¡Mira, Look!: Rethinking Thanksgiving

This photo is courtesy of Flickr user jpstanley.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user jpstanley.

As the weather gets cooler and the holidays draw near, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving. Specifically, how will we discuss it in our classrooms this year? Traditionally, conversation on Thanksgiving has been about the hardships of the Pilgrims, their trusty pals the Indians, and how, at harvest time (in November in Massachusetts? Yea right!), they all sat down for a peaceful, tasty meal. Now, we know that this is not the true version of events, and that the story of Native American interactions with newly-arrived Europeans is much more involved than that. So how can we communicate this with our students? Should we communicate this to our students?

For this week’s post, we are going to take a look at a resource for educators (well, it’s technically addressed to parents, but the content is equally relevant to teachers). We will be looking at Michael Dorris’ “Why I’m Not Thankful for Thanksgiving.” This article was published on behalf of Rethinking Schools and is available in its entirety for free on their website. Continue reading

En la Clase: Using the novel Morning Girl in the classroom

Morning GirlAs many of you may already know, our featured novel for January is Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Margarita Engle.  If the novel is new to you, be sure to check out our Book Review and Educator’s Guide.  In discussing the book through comments here on the blog and our book group meeting, a common theme continues to arise: Hurricane Dancers is a great way to teach an alternative point of view to the commonly presented ‘discovery’ of the Americas.  Sadly, there aren’t many great children’s or young adult books out there that do this.  So, for today’s En la Clase post, I thought I’d share another book that also provides an alternative narrative to the discovery story: Michael Dorris’ Morning Girl. Below, I’ve included a  link to the pdf of our Educator’s Guide on Morning Girl–just scroll to the end of the post. Continue reading