Friday, October 28, 2011

Small Steps Can Change the World

The book of the month program we have at Chets Creek has long existed as one of the drivers of our thematic and instructional focuses each school year. Personally, I use it to continue to propel my own professional learning forward as I work to keep up with the newest information and research out there that will help move our practice forward and provide deep and meaningful learning experiences for students. It's my baby, well one of them at least, and it stretches my thinking as I work to get the maximum leverage I can get from using a 40 minute period to present it in a way that teachers can hopefully take back and use with students in their own classrooms. I even house all the artifacts for each book on a Wiki we've created.

With our heroic theme of "Empowering the Future" this year I found the perfect book to kick off our book of the month program for the year. Giant Steps to Change the World, by Spike and Tonya Lewis Lee, is an inspirational picture book filled with examples of real life heroes who have taken small steps throughout history that led to big change for the world. The one thing all of these heroes had in common was a big dream and then big obstacles standing in their way. Through challenges and with a resolute spirit they each overcame the hurdles placed in their way to make a difference. Even though the heroes are unnamed it is easy to determine them because of the legacy left for us through the descriptions of their accomplishments.

In front loading some background information about the heroes in the book we reviewed some of the commonly known tidbits but also had some aha moments about what made these folks and their contributions to the world so special. So in an effort to continue brainwashing my teachers into understanding that they are all indeed "real heroes" I have asked them to highlight their own heroic selves by sharing their answers to the following:

Something You May Not Know About Me:
A Fear I've Overcome:
My Finest Accomplishment:
My Quote:
My Big Dream Is:
My Next Heroic Step:

I really chose this book to remind us to look inward and search for our most heroic selves. Our work, in particular, requires it. Teaching is not for the faint at heart – it requires passion, courage and most importantly, conviction. There will be barriers placed in our way but we owe it to ourselves and to our children to never allow them to thwart our attempts at striving towards our goals. We all have the potential for life changing greatness and no amount of fear or doubt should stop us from dreaming big and taking that first step. Sometimes even the smallest step can have the biggest impact.

One child at a time...


Angela Phillips said...

What an inspirational book choice! I love non- fiction and learning about significant people in our history- I also loved the front-loading activity that we did to learn more about the heroes mentioned in the story. The quotes in the book are just icing on the cake! One of my FAVORITE Book of the Month books already, and we have not even read it to our kids yet! :-)

Mrs. Snead said...

This is a wonderful way to infuse social studies and everyday heros into one. I can see many different avenues that can be explored, just from reading this book! You could practically use it for an entire year!

Maria Mallon & Cheryl Dillard said...

This book is a wonderful way for all children, even kindergarten, to realize the dreams and accomplishments of many people in our past and present lives. It is a great springboard for conversations from Harriet Tubman to walking on the moon. I really enjoyed this book. MM

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this BOM!

I loved the links to real people who did real things that made real changes in our all too real world.If nobody tells the story, how long would it take for people to forget that Jessie Owens stared hatred right in the eye in 1936 and won! Ditto for all of the others mentioned---all a bit crazy---all way out of the box---all leaving things changed, and mostly for the better, for others :-}