With support form The Center for Documentary Studies and Durham Public Schools, photographer, Wendy Ewald, created the Literacy Through Photography (LTP) program. Literacy Through Photography encourages children to photograph scenes from their own lives and use these images as inspiration for developing voice, through both verbal and written expression.
Ewald's book, The Best Part of Me, is made up of photographs and writing by children in response to the question, "What is the best part of you?" Each child was asked to chose and then write about the best part of him/herself, and the text in the book is actually printed in the child's own handwriting.
PJS K-2 students were really interested in the book and particularly enjoyed seeing the writers' handwriting. It felt as if they were reading the work of their classmates. The book resonated with students so much that we have taken our own pictures and will soon be "publishing" our own PJS book.
"My name is Marisol McDonald, and I don't match. At least that's what everyone tells me."
PJS K through 2 students read this book and, for the most part, agreed that matching is overrated. What's wrong with eating peanut butter and jelly burritos? Why wouldn't a kid want to play more than one game at recess? What could be better than being a soccer playing pirate?
One day Marisol McDonald decides that she is going to match and she realizes an important lesson about herself. This biracial, bilingual, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl doesn't match. And the PJS kids think that's just fine.
A 2012 Illustrator Pura Belpre Honor Book.
Unhei has recently arrived from Korea and is nervous about her first day of school in a new country. When none of the children on the school bus can pronounce her name correctly, Unhei feels uncomfortable and decides that she needs a new American name.
Choosing a name is not as easy as it initially appears to be. While her classmates have begun filling a jar with suggestions, none of the names feel right to Unhei. Is it okay to have a name that is different from her peers? Is a name just another word, or is it something more? How closely is one's identity connected to one's name? How can Unhei ultimately reconcile her desire to fit in with peers with the strong feelings of connectedness to culture and family that her Korean name holds?
Kofi, a young Ashanti boy, welcomes readers to his West African village, Bonwire, known for its beautiful Kente cloth. Kofi claims that he is a magician, and many young readers will agree when they experience the magic of Kofi's powerful imagination. As much as he loves to "travel," Kofi always wants to return home to the village and the people that he loves.
Sharing Chachaji's Cup with grades 3 and 4 was a logical extension from their discussion of the family artifacts that they chose to share at the beginning of the school year.
For as long as he could remember, Neel's great uncle, Chachaji, was in charge of making the masala chai at teatime. Chachaji would sip slowly and noisily from his old china teacup. It was white with a spray of pink roses and a faded gold trim that was chipped in spots, and it had once belonged to his grandmother, Neel's great-grandmother. The story behind this precious teacup teaches Neel about family, culture, history, and the power of memory.
"Through vivid illustrations and an inviting point-of-view, Kostecki-Shaw introduces readers to two pen pals—Elliot, who lives in America, and Kailash, who lives in India. By exchanging letters and pictures, the boys learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets and ride a school bus. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same but different!"
Winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, 2012.
This is the first book that I read with K-5 WTW classes. While the text is short and simple, children of all ages lingered on the artwork and made many interesting observations and noticed even the tiniest of details. Students will enjoy looking at Kostecki-Shaw's website featuring a special place for kids where she shows how the book came from her experiences living and traveling in Nepal and India and provides a glimpse into her creative process.
In WTW classes, we will make connections back to this text as we explore other books as well as our own stories.