. Gonzalez manages to break the fourth wall and draw readers in as real-time observers. The book's only flaw is the less-than-concrete ending: ".there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort" is an important message, but not a particularly satisfying one for children. Fortunately, their questions will be answered by Naiyomah's endnote, and it provides a fitting conclusion to this breathtaking chronicle.-Rebecca Dash, New York Public Library Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.<br />Deedy, C. A., Naiyomah, W. K., & Gonzalez, T. (2009). 14 cows for America. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree. <br />
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai is a biographical account of Wangari Maathai’s attempt to rebuild the trees in her native Kenya. She encouraged and supported the people of Kenya to not only plant trees, but grow their own food, and take care of the land so that the land could take care of the people again. Wangari explains that, “When we see that we are part of the problem…we can become part of the solution.” Over 30 million trees have been planted in Kenya since Wangari started her “Green Belt Movement.” Likewise, in 2004 Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first woman from Africa to win the award, for her work in educating people about the connections between the environment and themselves.<br />Nivola, C. A. (2008). Planting the trees of Kenya: The story of Wangari Maathai. New York, NY: Frances Foster Books. <br />
Professional Review:<br /> Booklist starred (February 15, 2008 (Vol. 104, No. 12)) Grades K-3. Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her environmental and human rights achievements. Founder of the Green Belt Movement, she has encouraged people to repair their economy, land, and health with simple, environmentally friendly acts, such as planting more trees. This beautiful picture-book biography echoes the potent simplicity of Maathai’s message with direct, spare prose and bright, delicate watercolors. Tracking forward from Maathai’s childhood in the rich landscape of Kenya’s highlands, the words and pictures clearly show how the activist’s deep connection with nature as a youth inspired her to develop sustainable practices as an adult. Nivola writes about potentially complex, abstract relationships, such as those between ecological preservation and human health, with clear language that shows connections that children will easily grasp. The story of how each human and tree can make a difference will inspire young people, who will want to linger over the wide, double-page landscapes picturing people restoring stripped land to green, thriving communities and forests. An author’s note offers more about Maathai’s inspiring story. Point teachers and parents seeking more information to Maathai’s autobiography, Unbowed (2006), which was named a Booklist Adult Editor’s Choice.<br />Nivola, C. A. (2008). Planting the trees of Kenya: The story of Wangari Maathai. New York, NY: Frances Foster Books. <br />
Listen to the Wind tells the story of Greg Mortenson beautifully from the voice of Korphe’s children. The children tell of Greg stumbling upon Korphe, a village in northern Pakistan, and promising to build the children a school. The building of this one school blossoms into a charity, Central Asia Institute, led by Mortenson that builds school for children, especially girls, throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan. This book is based off of Mortenson’s best selling novel, Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time. The unique, collage artwork enhances the storyline and is even more appreciated after reading the “Artist’s Note” in which Roth describes how she was inspired by the resourcefulness of the people of northern Pakistan. Readers will value the “Korphe Scrapbook” at the end of the text as well, which offers photographs of many of the people and places discussed in the book, as well as helpful maps, and additional information about the Central Asia Institute including how students can become involved if they are so inclined. <br />Mortenson, G., & Roth, S. L. (2009). Listen to the wind: The story of Dr. Greg and three cups of tea. New York, NY: Dial Book for Young Readers. <br />
Professional Review:<br /> School Library Journal (February 1, 2009) K-Gr 4-Holding true to the original title for adults, Three Cups of Tea (Viking, 2006), this moving story will amaze and inspire young readers. After getting lost while climbing the world's second tallest mountain, the K2 in the Baltistan region of Pakistan, Mortenson, a nurse, stumbled into a small village and learned of the dire circumstances in which local people lived. While recovering, Dr. Greg met the children of Korphe, who were eager to learn but were forced to write their lessons with sticks on the ground. Wanting to do something special for the village, he was encouraged by wise man Haji Ali to "listen to the wind." Dr. Greg listened, heard the eager voices of students at their lessons, and promised to return to build a school. The remarkable account of this quest, which involved constructing a bridge and manually carrying supplies to the building site, is magnificently enhanced by Roth's colorful collages. As explained in an artist's note, she incorporated fabric, bits of paper, and other fibers into the scenery in appreciation of the Balti people's aesthetic use of scraps. "A Korphe Scrapbook" follows the story, displaying photographs of the events, the village's inhabitants, and the librarian who helped to fill this school and the 57 more schools that have since been built in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Readers are informed that it is easy to make a difference by donating pennies to support education in impoverished countries. This truly exceptional and moving title should not be missed.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.<br />Mortenson, G., & Roth, S. L. (2009). Listen to the wind: The story of Dr. Greg and three cups of tea. New York, NY: Dial Book for Young Readers. <br />
Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Journey to Change the World…One Child at a Time: The Young Reader’s Edition is another retelling of Greg Mortenson’s work in Pakistan and Afghanistan building schools for all children but especially girls in often very remote villages. This edition is written for upper elementary and middle school readers. Readers will appreciate details about Greg’s journeys, more about himself and his family, and the ins and outs of Greg’s hardships along the way. Readers along with teachers and librarians will welcome the photographs that pepper the text; a lengthy Question and Answer section with Amira, Greg’s 12 year old daughter; a timeline of relevant events; a glossary; maps of the regions Greg explores; a Who’s Who section; and a Reader’s Guide filled with thoughtful questions and activities. After reading Three Cups of Tea three years ago, I enjoyed reading this edition as a quick review. Likewise, I was inspired all over again to support Greg’s charity, CAI (Central Asia Institute); teach students about his work and their power to make a difference; and just be more grateful, compassionate, and generous. <br />Mortenson, G., Relin, D. O., & Thomson, S. (2009). Three cups of tea: One man's journey to change the world...one child at a time: The young reader's edition. New York, NY: Puffin Books. <br />
Professional Review:<br /> Booklist (February 1, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 11)) Grades 4-8. This young-reader’s edition of the eponymous New York Times best-seller for adults presents an abbreviated, simplified account of Mortenson’s life-saving mountain rescue by Pakistani villagers that inspired his life’s work: building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most significant in this version is the emphasis on young people, evident in new photographs of youth and in the extended interview with Mortenson’s 12-year-old daughter, Amira, who describes her overseas experiences with her parents, and then waiting at home while her father travels the world. Amira’s substantive answers show her direct involvement with her father’s work: “I got my dad to start a lunch program in some of the schools.” And they also reveal the deep, personal impact of global tensions on the family: “My dad’s a peacemaker, and some people hate him or are jealous. He has been threatened to be killed.” With all the recent buzz about Mortenson’s story, this accessible title is sure to draw attention. For the picture-book audience, suggest Mortenson’s Listen to the Wind (2009), coauthored and illustrated by Susan L. Roth.<br />Mortenson, G., Relin, D. O., & Thomson, S. (2009). Three cups of tea: One man's journey to change the world...one child at a time: The young reader's edition. New York, NY: Puffin Books. <br />
Rabbit’s Gift: A Fable from China is an adorablefolktale that has “been shared for centuries” in countries all over the world, though most attribute the story to China. Rabbit is eager to share an extra turnip with his neighbor, Donkey, but when donkey is not home, Rabbit decides to leave the turnip by Donkey’s door. When Donkey returns home he already has enough food to eat so he decides to pass the turnip on to his neighbor, Goat. The cycle of sharing continues until the turnip eventually makes it back to Rabbit’s front door. A story of selflessness, community, and friendship, this was a delight to read. The beautiful, soft wintery illustrations mesh nicely with the tender story of generosity. I also appreciated the inclusion of the Chinese symbols for the four animals in the story: rabbit, donkey, goat, and deer.<br />Shannon, G., & Dronzek, L. (2007). Rabbit's gift. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.<br />
Professional Review:<br /> Booklist (November 1, 2007 (Vol. 104, No. 5)) Preschool-Grade 1. Based on an ancient folktale, this picture book is a gentle story of sharing and friendship. When it begins to snow, Rabbit scurries to collect food and is fortunate to find two turnips. Realizing that one turnip is plenty for his own needs, he decides to share the other with Donkey, leaving it at Donkey’s door after discovering that Donkey isn’t home. Donkey, in turn, leaves the turnip at Goat’s door. Goat leaves it for Deer—who leaves it for Rabbit, thinking Rabbit hasn't found much food in the deep snow. In the end, Rabbit shares the extra turnip with all three friends. A brief author’s note discussing the source of the tale, which may have originated in China, is followed by four Chinese symbols that represent the animals. The uncluttered illustrations, many framed in purple to compliment the purple of the turnip, perfectly capture the action of the story. The expressive faces of the animals are charming, and the thickly applied colors add a richness to the pictures that make them seem cozy despite the wintry backdrop.<br />Shannon, G., & Dronzek, L. (2007). Rabbit's gift. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.<br />
One Hen: How One Small Loam Made a Big Difference tells the fictionalized account of Kwabena Darko’s life growing up in Ghana; his character in the book is Kojo. Kojo’s mother shares a small portion of the community’s loan with Kojo. He uses this very small amount of money to buy a hen. The hens provide Kojo and his mother with additional food and the money from Kojo’s eggs make it possible for Kojo to eventually attend school. Kojo goes on to college and gets another loan to start his own large chicken farm operation. Kojo’s chicken farm becomes very successful and he helps provide small loans to people who have a good idea just like he did. The bright illustrations are life like and whimsical all in one. A helpful Glossary, notes about “A Real Kojo” (28), and information about what students can do to help are all useful additions to the already worthy story. <br />Milway, K. S., & Fernandes, E. (2008). One hen: How one small loan made a big difference. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press. <br />
Professional Review:<br /> School Library Journal (May 1, 2008) Gr 2-5-After his father dies, Kojo quits school to help his mother collect firewood to sell, but there is little money or food. However, his small Ashanti village has elected to try microlending, a system where the village loans money to one family to buy something that will hopefully improve their lives; once it is paid back, another family borrows it, etc. When it is the boy's mother's turn, Kojo uses a few of the coins to buy a hen. The story then follows him as he grows and slowly but steadily builds the proceeds from that one hen into the largest poultry farm in West Africa. Throughout, the author shows how his success impacts the lives of everyone it touches, from the people whom Kojo is able to employ to the taxes he pays that will build roads and medical facilities. The story is based on the experiences of an actual Ashanti poultry farmer and could open diverse avenues of discussion, including how a community's mutual support and teamwork operate for the good of all. Fernandes's large acrylic paintings capture the warmth of the climate and include numerous details, such as splashes of kente cloth, that authenticate the setting. There are also many illustrations that spark the imagination, such as the one of a tree with Kojo's first hen at its roots, growing more hens as the tree grows, with eggs blossoming from the branches. This distinguished book will enhance many curriculum areas. Tololwa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins (Clarion, 1999) is a good companion piece.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.<br />Milway, K. S., & Fernandes, E. (2008). One hen: How one small loan made a big difference. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press. <br />
That Book Woman is a fictionalized account of the work of the Pack Horse Librarians or Book Women as they were often called in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Cal, the narrator of the poetic story sees no use for reading at first, but is inspired by the work of the Book Woman. The Book Woman’s persistency, bravery, dedication, and generosity through delivery books twice a week influence the family. Cal’s sister teaches him how to read and a whole new world develops for Cal. The illustrations done in ink, watercolor, and pastel chalk are a lovely accompaniment to the simple but lucid story in verse. Cal’s voice is strong throughout as are the themes of reading, education, family, and goodwill.<br />Henson, H., & Small, D. (2008). That book woman. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. <br />
Professional Review<br /> Horn Book (November/December, 2008)<br /> "Now what that lady brings / it's sure no treasure, / not to me, / but books!" Cal, oldest boy in an Appalachian family (Small's tender illustrations reveal four more children and still another on the way), can "help Pap / with the plowing / and...fetch the sheep / when they take a-wander" but sees no cause to sit "stoney-still / a-staring at some chicken scratch." His sister Lark, however, is an avid reader, and their parents warmly welcome the librarian from the Pack Horse Library Project (funded by Roosevelt's 1930s WPA). Riding her sorrel mare through Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains, the "Book Woman" comes every two weeks, in all kinds of weather. It's her courage in a blizzard that finally inspires Cal to ask Lark to teach him to read, which (plus Mama's precious recipe for berry pie) is the perfect return for the librarian's loyalty. Complementing Cal's authentically childlike thoughts, Small's deft, rough-edged lines and masterful watercolors convey even more than Henson's carefully honed text: the hardscrabble life in these harsh, lovely hills, the family's closeness and affection, Cal's mixed emotions -- most poignantly, in a marvelous composition where he watches the Book Woman ride off in the snow, his slim, angular back draped in a thin blanket, his face seen only as it's reflected in the window. Here's hoping Cal's first book was as good as this one.<br />Henson, H., & Small, D. (2008). That book woman. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. <br />
Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq is a nonfiction graphic novel that tells the story of Alia, the librarian of Basra Central Library. Alia, with help from her family and friends, attempts to save the books in Basra Central Library amidst war in Iraq in 2003. Alia is described as a real-life superhero, and after reading this text readers will most certainly agree. The pencil drawings and text tell a story of bravery, determination, and subtle generosity from Alia and her friends even in trying times. <br />Stamaty, M. A. (2004). Alia's mission: Saving the books of Iraq. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.<br />
Professional Review<br /> Horn Book (March/April, 2005) Cartoonist Stamaty uses graphic-novel panels to tell about the 2003 rescue of an Iraqi library's books in the midst of the war -- the same story told in Jeanette Winter's The Librarian of Basra (rev. 1/05). A talking book character provides some background and narrates the story, describing librarian Alia Baker as a "real-life superhero." Stamaty provides more detail than does Winter about how Alia smuggled the books out of Basra Central Library, but this book also includes some unattributed conversations (in dialogue balloons) between Alia and her husband, among others. Stamaty emphasizes the community effort involved, as word spread and many people helped transfer thirty thousand of the library's forty thousand books before the library burned to the ground. The graphic-novel format will doubtless appeal more to children who see picture books as babyish, and while the black ink cartoon drawings lack the sophisticated beauty of Winter's paintings, the action is more immediate and exciting. Many libraries will want both books, to show history in two different ways and to discuss how style affects the way stories are conveyed. A final page includes more information about the history of libraries in the Middle East.<br />Stamaty, M. A. (2004). Alia's mission: Saving the books of Iraq. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.<br />
Yatandou is a fictionalized account of the work the United Nations Development Program is doing to place multifunctional platforms in over 350 African villages. Yatandou lives in Mali, and she and her family spend their entire day working to provide necessities for their family. One job of Yatandou and her mother is pounding millet into meal for their own food and to sell at the market. “To get enough millet meal for one day’s food, we must pound the kernels for three hours.” Yatandou generously sells her beloved goat, Sunjata, to help bring in more money for the grinding machine (multifunctional platform). When the grinding machine arrives, and the women of the village not only have more time to take care of their family’s needs but they are learning to read and write so that they can manage the usage of the grinding machine as well. In addition to the touching story of hard work, community cooperation, and a young girl’s selflessness, I appreciated the small references to Mali’s history and culture and the beautiful earth toned illustrations.<br />Whelan, G., & Sylvada, P. (2007). Yatandou. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear.<br />
Professional Review<br />Library Media Connection (February 2008) Yatandou is an eight-year-old girl living in Mali, Africa. The book tells the story of her family and of the sacrifices the women of the village make to improve their daily life. Instead of spending three hours a day pounding millet with heavy sticks, the women can buy a machine that does the grinding in minutes-if they can get enough money. Through the story and the dreamy, impressionistic illustrations, we see how hard life is even for children and how small changes can make a big difference. The text is too long for a read-aloud for younger children and the story moves slowly, but it would be an excellent resource for multicultural studies and a good discussion-starter for older classes. The author includes a Web site with more information about the machines, and a portion of the author's royalties go to Building with Books, an organization that works with American urban students and builds schools in developing countries. Recommended. Sylvia Adair, K-8 Library Media Specialist, Kansasville, Wisconsin<br />Whelan, G., & Sylvada, P. (2007). Yatandou. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear.<br />
Beatrice’s Goat is a fictionalized account of the work of Heifer International, a charity that works to provide families in developing countries with a sustainable income and source of food. Beatrice is a young girl living in the small village of Kisinga in western Uganda. With a generous gift from some unknown person, Beatrice’s family is given a goat. This goat provides milk and kids for the family to drink and/or sell. With the added income, Beatrice is finally able to attend school. The caring, straightforward text meshes well with the bold, lush illustrations. Though I realize the book is a type of advertisement for Heifer, I do not mind because I believe so strongly in the work Heifer does to empower families around the world with the resources, education, and support they need to provide for themselves and their families. <br />McBrier, P., & Lohstoeter, L. (2001). Beatrice's goat. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks. <br />
Professional Review<br /> School Library Journal (February 2001) K-Gr 3-Beatrice lives in Uganda, where her family is struggling to survive. During the day, she helps her mother watch the five younger children, tend the chickens and the fields, and grind cassava flour for the market. She is not excited when her mother explains that a charitable organization has given them a goat, which will be Beatrice's responsibility. She calls the "lucky gift" Mugisa, and, indeed, the animal turns out to be a wonderful boon for the family. Other villages seek her milk and are able to pay for it. The sale of the milk allows Beatrice's mother to purchase books and a uniform to send her daughter to school. Mugisa gives birth to two kids, one of which is sold to help pay for a new house. Although the writing style is stilted in places, the authenticity of the story comes through. Lohstoeter's wonderfully engaging acrylic illustrations go a long way toward enlivening the text. The afterword by Hillary Rodham Clinton explains that the story is based on the experiences of a real Ugandan child whose life changed because of the efforts of the humanitarian efforts of The Heifer Project International. Teachers and librarians may want to use this attractive picture book as a jumping-off point for discussion of world cultures.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY<br />McBrier, P., & Lohstoeter, L. (2001). Beatrice's goat. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks. <br />
Sparrow Girl tells the story of a young girl striving to make a difference during China’s Great Leap Forward. Mao Tse-Tung, leader of communist China, directed all capable citizens to march through the streets making as much noise as they could in order to obliterate the sparrow population. Ming-Li works with her brother to save as many sparrow as they can once they have fallen to the ground. They are able to save 7 birds. Later, when the farmers’ crops are troubled with worms and insects, she reveals her hidden sparrows and the farmers eagerly dub her the sparrow girl and her father finally calls her a true farmer. While Ming-Li’s sparrows did not spare the majority of Chinese people from starvation, her attempts to save the sparrows helped her village. Ming-Li can be a telling example of how small efforts by one person can have a positive effect on their part of the world. Tanaka’s striking, unique artwork complements the tragic and yet hopeful themes in the story.<br />Pennypacker, S., & Tanaka, Y. (2009). Sparrow girl. New York, NY: Disney. <br />
Professional Review<br /> School Library Journal (March 1, 2009) K-Gr 4-In 1958, in a stunning demonstration of unintended consequences, Mao Tse-tung decimated the sparrow population of China by compelling every able-bodied citizen to set off firecrackers, clang gongs, beat on drums, etc., over a three-day period. The frightened birds took wing until they dropped dead of exhaustion. Though this kept the sparrows from eating the wheat crop, it also prevented them from controlling the locust population, resulting in a famine. Pennypacker has imagined the thoughts and actions of a little girl who loves the sparrows and manages to rescue a few of them, keeping them safe in a barn and feeding them secretly in the months that follow. When the crops in her village are threatened by the insects, Ming-Li shows the farmers the birds she has tended and they release them, recognizing that the sparrows have always been their friends. While this picture book, with its murky folk-art-style illustrations, owes more to ecological concerns than historical fact, it will be useful in teaching about the potential of one person to make a difference in the world, and the potential of many humans to create disasters.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.<br />Pennypacker, S., & Tanaka, Y. (2009). Sparrow girl. New York, NY: Disney. <br />
Whole Class Activity<br /> Our concluding activity for the class will be to choose a charity from local, national, or international levels or someone else in need in our community and decide how we as a class can help that group or individual. Many of the books we read give suggestions for charities readers can support or activities readers can do to make a difference closer to home. The classroom acts of generosity do not need to involve money, though they could. I want to encourage students to give from their hearts so what is appropriate for the class of students and community will vary. I want students to be at the center of the decisions we make regarding how the class can be generous cooperatively. <br />
Resources:<br />Amazon.com. (1996-2010). Retrieved from <br />http://www.amazon.com/books-used-books-textbooks/b?ie=UTF8&node=283155<br />Deedy, C. A., Naiyomah, W. K., & Gonzalez, T. (2009). 14 cows for America. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree. <br />Henson, H., & Small, D. (2008). That book woman. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. <br />Klingel, C. A. (2008). Learn about values: Generosity. Mankato, MN: The Child's World. <br />McBrier, P., & Lohstoeter, L. (2001). Beatrice's goat. New York, NY: Aladdin Paperbacks. <br />Milway, K. S., & Fernandes, E. (2008). One hen: How one small loan made a big difference. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press. <br />Mortenson, G., Relin, D. O., & Thomson, S. (2009). Three cups of tea: One man's journey to change the world...one child at a time: The young reader's edition. New York, NY: Puffin Books.<br />
Resources Continued:<br />Mortenson, G., & Roth, S. L. (2009). Listen to the wind: The story of Dr. Greg and three cups of tea. New York, NY: Dial Book for Young Readers. <br />Nivola, C. A. (2008). Planting the trees of Kenya: The story of Wangari Maathai. New York, NY: Frances Foster Books. <br />Pennypacker, S., & Tanaka, Y. (2009). Sparrow girl. New York, NY: Disney. <br />Shannon, G., & Dronzek, L. (2007). Rabbit's gift. Orlando, FL: Harcourt. <br />Stamaty, M. A. (2004). Alia's mission: Saving the books of Iraq. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.<br />Titlewave: Library and classroom solutions. (2010). Retrieved from Follett Library Resources, Inc website: http://www.flr.follett.com/main/home?SID=68b95ab8fade20f36e38eee59ac44ec0#I2<br />Whelan, G., & Sylvada, P. (2007). Yatandou. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear. <br />