Saturday, February 8, 2014

Let's Talk About Race

Author:  Julius Lester
Illustrator:  Karen Barbour
Published:  2005
Let's Talk About Race is a book that will make my students talk.  I know that we would discuss this book, get to know each other better, build relationships, and understand ourselves better. 

Julius Lester has children think about how we would look without our skin.  We would all look the same, so saying that one of us is better than the other because of our race is wrong.  This is such an important conversation to have with children.  Children might not be aware of how they can offend or hurt someone by making fun of someone's race or ethnicity. 

The pages of the book are so bold and colorful.  There are people of many different colors on the pages and even some colors that do not make sense - purple people.  This is showing us that the color does not matter.  There are also pictures of butterflies throughout the book.  I'm not sure what the butterfly symbolizes.  I've come up with two ideas. ( I would love to hear ideas that other people have on this!)  My first thought is that the wings of the butterfly are pretty much symmetrical.  So, what is on one side is also on the other.  They are two different things, but they are the same - they look the same.  We are different people, but we look the same on the inside.  My second thought is that a butterfly goes through a metamorphosis.  We all start out the same, hard bones under the skin, or larvae that changes to a colorful butterfly.  I think that if we like all of the colors, Mr. Lester likes red, green, orange, purple, he just likes all of them, then we would have a colorful world.  Everyone would be the same on the inside, but colorful on the outside.

I would like to use this story to discuss our own stories and then share them.  I think the students would find our differences very interesting and our similarities amazing. 

Check this book out from the library!

No comments: