In second grade, my team has been integrating social studies into our reading curriculum. We originally discovered a text called Our Children Can Soar by Michelle Cook and thought it would make a great text for a paideia seminar during our history unit in social studies. If you haven’t seen this book, you should check it out. The pictures are amazing and it really creates an important image of how one’s actions can set up history for someone else to change the world!
The text links famous African Americans and in the end it points to the fact that their actions have changed history. It starts with the lines “our ancestors faught” and continues to credit George Washington Carver, Jesse Owens, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Marin Luther King Jr and ends with Barack Obama. So we have set about learning the stories of all of these people. We have read books, listened to songs, watched videos, and looked at websites about most of these people.
While doing this we have been working on many skills! We’ve been making timelines, comparing multiple texts on the same topic, picking out and using nonfiction text features, and figuring out the meaning of new words in a text. The boys and girls are starting to pick up on the fact that each of these people were the first African American to do something BIG!
They haven’t seen the book Our Children Can Soar yet and next week we are going to use it as a seminar text. I think the kids are going to FLIP! I can hear them now saying “we know about him/her!” During the seminar we are going to explore the idea of other people creating opportunities for us to succeed and what it means to be a person that changes history. After the seminar I will post to let ya’ll know how it went!