Friday, March 27, 2009

Blog Carnival-END the R-Word

If you have not seen the "We Need a New "R" Word" video created by 16-year old Noah Gray and all of the follow-up work this group is doing, today is the day to make time to watch. Take some time today to watch this video and others created by people around the world as part of this campaign.

Tuesday, March 31 has been named SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD:

"It is time to “Spread the Word to End the Word,” and on Tuesday, March 31, events throughout the United States and around the world will make people stop and think about their hurtful and disparaging use of the word “retard.” "

As part of the campaign, Laura at "25 Days to Make a Difference" is hosting a Blog Carnival.

As teachers, helping students see the power of their words is critical. Here at A Year of Reading, we believe books are one of the best ways to start conversations and to help all of us understand the world. We are taking today to share a few of our favorite books that we would use in the classroom inviting long-term conversations about hurtful words. These aren't all books specifically about intellectual disabilities but the conversation is the same. I love the idea of this day. I also know that conversations like this can and should be ongoing throughout the school year. Books are often a good way into these conversations as readers come to know and love the characters they read about. Here are some of the books we've used in the past that help begin and continue conversations about the power of our words.

Rules by Cynthia Lord
Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming
Along Came Spider by James Preller
So B. It by Sarah Weeks
Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (thanks for this addition, Jenny:-)

**We are posting this today, a little early, in hopes that many people from the Kidlitosphere join in on the Blog Carnival to support this important campaign.


  1. As a parent with a son who has Down syndrome, I want to thank you for jumping on board! At first I thought my blog worlds were colliding - I have an education blog and a family blog that links to other families who have children with Down syndrome; so, seeing the R word in my educational area kind of startled me. I'm glad the word is being spread and is spilling over!

  2. I heard on the radio today that someone has introduced a law in Ohio to ban the word mental retardation from organizations that provide service in this area.

  3. What a great list! I would add Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko.

  4. Jenny--just added the Al Capone title--thanks! I love that one too!

  5. Jenny--just added the Al Capone title--thanks! I love that one too!

  6. I showed this to my sons this afternoon. Will share it with our kids on Monday! And I'm going to put it on my blog too!I love the list of books- RULES is one of my all time favorites.

  7. Franki-
    I just put up a post about Spread the Word to End the Word. There are a lot of great resources on the Special Olympics website At the bottom of the list on the right hand side is a 30 second video called WEIGHT OF WORDS. I think that video would be really powerful with intermediate grade or secondary kids. Thanks for making us aware of this really important day!

  8. Not sure how to make this work when I don't have a classroom. I may show it to a few classes today but without the time to continue the conversation past library time, I am not sure what my role can be in sharing these videos. I'll spread the word to teachers this morning. My 3rd grader is all about spreading the word today--she had a whole list of words that hurt other people. Wondered why we aren't working on all of them today.


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