Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What Kindergarten's reading this week

Going Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

I am continuing with stories related to Black History Month this week with a fictional tale about a young girl taking a trip through a southern town in the 1950's in the midst of Jim Crow laws. The girl, Tricia Ann, encounters having to sit in the back of the bus in the colored section, a sign on a bench in a park that demands "Whites Only" and being swept by a crowd into a hotel lobby and then yelled at by the manager for being a colored girl in a hotel that does not allow blacks.
The story has a happy ending when Tricia Ann makes it to her "someplace special", the public library.
The book has an afterward from the author, which is a little too involved to read to my kindergarten kids, but explains that this story is based on her life in Nashville, TN in the 1950's.

I use this book to explain segregation and Jim Crow laws to the kids. Since they recently read books in the media center and in their classrooms about Dr. Martin Luther King , I was able to tie together what we had read about him and his work to repeal these laws and what life was actually like for someone their age living with these laws (although the girl in the story is older than my kindergarten kids, she is still a kid).

I have also suggested this book to my middle school teachers to use when they are studying segregation and Jim Crow laws, again it helps to tie together the facts and the feelings of what it was like to live during segregation.

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