I glanced at education.gov this weekend and found that they're teaming up with Michelle Obama's health campaign to move bodies AND minds with a series of events entitled "Let's Read! Let's Move!" that advocates reading, exercise, and eating right.
That intrigued me — combining books like Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" to engage students with s story, then inspire them to literally move.
Have you helped students combine reading and fitness? Used one to inspire the other? Tell us how you are "moving" students with books!
(p.s. If you haven't see the video of Beyonce's surprise visit to PS 161 in Harlem, it's inspiring! She walks in the door at the back of the room at 1:32.)
The Harry Potter series has moved lots of students to read. In fact, the combination of a good saga in a book series and the corresponding imaginative, movie production after each of the books came out was a real success, and not just in terms of ticket sales. My daughter couldn't wait to read each book. Yesterday she cried her eyes out when she saw the last movie. As soon as she got home she looked for the first book and started rereading it! I guess for teenagers who grew up with the character and the whole story, the ending of the saga represents the end of their own childhood, so the book, the movie, the characters, the setting turned out to be charged with so much emotional content that the need to go on reading stemmed not just from the writing itself but from their own personal experience of growing up.
Moved, So Moved...
I believe we can all remember one or several books or stories, characters or verses that first moved us... it can happen in different ways, like the college student who starts reading a Jane Austen novel to try an impress a girl, or a high school student finding himself or herself immersed in Middle Earth through the pages of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, or a student simply finding inspiration and awe when reading, seeing through the eyes of children, the Diary of Anne Frank or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Stories and characters that show us and inspire us can have a great impact on students. Perhaps the best way to make students connect with literary works is to find the right plan to teach the key themes in these works. A simple, straight-forward lesson plan, can help teachers and students explore together great traits of the human spirit that can be inspirational and comforting during difficult times. EDSITEment offers lesson plans that explore the spirit of courage and how this can inspire us to be better and to learn about those who have made, and continue to make, our communities better.
EDSITEment explores these themes through a wide variety of lesson plans, like Esperanza Rising, an award-winning work of juvenile fiction featured in the EDSITEment lesson, Esperanza Rising: Learning Not to Be Afraid to Start Over. The novel is set in the early 1930s, twenty years after the Mexican Revolution and during the Great Depression. Esperanza Rising tells the story of a young Mexican girl's courage and resourcefulness when at the tender age of thirteen she finds herself living in a strange new world. The EDSITEment Lesson Plan can be found at:
Other great inspiring and moving book, on survival and optimism during difficult times is The Diary of Anne Frank. Two EDSITEment lesson plans study Anne Frank, her writing, her courage and the world in which she lived. The EDSITEment lesson plans are:
Anne Frank: Writer, http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/anne-frank-writer
Anne Frank: One of Hundreds of Thousands, http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/anne-frank-one-hundreds-thousands
EDSITEment also features a student interactive resource for students to explore the times during which Anne Frank lived and wrote. The interactive, Anne Frank: World War II in Europe, can be found at:
Another inspiring and moving book is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Who is not thrilled to read and meet Scout and Jem, and to follow their father, Atticus Finch and all that he stood for, in this groundbreaking example of American literature? EDSITEment explores this novel and historical moment through the lesson plan Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: Profiles in Courage, at: http://188.8.131.52/lesson-plan/harper-lees-kill-mockingbird-profiles-courage offering students an interactive resource, to analyze courage and the different characters in the novel, at: http://184.108.40.206/student-resource/character-traits-kill-mocking-bird
Luisanna...you named several books that I love and that 'moved' me emotionally. You also made me think about how they 'transported' me to different times and places, a subtly different kind of movement! Agility of imagination and the inspiration to travel, experience new cultures, and to understand historical contexts are all great ways to cultivate curiosity, which we might be able to define as perpetual exploration! Thanks for posting all these great materials and suggestions.
Hello, Christine, everyone. It certainly helps when you have teachers who are thoughtful in how they read to children and explain, reflect, and draw out inferences about the story (text to self, world..).
I think it is safe to say that somewhere in the topic of good books moving us (moving students) are good teachers guiding us. That is what I have seen on a daily basis. And then there is the beauty of independence...
JFK in Port Chester, NY
Doesn't always have to be fiction that we use and focus on to move students.
Non-fiction sometimes stimulates great thinking which stimilates more thinking and DOING.
This book changed my son's entire life and outlook on everything: