Multicultural Read Aloud: 4th Grade

Harvesting Hope

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Author: Kathleen Krull

Illustrated: Yuyi Morales

Author and Illustrator.

Kathleen Krull is known for her innovative biographies for young readers. Katherine does an awesome job expressing what Cesar's family had to go through and how they overcame those challenges. She includes the things Cesar had to go through and also gives great details about the person he was as a younger boy and how he grew up to be a great leader.

Yuyi Morlaes who illustrated Harvesting Hope, is an artist but also a former host of a Spanish-language storytelling radio show. It is known that Yuyi visited fields where Cesar Chavez lived and worked and also traveled the route of his historical march. Her illustrations were very colorful but also allowed the students to have a visual of what was going on in the story.

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This Multicultural Picture Book Read Aloud will be presented to a 4th grade classroom. The book introduces the students to who Cesar Chavez was and what impact he had on migrant farmworkers. Cesar Chavez was one of America's most inspiring civil rights leaders. He led a 340-mile peaceful protest march through California, he ignited a cause and improved the lives of thousands of migrant workers. Cesar wasn't always a leader. As a little boy he was very shy, soft-spoken and teased at school. He had a very difficult childhood as him and his family were forced to leave their ranch with no money and find a way to survive in California. As he knew the struggle farmers were put through he knew he needed to do something to change it and so he did.

This picture book is a biography of Cesar Chavez, which is his life told by someone else who in this case was told by the author Kathleen Krull. This book allows young readers to reflect on the challenges that farmers have had to go threw and how Cesar fought for their rights. The students are given great illustrations to put in image of what I am reading to them and also keep them focused.

Awards and Honors!

ALA Pura Belpre Honor Book
ALA Notable Children's Book
2003 Picture Book Award, Jane Addams Peace Association
Winner of 2004 Christopher Award
Honor Book, 2003 Americas Award
Elizabeth Burr Award, Wisconsin
Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts, Children’s Literature Assembly
Southern California Children’s Booksellers Award
School Library Journal’s “Best Children’s Books of 2003”
Book Links Magazine, "Lasting Connections of 2003"
The Carter G. Woodson Honor Book Award, National Council for the Social Studies
On the master lists for the Texas Bluebonnet Award
Kansas’s William Allen White Children’s Book Awards
Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan Book Award
Maine’s Student Book Awards
Rhode Island Children’s Book Awards

Instructional Sequence:

Before Reading:

"Today I will be reading to you Harvesting Hope, written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Yuyi Morlaes. We will be learning about another civil rights leaders that faced many challenges to improve the lives of others. Question #1. "Do you know anything about farmers? Do you think farming would be an easy or hard job?" I will give them a few minutes to think about the question and allow a few of the students to respond to the questions I have asked. Question #2. "Do any of you know who Cesar Chavez was?" I don't expect them to know who he was but I will still give them a chance to answer who they think he is."

"Well for those who don't know who he is Today we will learn all about his life and what he did to change the life of migrant farmworkers."

"Before I start reading to you I am going to go over two vocabulary words that might be a little challenging to understand and give you an action to do when you hear the word while I am reading the book. The first word is coaxing, everyone repeat, coaxing. Coaxing means to cause someone to do something. Everyone repeat. Now this is the action I want you guys to do when you hear the word while I am reading (will show the students and then have them do it after I show them) I also will give them a sentence using the word so that they can heard in a sentence as well. The second word is fierce, everyone repeat, fierce. Fierce means marked by extreme and violent energy. Everyone repeat. Now this is the action I want you gys to do when you hear It while I am reading (will show the students and then have them do it after I show them)."

During Reading:

I will begin to read and ask questions along the reading.

  • Coaxing is on page 6. Have students to the action when I read it.
  • Fierce is on page 11. Have students to the action when I read it.

Question #3: What are some of the challenges he had to face as a young boy? (after pg. 14)

Question #4: What are some of the challenges he faced during his march and do you think it was worth it? (after pg. 34)

After Reading:

Question #5: How did the challenges he faced lead to something good? (after done reading)


  • The book was selected because the class is learning about civil right leaders and Cesar Chavez was one of them. He also had to overcome many challenges and the unit the students are on right now is about challenges and how people overcome them.
  • Some of the strengths were that the students were very focused during the reading because they really enjoyed having to do the actions for the vocab words. Also the students did a great job answering my questions and most of them were paying attention while I was reading along and gave great answers to my questions. the vocab words were a bit challenging in the beginning but giving them a sentence while using the word really helped the students understand them better.
  • If I were to do something differently it would be having the students all sit in a chair because some of them sat on the carpet and were laying down and having a heard time paying attention.
  • Implementing multicultural children's literature that is culturally and linguistically diverse relative to my elementary students has really made a bigger connection with them because they shared a lot of things about their family while I was reading and how some of them also had to move because of their parents jobs. The students also have opened up to me a little more and feel comfortable coming to me now that they know me a little bit better and know that I have somewhat the same cultural background as them.