Black History Month: Novel

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by brit2187, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. brit2187

    brit2187 Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2011

    I need some input for Black History Month. This is my first year of teaching and I am looking to purchase a class set of books to depict slavery times for my fifth graders. I have these three books in mind:

    The Watsons go to Birmingham
    Bud, Not Buddy
    Elijah of Buxton

    I have read them all of them but none recently. I was wondering which would be a better novel study for this important time. Or if there are other suggestions. Has anyone done anything similar? I could also let the students vote....? Input please!
     
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  3. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

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    Jan 22, 2011

    Both Bud, Not Buddy (set in the 1930s) and The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 are both excellent books, but neither is about "slavery times". I haven't had the experience of teaching either book, nor have I taught fifth-graders.

    I haven't read Elijah of Buxton; the book's setting is an Ontario town founded by former slaves, from the perspective of a child born there; "readers learn about conditions in slavery at a distance, though the horrors become increasingly apparent." (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0439023440?ie=UTF8&tag=timstore06-20)

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 has a very direct civil-rights-era history connection, but it's also very "intense," especially for fifth graders.

    Do you have any specific objectives for this unit? Are you willing to devote extra class time to addressing some of the specific context for these novels?

    http://lessonindex.com/Bud,_Not_Buddy_by_Christopher_Paul_Curtis.htm

    http://lessonindex.com/The_Watsons_Go_to_Birmingham_-_1963_by_Christopher_Paul_Curtis.htm

    http://www.lessonindex.com/Elijah_of_Buxton_by_Christopher_Paul_Curtis.htm
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 22, 2011

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham is one of our summer reading novels for sixth to seventh....the content might be a little difficult for fifth grade.

    I loved Bud, Not Buddy! My students enjoyed it as well.

    Maybe you could do a literature circle and let the students choose?
     
  5. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jan 22, 2011

    http://www.carolhurst.com/subjects/slavery.html

    I am not familiar with Elijah of Buxton, though I am thinking that like Bud, Not Buddy, it is written by Christopher Paul Curtis, but the other two, although outstanding novels, are really not about the slave era in America.

    The above link is to Carol Hurst's list of children's books about slavery. There are also several Dear America books that deal with that issue and era. The "My Name is America" series may have some, as well. These two series would be very factual. You might also want to try a search for 'childrens books about slavery'.

    Hope you find just the 'right' book! :)
     
  6. round stanley

    round stanley Companion

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    Jan 22, 2011

  7. 5thteacher

    5thteacher New Member

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    Aug 28, 2011

    A great novel is A Friendship for Today by Patricia Mckissack. I read this every year and my students love it.
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 28, 2011

    We read Watsons in 6th grade. It's fantastic! Haven't read the other two so can't vote. But I loved Watsons :)
     
  9. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I have read the Watson Go to Birmingham with my fifth graders every year during February. Its not too mature. It was perfectly alright for their age group. You will just have to give your students a chat first about language and such...
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 28, 2011

    Brit,

    Those are 3 very good books. Only Elijah of Burton is a bit about slavery. The other 2 are in the 20th century. Elijah of Burton is a book any adult would like, for 5th grade it is good..but a bit slow at times. I'd use it, but you might be able to do better. I have heard lots of good things about a book called Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it might be the best book for what you are looking for.
     

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