Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summertime, and the reading is easy


Impossibly, our Harvey Summer Program enters its fourth week. BREAD conducts twice-weekly geography classes for the 3/4, 5/6 and junior high classrooms, and then opens the Reading Room for take-home selections. The Room also is in heavy use by teachers for kindergarten through 2nd grader read-alouds. (Multiple classes x multiple sessions) x several books per session = a BREAD scramble to place great NEW picture book titles on the shelves.

We've been so impressed by children's attention and curiosity. India, China, Africa, South America and Russia/former USSR already are under their belts. Despite a lack of prior knowledge, they have been utterly game to discover the wheres, whys and whithers of the planet's physical and political structures. Tectonic plates, latitude/longitude, cradles of civilization, the Terra Cotta Army, Genghis Khan, the Age of Discovery, India's partition, Russia's turbulent post-dissolution strategies: all have generated great questions.

Maps are now strewn across all the classroom bulletin boards. Other visual aids have ranged from mind-blowing books of photography (Earth from Above, The Hyena and Other Men) to Shiva statuettes.We have distributed pocket atlases to the older classes, so that students can match places to future reading. The Reading Room currently displays books related to each class.

So hooray for the 5th/6th's unabashed rendition of the chronological Chinese dynasties song. Huzzah to 3rd/4th, who insisted upon a (sticky) date taste-test after seeing a picture of Egyptian palms. Kudos to the junior high, who viscerally appreciated the disastrous relationship between Indian sanitation and NDM-1 antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

One final cheer for those out-of-state kids, who attend the Summer Program while visiting their Harvey relatives. Several are uber-readers, who would prefer never to leave the Reading Room. These visitors are assigned a special weekly BREAD book limit: how many can you carry?  

So hum Fr√®re Jacques, and sing along:

Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han
Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han

Sui, Tang, Song
Sui, Tang, Song

Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic
Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong

      

    

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