Freedom Summer

Emily Hageman

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles and Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue was published in 2001 by Simon and Schuster.

The read aloud is planned for third graders. "Freedom Summer" is a picture book about two boys, one black and one white, who are best friends. They want to be able to swim together in the public swimming pool and go to the store together, but it is banned. When the law finally passed that they will be able to so these things together they discover that it is going to take more than a new law for people to allow these things to happen. The book has been recognized for many awards, including:

Simon Wiesenthal “Once Upon A World Award”

Junior Library Guild Selection

Notable Book in the field of Social Studies, National Council of the Social Studies

Oprah Winfrey Book Club for Kids Selection Children’s Literature Choice List

Nominated for the Georgia State Picturebook Award 2002

Nominated for the Florida State Reading Assn. Children’s Book Award 2002-2003

Nominated for the North Carolina Children’s Book award, junior book category 2004.

Nominated for the California Young Reader medal 2004-1005.

The author, Deborah Wiles, spent all the summers of her childhood in small town Mississippi. She grew up around extended family full of Southern character, she writes about them in her stories today. Her personal experience lives on in the book. When she was young the town pool shut down, as did other shops and businesses, because they did not want to be integrated. She is the first children's book author to to be named Writer-In-Residence at Thurber House and also received Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award from the New York Public Library. The book shows racism and the young boys who defied it.

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Multicultural Literature Criteria

Honor and Celebrate Diversity- The story celebrates diversity in the friendship of the two boys. Even though one boy is black and the other is white they are still best friends. They see right through the color of their skin. They do not care that other people do not think it is okay for them to be friends, they play together and go places together just like any other set of friends.

Provide in depth treatment of cultural issues- Once the laws are changed so that blacks and whites can be in the same places and do the same things some people are not happy. Even though the people who are black now have freedom to do whatever they want, they are not accepted. The issue of race is still a problem for the people in the book. They are not ready to accept everyone as equals and do things, like shutting down the public pool, to protest the new laws.

Be rich in cultural detail- The story is full of evidence about how the way cultures were back in 1964. The story has a great plot and has many details to back it up. The story has details about how blacks were treated before and after the laws were changed so that they were able to do everything the whites can. It shows how unfair the situations were for the people who are black.

Implementing the Read Aloud and Vocabulary

1) Ask the students if they know what the world was like in 1964? How were people who were white treated compared to people who were black?

Present CHAMPS- C: Level 0 when teacher is talking and level 1 when working with partners H: If you need help raise your hand A: Listen to Story, Active participant in lesson (follow teachers directions, repeat, gesture, partner talk) M: should be in your square at the carpet and in your seat at your desk P: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Sharing S: SUCCESS!!! Everyone leaves knowing two new vocab words

2) "Today we are going to be reading the book Freedom Summer." Show the students the cover of the book.

3) Present vocabulary words and definitions on SMARTboard. Show the word with a picture, definition, and example sentence. Show the students the two colored pieces of paper with one vocabulary word on each. "Who would like the very important job of holding one of these papers? What you will do with it is hold it up in the air every time you hear the word written on the paper in the story." Draw names to see who gets to hold the papers. Give a student a paper with the word discrimination and another student a paper with the word allowed.

Discrimination: unfair treatment to a person or group of people

give sentence examples, a picture, and make a gesture

Allowed- to be acceptable

4) "By looking at the title, what do you think this book will be about?" Accept a few answers and discuss

5) Start reading the book Freedom Summer

6) Stop on page 5 and ask students "What is John Henry not allowed to do?"

7) Continue reading the story

8) Stop on page 10 and ask students "What is John Henry not allowed to do?"

"Ask who is telling the story?"

9) Continue reading the story

10) Ask "why did they fill the pool with tar?"

11) Finish reading the story

12) After the story ask "who was discriminated against in the story?"

13) Review the definitions for the two vocabulary words on the SMARTboard.

14) Discuss what students will be doing next- a modified Frayer Model

"We will be working on a worksheet that help us identify the vocabulary word, the definition, a sentence example, and a picture representing the word."

15) Make an example on chart paper, showing and explaining what will be in each box

"In the first box we will write the vocabulary word, in the second box we will write the definition of the word, in the third box we will draw a picture representing the vocabulary word, and in the fourth box we will create a sentence using our vocabulary word."

16) Send students back to their seats and pass out the Frayer Model worksheets. Tell students if they get a red paper they will be doing discrimination as their word and if they get a grey paper they will be doing allowed as their word.

17) Assist students who need help and encourage them to help coach their classmates who are in need of help.

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Why was this particular book selected? How did it “match” the funds of knowledge of this particular class/group of students?

The book was selected to teach the students about discrimination and how times have changed. The book was about an African American child and his family and a White child and his family. The classroom has both of these, African American and White, students in its classroom.

What were the strengths of the read aloud/the picture book/vocabulary teaching presentation?

One of the strengths from the lesson were asking the questions throughout the book. The students responded really well to stopping in the book and answering the questions. A strength was doing the vocabulary before reading the book, this way they already knew the definitions so we didn't have to stop and discuss them in the middle of the book. The students responded really well to this book, they seemed to really like it and understand the concept being taught.

What would I need to do differently next time?

Next time I would spend more time going over the definitions for the words. I went over them a couple times, but I would maybe keep going back and asking the students what the definitions are to have them keep repeating them over and over again.

Respond to the following open-ended statement: Implementing multicultural

children’s literature that is culturally and linguistically diverse relative to my elementary students has helped me…to understand that children do not discriminate. All of the students responded the same to the book. Whether this book was about their culture and ethnicity or not, they still were interested and responded well. None of the students seemed to be uninterested and all had great answers when asked questions about the book. They understand that discrimination is a thing of the past and showed me through their answers.