*Due to the brevity of pages allowed for publication, I will provide one complete introductory lesson per book.
-I will introduce the following vocabulary: injustice, indignant, subhuman, inhuman, disparity, inequalities.
-Review the use of quotes for usage in the Character Chart
This should take two to three class periods (class periods are 45 minutes long), depending on the length of the discussions and time needed for the students to share what they wrote.
-to select relevant information while reading Chapter I
-to use a graphic organizer as a strategy to construct meaning
-to write as a means of exploring information found in reading
1. I will ask the students to write about a time something unfair happened to them. They will be allowed to write about something that happened at home, in school or anywhere they remember such an incident. After five to ten minutes, the students will then read aloud what they wrote with their team.
2. The students will be given ten minutes to share; then I will regroup the class for discussion. Students will share what they learned about someone else in their team. As we are discussing the experiences being shared, I will ask the person who was being treated unfairly to explain how he/she handled the situation, and if the experience occurred again what he/she would do differently. This should lead into a discussion of how difficult it is to respond to a situation rather than react.
1. I will ask the students to share what they think might happen in
based on our previous discussion. They will write down what they surmise in their journals. The students will then be assigned to read as much of the first chapter as possible. As they are reading, they will be searching for information on the main character regarding: description of the character, memorable quotes, strengths, and weaknesses.
As they find the above, they will fill in the Character Chart. (See Appendix B, Sample B.) While the students are filling in their charts, I will be visiting from team to team to ensure further guidance if it is needed and to monitor behaviors.
2. When the teams have come close to completing the chart, I will have the teams designate a recorder/reporter who will be responsible for writing the groups favorite descriptive phrase, memorable quote and best quality. They should realize that there will be more than one favorite and that making accommodations for several perspectives if fine.
3. The reporter of each team will then share the group's consensus. While different team reporters are sharing, a student will be recording, on the chalkboard, each teams responses. Finally, the students will share what commonalties/differences they see from team to team. Their papers will be handed in for a group grade. They will also write what actually happened in their journals after their surmises.
1. The "Sounder Literature Unit" developed by Mari Lu Robbins would also be utilized. This is available through the Barnes and Noble website at barnesandnoble.com.
2. The students will be shown the video of Sounder and then asked to complete a Comparison/Contrast sheet. The purpose of this will be to help them realize how much better the actual literature is over the movie. The video can be found at your local library or video store in the children's department.
3. A culminating activity for the study of Sounder will be to visit the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. The phone number for appointments is (212) 491- 2260 and the website is www.nypl.org/research/sc.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
is a true story of a twelve-year-old Japanese girl who gets leukemia, the atom bomb disease and dies. She was two when the US dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima, her home town.
At the beginning of the book, Sadako and her family were getting ready to celebrate Peace Day, a memorial for those who died as a result of the atomic bombing on Hiroshima. They ate beans and rice for breakfast and gathered at Oba chan's altar for their daily prayer. Oba chan was Sadako's grandmother who died the day Hiroshima was bombed. As Sadako's father, Mr. Sasaki, was praying he asked for protection from the atom bomb disease.
The best part of Peace Day, to Sadako, was looking at everything there was to buy and the smell of the good food. On the other hand, she did not like seeing the people with the ugly, whitish scars; people who had been burned by the bomb so badly that they did not look human anymore. At the end of Peace Day, Mr. Sasaki lit candles to be placed in six lanterns representing the family members they lost to the atom bomb. The lanterns carried the names of each person and were launched onto the Ohta River.
Sadako belonged to the track team at her school. After she helped her team win the relay race of their final competition, she felt strange and dizzy. Each time she practiced to improve her time so that she could make next year's team, the dizziness returned. Unwilling to accept her dizzy spells as an indication of something serious, she decided not to tell anyone.
Later, when Sadako was running in the school yard, the world began to whirl around her. She fell to the ground. A teacher rushed over to help her, but when she tried to stand, her legs gave way. Mitsue, Sadako's brother, was sent to get his father. Mr. Sasaki took Sadako to the Red Cross Hospital.
As the doctor talked with Sadako's parents, she could hear murmurs. Suddenly, Mrs. Sasaki yelled out the devastating word, leukemia. Sadako immediately covered her ears with her hands. She refused to believe that she had the atom bomb sickness.
The next day, Chizuko, Sadako's friend, was her first visitor at the hospital. She brought a surprise for Sadako. She took out a piece of gold paper, cut it into a square, and folded it over and over until she had made a crane. She told Sadako the old story of the crane that can live for a thousand years, and that if someone makes a thousand paper cranes the gods will grant a wish to the person who makes them. Sadako decided that she would make one thousand paper cranes and ask the gods to make her better.
On her good days she would write letters to her friends in her Bamboo class. She also would do her homework, plays games and sing. But gradually her illness rendered her too weak to do anything except look outside at the tree in the courtyard.
After Sadako folded her six hundred forty-fourth crane, she was too weak to make anymore. However, on her last day, Sadako found great comfort in watching her cranes that hung from the ceiling. An autumn breeze made the birds seem like they were flying. She closed her eyes and never woke up. It was October 25, 1955.
Sadako's classmates folded the remaining cranes to complete one thousand. Her friends later collected the letters and published them in a book called
. Three years after her death, a statue of Sadako was unveiled at Hiroshima Peace Park. The money for the statue was raised by young people throughout Japan. In her hand is a golden crane.
The Power of This Book
This book provides another perspective concerning World War II and the use of atomic weaponry. It is a clear illustration that no one ever truly wins at war.
Before the atomic bombs ended the war, Japan had annihilated approximately ten million Chinese alone. But numbers for Malaya, Burma, and Indonesia are not certain. An estimated 100,000 died during the Manila liberation.
Our own troops experienced the ferocity of the Japanese naval task force code-named Kido Butai when they secretly attacked the United States Pacific Fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor before dawn on December 7, 1941. This action became the catalyst that would eventually lead to the decisions to drop two atomic bombs. One of which affected Sadako, other members of her family and hundreds of thousands of other lives through death, disease, and disfigurement.
Before Japan surrendered both our country and theirs sacrificed the lives of many soldiers; hence, lives on both sides of the hemispheres were deeply affected for years to come. It is my hope that my students realize the futility of war, apprehending the fact that no one wins. Furthermore, that they would see the Japanese culture as different yet equally important with respect to their own.