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Which Picture Books Can Be Used to Teach Children About Peacemakers?

A Unit on the Lives of Peacemakers by Kristen Anderson


Introduction: Introduce students to the idea of peacemakers by having them create a word web with the word peace in the middle. Students can make connections from that word to any ideas or thoughts they have about peace. Use a picture book about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King jr. to get students thinking about the qualities of a peacemaker. Whole Group Activities: -Read through a variety of picture books focused on the lives of peacemakers over a series of days. -As a class create a chart on which to record the information found in the picture book. Include the setting of the persons life, the problem they were facing, their reaction to the problem, characteristics that make that person a peacemaker. Compare and contrast the information found in the books as well as the style in which the information is presented. Lead students to determine what these stories have in common. -Look closely at the art work used in the books. Discuss the authors choices in color, style, and content. Students can write responses to their favorite illustrations, explaining what it tells them about the peacemaker Small Group/ Independent Activities: Children should research a peacemaker that has not been studied during this unit. They can then use their information to create a picture book telling the story of the person through written word and illustration.

Annotated Bibliography of Picture Books About Peacemakers Giovanni, N. (2005) Rosa. New York: Henry and Holt Company

Johnson, J. (2010). Seeds of change: planting a path to peace. New York: Lee & Low Books. This book tells the story of Wangari Maathai, the first Black woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Maathai is an environmentalist her worked to create a better life for the people of her country through environmental care. McGinty, A. (2013) Gandhi: the march to the sea. Amazon Childrens Publishing This book follows Gandhi and his followers on a march to the sea to protest British laws and taxes concerning sea salt. The rhythmic style mimics the slow, steady journey Gandhi traveled towards rights for the Indian people.

Pinkney, A. D. (2010) Sit-in: how four friends stood up by sitting down. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Sit-in is the story of four African American college students who were inspired to hold a sit-in at a Woolworth lunch counter, refusing to move until they were served food. Their act inspired many others to participate with them and let to segregation laws being changed. Pinkney, A. D. (2009) Sojourner Truths step-stomp stride. Newy York: Hyperion This is the colorfully written and illustrated story of a woman who was born into slavery and once she gains freedom is determined to work for the rights of others. She travels the country speaking out for equal rights for African Americans and women. Rubin, S. G. (2011) Irene Sendler and the children of the Warsaw ghetto. New York: Holiday House. This is the story of a young social worker, who disguised herself as a nurse in order to enter the Warsaw ghetto and sneak Jewish children to safety. She risked her life to keep the children safe and help them return to their parents after the war. Shange, N. (2009). We troubled the waters. New York: Amistad and Collins. A book of poems remembering the harsh circumstances and heart lifting triumphs of African Americans in the United States. It marks the slow progress of civil rights from the first schools for African Americans to Dr. Kings death. Shelton, P. Y. (2010) Child of the civil rights movement. New York: Schwartz and Wade Books. This is an autobiographical picture book, written by the child of a civil rights activist. It tells of her experiences as a witness and participant in the civil rights movement. Stone, T. (2008). Elizabeth leads the way: Elizabeth Cady Standon and the right to vote. New York: Henry Holt and Company Elizabeth believes that she should be able to do anything a man can do. She joins with other similar thinking women to begin the womens sufferage movement. Women did not get the vote for 18 more years Van Wick, C. (2009) Nelson Mandela: long walk to freedom. New York: Roaring Brook Press. This is the abridged, picture book version of Nelson Mandelas autobiography. It tells of his life in apartheid South Africa and his efforts to end the mistreatment of black South Africans