Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh! It's THAT time of the year...

December 1st here it is...the last month of the year and one of the busiest for sure! For so many of us December equals Christmas, baking cookies, wrapping presents, preparing for the holidays. If you are a teacher like myself, you are probably thinking, "Oh boy, here we go, the last three weeks of school before winter break!" And many teachers around this country are getting ready to teach a unit of some kind that addresses this holiday season. My invitation for you today is to look at the students in your classroom and ask yourself, "Who celebrates a different holiday other than Christmas?" The reason I am asking you to reflect on this piece is because I can't help but feel "anxious" inside about all those students for whom Christmas is not part of their celebration. When teachers have  a unit like "Christmas Around the World", someone is definitely feeling "out". My invitation to you is to make  a transition from Christmas Around the World to Holidays Around the World, specially if you work with  a culturally diverse population. We all have traditions we are proud of, we have our ways of doing things, think about powerful would be for those students to share a big part of who they are with the rest of the classroom and with you.

There is one thing we all have in common though, regardless of where we come from, we all wish for PEACE.  In preparation for the Holiday Season I would like to share with you some great books on the theme of PEACE. I was able to get my hands on a lot of great books on this topic thanks to my dear friends Katie and Angie from the Columbus Metropolitan Library. What  wonderful resources  librarians are!

So let's go ahead and start, shall we?  A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley. Oh! may I just if you don't own this book, you may want to add it to your personal library. This strong message this book is sending out is that it doesn't take much to spread seeds of Peace in this world. A simple gesture, a kind hand, a warm smile are just some way to spread peace. The author Barbara Kerley has two other books for National Geographic as well. The photographs in this book are sharp, vivid, and best of all, multicultural. 

A Little Peace

After reading this book, I started thinking what are some ways I am spreading these seeds? My answer: by teaching children every day with an open mind. Enjoy! More peace books coming this week....HAPPY DECEMBER!!!


Barbara Kerley said...

Hi Stella,

Thank you so much for your kind words about A LITTLE PEACE. I'm so glad you liked the book!

You and readers of your blog might be interested to know that I have extension activities (for teachers and homeschooling parents) for the book on my web page: www(dot)barbarakerley(dot)com


Barb Kerley

Katie said...

We at the library are always happy to help you Stella! :)

Have you seen the book "Uno, dos, tres, Posada!" by Virginia Kroll? Though it is a "Christmas" book, it weaves in Latin American holiday traditions, has Spanish phrases, and rhymes (I love books that rhyme!). A nice, and very well-done, Eid holiday picture book is "The Best Eid Ever" by Asma Mobin-Uddin (an Ohio author)!

See you soon!

Michelle said...

Stella- you are of course someone who truly spreads the seeds of peace! This blog is simply beautiful and the books you are sharing with your readers look AMAZING!! I'm SO lucky to have your energy and enthusiasm for literacy in my life!

I definitely got this page book marked now :)

Karen said...

Love this theme, Stella! I think I will be borrowing it to use sometime -- wanting peace is truly universal, crossing many religious divides! Fabulous idea!