Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Something Big


Something Big
by Sylivie Neeman
illustrated by Ingrid Godon
Enchanted Lion Books, 2013
Review copy provided by the publisher

Little One wants to do something big. But he's not sure what that big thing might be, and Big One is having a hard time helping him figure it out. They go for a walk by the ocean for inspiration. It's hard to do something big when you're still small. But at the end of the walk, Little One does something small that actually turns out to be a big thing.

I used this book to start our conversations about what we could do to promote peace for the International Day of Peace on September 21. We watched the video of the international music group, Playing for Change, singing together from all around the world. (It's on the public blog on my class' website. You can watch it here.) We talked about how small things can often be big. Each musician is doing a small thing, but together, what they are doing is big. Huge, even. We brainstormed topics like helping others, caring for the environment, anti-bullying. And we talked about our own personal experience with peace -- when and where we feel it and how it feels.

Today, as we continue our work, we will talk about the situation in Syria, about the president's speech, and about the Russians' peaceful proposal. We'll talk a bit about 9/11 and think about those who responded to that crisis with no other thoughts in their hearts but to help. I'll read aloud Gandhi: A March to the Sea, which I mentioned in my 10-for-10 post.

Between now and Friday, September 20, my students will be composing short narratives on the theme of peace. These narratives might eventually become poetry, fables, narrative nonfiction, songs, comics, digital presentations, posters, and more. The assignment is a narrative with peace at its heart. We'll decide the container for the narrative after the writing is well on its way. And we'll find a way to share them with the world.

What will you do for the International Day of Peace?


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