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Using Content Picture Books in the History Classroom July 12 - 13, 2010 Fran Macko, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Content Picture Books in the History Classroom July 12 - 13, 2010 Fran Macko, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Content Picture Books in the History Classroom July 12 - 13, 2010 Fran Macko, Ph.D.

2 Framing the Session If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good picture book is practically priceless. Picture books arent just for little kids. A picture book uses both text and illustration to create meaning; one is not as powerful alone as it is with the other.

3 Why teach with content picture books? Picture books can be easily integrated into classroom instruction. –They are easy and practical to teach with. Most picture books can be read in one session/class period, thereby giving students a holistic, complete feel for the story. –They have a clear beginning, middle and end. –They provide a shared reference/experience for all students.

4 Picture books model literacy skills and writers craft. –They provide an opportunity to model fluent reading, critical thinking, and reading as an active process. –They are a great way for students to listen and read well crafted writing, and acquire an awareness of language. –They are usually well written and display elements of craft.

5 Picture books can be accessed by all students. –They provide content through a combination of text and illustration. –They lend themselves to re-reading and analysis. –They present: –complex concepts, ideas and themes in a manageable format. –information in a way that can be understood by a variety of learners on a variety of reading levels. –They can be used in a variety of ways.

6 Picture books and Visual literacy Visual literacy is the ability to interpret information presented in the form of an image. Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be read. The visually literate student looks at an image critically to understand the intentions of the images creator.

7 Students often rely on visual images to assist them in learning new content and concepts. The visual format of picture books appeals to students who are increasingly visually oriented, or who are struggling readers. The illustrations support students in creating a mental model without struggling with the written word, thereby bridging the gaps in understanding.

8 Bridging the Gap Picture books support students in becoming strategic readers as they integrate text and images. Students utilize the same skill set to interpret pictures as they do to interpret print. –determining their purpose for reading –drawing on prior knowledge, experience and attitudes –asking and answering questions –inferring –visualizing Applying these skills to both illustration and text enhances comprehension.

9 What makes a quality content picture book? Not all content picture books are the same. In selecting quality picture books for older readers consider those titles that have: –mature themes –more complex illustrations –more text or more challenging text –subtle meanings, symbolism or allegory –two levels of meaning: one for younger readers and one for older readers

10 What are the features of a quality picture book? Rich Language Effective integration of text and illustration Highly engaging Historically accurate Asks reader to think deeply about something Believable and realistic Free from stereotypes Supports teaching objectives/outcomes

11 How can content picture books enhance history instruction? Content picture books: introduce historical concepts, people, complex ideas and vocabulary in an engaging context. build prior knowledge. make historical periods and distant lands come alive for students. create relevance through the emotional appeal of the characters. extend the textbook and support differentiation.

12 What are some quality Cold War picture books? Patrol

13 The Wall

14 Always With You

15 The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

16 Nasreens Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan

17 Taking a Closer Look Patrol

18 Before Reading Activity: Reading the Cover Illustration Introduce the book by asking students to read the cover. Display the book for students or make copies of the cover art. Ask students to complete the three column chart titled: What I See, What I Think, What I Wonder.

19 This chart gives students the opportunity to first observe and note what they see, then to think about and infer what their observations might mean and, finally, to wonder about what questions the illustration raises. Point out to students that point of view/perspective figures prominently in both the story and the illustrations. –The story is told from the point of view of an African American soldier in Vietnam –The illustrations also place the viewer in very specific vantage points.

20 Discussion Questions Look carefully at the cover illustration – what might the title Patrol refer to? Where does the illustrator place you, the viewer? From which perspective are you looking into the picture? What clues do you have as to the time period in which this story is set? What can you infer about the story after thinking about the title and the cover illustration?

21 During Reading Activity: Blending Text and Image Skim through Patrol. Select one page that illustrates the blending of text and image. Share your choice and reasons with the person next to you. Share with the group.

22 Extension Activities Have students research the role of African American soldiers in Vietnam. –http://www.english.illinois.ed u/maps/poets/s_z/stevens/afri canamer.htmhttp://www.english.illinois.ed u/maps/poets/s_z/stevens/afri canamer.htm Have students research the history of segregation in the military. – k/Online/Woodland.htm k/Online/Woodland.htm

23 Have students research African American protest of Vietnam and its connection to racial segregation in America. –http://www.amistadresource. org/civil_rights_era/black_op position_to_vietnam.htmlhttp://www.amistadresource. org/civil_rights_era/black_op position_to_vietnam.html

24 Have students compare: –Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence, 1967. http://www.hartford- –Malcolm X, By Any Means Necessary, 1970 http://www.malcolm-

25 "If you've studied the captives being caught by the American soldiers in South Vietnam, you'll find that these guerrillas are young people. Some of them are just children and some haven't reached their teens. Most are teenagers. It is the teenagers abroad, all over the world, who are actually involving themselves in the struggle to eliminate oppression and exploitation. In the Congo, the refugees point out that many of the Congolese revolutionaries, they shoot all the way down to seven years old - that's been reported in the press. Because the revolutionaries are children, young people. In these countries, the young people are the ones who most quickly identify with the struggle and the necessity to eliminate the evil conditions that exist. And here in this country, it has been my own observation that when you get into a conversation on racism and discrimination and segregation, you will find young people more incensed over it - they feel more filled with an urge to eliminate it."

26 Local History and Vietnam Alabama Casualties in Vietnam (from the Vietnam Memorial) – tate/istatal.htm tate/istatal.htm John B. Givhan, Rice and Cotton: South Vietnam and South Alabama Alabama: In the Shadow of the Blade –http://www.intheshadowofth Letters from Vietnam –

27 Classroom Application Where and how could you use these quality picture books in your classroom?

28 Final Thoughts High quality content picture books: –provide content through a combination of text and illustration. –present complex concepts, ideas and themes in a manageable format. –make historical periods and distant lands come alive for students. –create relevance through the emotional appeal of the characters. –extend the textbook and support differentiation.


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