Activating Hope

Sometimes hope has a reputation of being a passive emotion. Hope does not require action. However, without hope, action is rarely taken. The motivation to work to change the world for the better comes from hope. In Hope Nation, edited by Rose Brock, young adult authors write about a moment in their lives when hope was awakened or about hope for the future.

Many of the authors in this collection are known for writing about issues of social justice in fiction and nonfiction and will be familiar to middle school and high school readers. Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely who co-wrote All American Boys write about meeting with young readers on their book tour and the hope that they feel after listening to young advocates for racial justice. Jeff Zentner (The Serpent King) writes about the heightened level of empathy that “Book People” often have because they are able to connect with characters on a page as well as marginalized people in our society.

Students who have read books by the authors featured in this collection, might enjoy reading these essays that give them a sense of where the authors are coming from and what issues concern them. Students might also find new authors whose books will inspire them to take action.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Identity 3- I know that overlapping identities combine to make me who I am and that none of my group identities on their own fully defines me or any other person.

Diversity 9- I know I am connected to other people and can relate to them even when we are different or when we disagree.

Action 16- I am concerned about how people (including myself) are treated and feel for people when they are excluded or mistreated because of their identities.

Action 19- I will speak up or take action when I see unfairness, even if those around me do not, and I will not let others convince me to go along with injustice.

Common Core Standards:

RI.2- Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

RI.3 – Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

RI.5 – Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter).

RI.6- Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Simple Solutions

I am thankful for children. I believe that some of the most hopeful and loving people in the world are children and that if adults could maintain some of these childlike qualities, we would all be better off. I am also thankful for schools as I believe that educational institutions are one of the best places for issues of social justice to be addressed fairly and without prejudice. Finally, I am thankful for books which teach about empathy and acceptance and allow us to enter into meaningful conversations with our students.

I recently read two picture books that, at first, seemed to be about completely different topics and have very different feelings associated with them. The Day War Came, written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, is about a little girl who is orphaned by war and has to flee her country to look for refuge elsewhere. Want to Play Trucks?, written by Ann Stott and illustrated by Bob Graham, is about two little boys playing at a park, one with trucks and one with a doll. The connections are not immediately clear.

However, both of these books highlight the ability of children to look beyond differences to see obvious solutions to problems. In The Day War Came, when the little girl is turned away from a school because there is not a chair for her to sit on, students bring empty chairs to the refugee camp so that all of the children in the camp will have a place to sit when they come to school. In Want to Play Trucks?, when Jack tells Alex that dolls cannot drive trucks because they won’t fit in the driver’s seat, Alex just removes the doll’s leotard and tutu to reveal purple overalls that will allow her to sit wherever she wants.

Obviously, I am not naive enough to believe that the world’s problems can be solved this easily. Still, what if we came to the table with opposing views and just started with solutions like these? If there isn’t a desk, find a table. If she can’t get a job, offer training. These ideas may fall completely flat, but they might lead us to new options or to ask the question, why not?

Kids are endlessly curious and open to alternatives. Want to Play Trucks? would be a great story to share with students in primary classrooms as Alex is a character who completely defies stereotypes of gendered play without any knowledge that this is what he is doing. He is just being himself and that is exactly what we want our early childhood students to be doing. The Day War Came might be more appropriate for upper elementary or even middle school classrooms. The text was originally a poem written by Davies after she read about 3,000 unaccompanied children being denied entry to the U.K. and a refugee child being refused access to school because there wasn’t a chair for her to sit on. Both of these books could lead students to propose solutions to problems in their school or broader communities.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Want to Play Trucks?

Identity 1- I know and I like who I am and can talk about my family and myself and name some of my group identities.

Identity 4- I can feel good about myself without being mean or making other people feel bad.

Diversity 6- I like being around people who are like me and different from me, and I can be friendly to everyone.

Diversity 9- I know everyone has feelings, and I want to get along with people who are similar to and different from me.

The Day War Came

Diversity 8- I want to know more about other people’s lives and experiences, and I know how to ask questions respectfully and listen carefully and non-judgmentally.

Justice 14- I know that life is easier for some people and harder for others based on who they are and where they were born.

Action 20- I will work with my friends and family to make our school and community fair for everyone, and we will work hard and cooperate in order to achieve our goals.

Common Core Standards:

Want to Play Trucks?

RL.4- Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

RL.7- Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

RL.9- Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.

The Day War Came

RL.1- Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RL.2- Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

When Labels are Limiting

Sometimes being able to name something is liberating. Coming out to family and friends as gay or transgender can be terrifying, but it is often the moment when someone finally is able to relax. Knowing that one’s struggles in school are related to a diagnosis such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder doesn’t make those struggles disappear, but it can lessen anxiety over things outside of a student’s control. Labels can be empowering in some situations.

However, they can also be limiting. Identity is one of the most complex constructs that we have created. The intersection of a variety of identities within one human being makes the experience of individual identities impossible to pin down. We may share an identity, but that does not mean that our experience within that identity has looked or felt similar.

Julie Murphy is one of my favorite authors when it comes to unmasking the complexities of identity. Her books Dumplin’ and Puddin’ tackle western norms of beauty, superbly. In her book, Ramona Blue, we meet a young woman in her senior year of high school who embraces the labels she has been given and the ones she has assigned herself. Ramona is devoted to her sister Hattie and their father, with whom she shares a small trailer in Eulogy, Mississippi, ever since they lost their home during Hurricane Katrina. She works multiple jobs to save money to support Hattie, who is pregnant. She also knows that she loves girls and has been out to her family and community for several years. She is proud to call herself a sister, a lesbian, and a small town girl.

However, when an old friend from childhood returns to Eulogy, she realizes that these labels may not completely define who she is. Her relationship with Freddie is complicated, as love so often is. Her identity as a sister has always come before her ambitions, but does that hierarchy need to exist? Who gets to decide what it means to be Ramona Blue? As Ramona says,

Maybe it’s not all the little labels that make us who we are. Maybe it’s about how all those labels interact with the world around us. It’s not that I’m gay. It’s that I’m gay in Eulogy, Mississippi. It’s not that I’m tall. It’s that I’m too tall for the trailer I live in. It’s not that I’m poor. It’s that I’m too poor to do and have everything I want. Life is a series of conflicts, and maybe the only resolution is accepting that not all problems are meant to be solved. (Murphy 363)

Ramona is relatable to anyone who has ever struggled with their own identity or with the changes to identity that occur over time. However, teenagers who are making decisions about the next phase in their lives will find Ramona particularly engaging. Her voice seems timeless, as we have always and will always be searching for who we are and what that means in our time and place.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Identity 1: I have a positive view of myself, including an awareness of and comfort with my membership in multiple groups in society.

Identity 3: I know that all my group identities and the intersection of those identities create unique aspects of who I am and that this is true for other people too.

Identity 4: I express pride and confidence in my identity without perceiving or treating anyone else as inferior.

Identity 5: I recognize traits of the dominant culture, my home culture and other cultures, and I am conscious of how I express my identity as I move between those spaces.

Common Core Standards:

RL.1- Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

RL.2- Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

RL.3- Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

RL.5- Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

RL.6- Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).

Building Awareness

Recently,  I worked with two students on a compare and contrast exercise in a nonfiction text. We were reading My Librarian is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs, which explains how children in various places around the world get access to books. (I would highly recommend this book if you have not read it.) I asked my students to choose two countries that they wanted to read about for our compare and contrast exercise. They chose Australia and Canada. Since the libraries represented in this book delivered books to the Australian outback and Canada’s northern territory, Nunavut, I was pleased we were still reading about diverse people and places. However, it did make me wonder if there was a reason why Canada and Australia were my students’  first choices. It made me question whether we devote  enough time talking about countries where the majority of people do not look like the typical  Midwesterner.

The Barefoot Book of Children, by Tessa Strickland, Kate DePalma, and David Dean, is one place to start when introducing students to diverse places and people. The illustrations in this book are colorful and full of detail. However, my favorite aspect of  this book is the way that it is organized. It is not organized by continent, race, or ethnicity, but instead,  it is organized around concepts that we all share such as home, language, food, and play. In the first section of the book, illustrations highlight the commonality of our lives as well as the diversity of foods we may eat or ways that we may play.  However, no effort is made to identify where these foods are eaten or where the games are played, demonstrating that  even in our differences, we share a common humanity.

The second section of the  book identifies the places depicted in the illustrations of food, play, and home highlighted in the initial material.  This latter section offers students the opportunity to learn more about  different cultures and it is a great starting place for further investigation.   This book opens doors for kids to explore and learn more about the world around them and it is a wonderful resource for any elementary classroom or library.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Identity 5: I see that the way my family and I do things is both the same as and different from how other people do things, and I am interested in both.

Diversity 7: I can describe some ways that I am similar to and different from people who share my identities and those who have other identities.

Diversity 8: I want to know about other people and how our lives and experiences are the same and different.

Diversity 10: I find it interesting that groups of people believe different things and live their lives in different ways.

Common Core Standards:

RI.1: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

RI.5: Know and use various text features to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

RI.6: Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

RI.7: Explain how specific images contribute to and clarify a text.

Best Intentions

Over time, the practice of education has become more and more of a collaborative endeavor. We think of students as “our kids” rather than “my kids and your kids” when we are planning for instruction and analyzing student assessment data. To me, one of the key requirements for effective collaboration between anyone and in any situation is to assume good intentions. We work better together when we believe that our coworkers are doing the best that they can to make a difference in the lives of their students. It also seems to me that if we assume best intentions, we are more able to understand and empathize with others.

In Patricia Reilly Giff’s book, Until I Find Julian, issues of undocumented immigration are addressed without judgments of right or wrong. The protagonist, Mateo, crosses the border from Mexico to the United States to look for his older brother Julian who had come to find work to support his family. Julian crossed the border with a friend who returned to Mexico with news that la migra had come to the construction site where they were working and everyone had scattered. He did not know where Julian had gone. Mateo sets out alone to find Julian but soon realizes that he will need the help of a young girl, Angel, who has frequently crossed the border, if he is going to succeed in his quest.

This story is about an issue that is currently quite divisive in our national conversation. However, it is also about family and about being better together than we are apart. Mateo, Julian, and Angel are not perfect, but they have good intentions. Giff paints a picture of people, just like us, who are experiencing something most of us can’t imagine or even understand. This book does not set out to answer the question of whether or not undocumented immigrants should be allowed to become citizens. It also does not tell the story of detention centers or deportation. It tells the story of family and friends who are trying to achieve something better for each other.

Until I Find Julian would be a great book to use when teaching about characters or point of view. Each of the main characters are dynamic and the story is written from Mateo’s point of view. Mateo’s inner dialogue as well as his conversations with various characters would also work well as theatrical interpretations, leading students to work collaboratively and develop a deeper understanding of the story and of each other.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Diversity 6- I like knowing people who are like me and different from me, and I treat each person with respect.

Common Core State Standards:

RL.3- Describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

RL.6- Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

SL.1- Engage effective in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Repairing the World

I recently had the pleasure of attending a performance of The Ugly Duckling by Lightwire Theater on a school field trip. This very original production using music, puppets, and lighting, did an exceptional job of communicating a message of acceptance of differences to our students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The performance ended with the characters dancing to the song “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and this made me think about the Jewish philosophy of Tikkun Olam.

There are many religious and non-religious communities that embrace social justice, but the events in Pittsburgh last Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue have been causing me to think about my own Jewish faith as I read and reflect this week. Tikkun Olam refers to individual acts of kindness that are performed to help others as well as acts of social policy that provide safeguards to those who are disadvantaged. Two books that I believe spread this message beautifully are Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson and Pablo and Birdy written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Ana Juan.

In Pablo and Birdy, a community adopts a child who washes up on the beach in a kiddie pool, guarded by a very unique bird. Issues of immigration and the struggles of refugees are alluded to in this story, but they are not at its center. Instead, Pablo and Birdy reflects a message of love, individuality, and acceptance that is a representation of what our world could become. It also reminds us that sometimes knowing our own story helps us to embrace those of other people (or, in this case, birds). This would be a wonderful book to share as a read aloud and the all bird “Committee” with their limited vocabularies, but oversize personalities will engage many young listeners.

Harbor Me tells the story of six students who make up a class of diverse learners. None of them have been very successful in general education classrooms so they come together to learn in a smaller environment with more individualized attention. However, their time in this classroom is not the focus of the book. Instead, most of the story takes place in the ARTT Room–A Room To Talk–where the six students meet together during the last hour of their school day on Fridays without adult supervision. This is where they share their stories. And each student has an important story to tell.

At my school, students share with their classmates each morning and when they have something in common, they make a sign with their hands. Their thumbs and pinkies point out while the other three fingers are folded in and they rock their wrists toward the person with whom they have made a connection. Near the beginning of Harbor Me, the narrator Haley thinks about making this same sign when she has a connection with Esteban whose father has just been detained by ICE. Except Haley doesn’t want to make the sign because her father is in prison and this is a story that she is not willing to share. At least not yet.

This is a story of what is lost and what is gained among students of different races, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and experiences, when they come together to tell their stories. The title of the book comes from something that they all share– a message from their teacher:

Ms. Laverne said every day we should ask ourselves, ‘If the worst thing in the                       world happened, would I help protect someone else? Would I let myself be a                         harbor for someone who needs it?’ Then she said, ‘I want each of you to say to the               other: I will harbor you.’ (Woodson 34)

We often feel differently about issues when they affect those closest to us. Issues of racism, immigration, and justice are not easily resolved and we cannot expect our students to share the same views. Still, the conversations are worth having. It is worth asking ourselves and our students: What world do we want to live in? Will we offer safe harbor to those who need it?

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Identity 2: I know about my family history and culture and about current and past contributions of people in my main identity groups.

Identity 3: I know that all my group identities are part of who I am, but none of them fully describes me and this is true for other people too.

Diversity 6: I like knowing people who are like me and different from me, and I treat each person with respect.

Diversity 10: I know that the way groups of people are treated today, and the way they have been treated in the past, is a part of what makes them who they are.

Justice 13: I know that words, behaviors, rules, and laws that treat people unfairly based on their group identities cause real harm.

Action 19: I will speak up or do something when I see unfairness, and I will not let others convince me to go along with injustice.

Common Core Standards:

RL.3- Describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

RL.6- Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of characters.

RL.7- Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story. (Pablo and Birdy)

SL.1- Engage in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.3- Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.

The View from Every Angle

One of the first things that we do as educators when we have a new class or welcome a new student is to build relationships. Getting to know our students, their passions and interests, is a necessity in order to bring learning to life for them. However, in the rush to cover content and to make learning relevant to students, sometimes we have a tendency to limit our views. These are the artists, athletes, scientists, or writers. Here are the leaders, followers, listeners, or thinkers. This can limit the possibilities that students reach for or, maybe worse, lead to stereotypes about students who look or behave a certain way.

One of the many moments that stands out in Between the Lines by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier, is when the subject of this biography, Ernie Barnes, is told by an art museum tour guide, “Your people don’t express themselves in that way.” In  Durham, North Carolina, in the 1950s, African Americans had only recently been allowed to visit art museums and the work of African American artists was certainly missing from the collections. Barnes had grown up expressing himself through his artwork as communicating through language was difficult for him. However, his talent on the football field was what really made people notice him.

After college, Ernie was drafted to play football professionally. He would watch his teammates and opponents on the football field and paint these scenes when he got home. Soon, he started taking his sketchbooks to the games and would draw on the bench when he wasn’t on the field. Eventually, Ernie had to choose between being a part of the action on the field or representing it on his canvas. The canvas won out and Ernie became a professional sports artist. Children in North Carolina can now see Ernie’s paintings in art museums.

Mr. Barnes points out, “When I became an athlete I didn’t stop being an artist,” and this is important for us to remember as teachers as well. We must see our students from every angle and allow them to access content through all of their interests. Between the Lines would be a fabulous book to share with students who are feeling like they need to focus on a particular talent or interest. Another direction to take with this text would be to examine the illustrations by the extraordinary Bryan Collier and have students find similarities and differences between the style he uses to illustrate this book and the style of Mr. Barnes. This would also be a great book to pair with Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship to talk about the intersection between art and sports.

Common Core Standards:

RI.7- Use information gained from illustrations and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.

Magic of Our Own Making

Many children’s books have been written to share Malala Yousafzai’s story of advocacy and courage. Malala’s Magic Pencil is the first picture book that she has written to tell her story and to inspire young people to be advocates for positive change. The book begins with the question, “Do you believe in magic?” While the magic pencil in the children’s television show that Malala watched had mysterious powers, her pencil did not. Instead, it was Malala’s words and her voice that truly had the power to influence events in Pakistan and around the world.

This book begins with Malala as a young girl who dreamed of having a magic pencil like the one she saw on TV that could create anything that could be drawn. She wanted to draw a more just society for the people in her community. When the Taliban rose to power and girls were no longer allowed to attend school, Malala used a simple wooden pencil to speak out. To those in power, Malala’s pencil was just as much of a threat as magic might be. Malala’s Magic Pencil follows her story through the terrible events of October 2012 to her life today.

This would be a wonderful book to share with students when discussing issues of equality. Malala is a powerful example of a young person who spoke out against injustice in her community. While she was targeted for her bravery, she overcame extreme adversity to make a stand for women and girls everywhere.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Justice 13: I know some true stories about how people have been treated badly because of their group identities, and I don’t like it.

Justice 14: I know that life is easier for some people and harder for others and the reasons for that are not always fair.

Justice 15: I know about people who helped stop unfairness and worked to make life better for many people.

Common Core Standards:

SL.1 – Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.2- Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud.

Love Does not Equal Consent

Many publications for educators have been reporting on how teachers address consent with their students. This isn’t a conversation reserved for middle school and high school teachers, either. Elementary school teachers in the primary grades are also having conversations with their students about consent for things like going over to someone’s house, borrowing a toy, or giving a hug. As much as it may make us uncomfortable, even conversations about unwanted sexual advances are taking place with young children who are aware of issues discussed in the news. Regardless of whether or not you believe the accusations, two of the nine justices with lifetime appointments to the highest court in the land have been accused of sexual misconduct. Conversations about consent are a necessity.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake is not a book about consent for younger readers. It is definitely more appropriate for high school students and the message that it imparts is quite powerful for young women and men. In this book, the protagonist Mara is shocked when she hears that her twin brother Owen has been accused of rape by his girlfriend Hannah. She is shocked, but also open minded. It seems natural that family members would struggle to believe that someone they love and have known so long would be capable of doing something so damaging to another human being. However, every man or woman who sexually assaults another person is a member of someone’s family. That does not make them innocent of violence. Mara shows us how difficult, and potentially empowering, it can be to accept that someone you trusted has done something that permanently harms another person.

This book also communicates the often misunderstood truth that loving someone and having been intimate with them in the past is not permanent consent. That is extremely important for high school students to know. It also deals with the effects of over indulging in alcohol and the impairment of judgment that can result.

Girl Made of Stars is written from Mara’s point of view and the implications of that choice would be interesting to discuss in an English class. Teachers of Health courses could use this book when talking about consent or about drinking. This book would also be powerful in a course about law and justice as it provides an honest look at how many of these cases end.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Identity 3: I know that all my group identities and the intersection of those identities create unique aspects of who I am and that this is true for other people too.

Identity 4: I express pride and confidence in my identity without perceiving or treating anyone else as inferior.

Diversity 10: I understand that diversity includes the impact of unequal power relations on the development of group identities and cultures.

Justice 12: I can recognize, describe, and distinguish unfairness and injustice at different levels of society.

Action 17: I take responsibility for standing up to exclusion, prejudice, and injustice.

Common Core Standards:

RL.3- Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama.

RL.6- Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant.

W.1- Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

These Rights are Universal

How does one become an empathetic person? Why are some children more empathetic than others? These are questions that we often ask ourselves as educators due to the developmental stages of the individuals we spend most of our time with at work. I don’t know that there is a “right” answer to these questions, but I do believe that awareness of our own experiences and those of others is a crucial first step in the development of empathy. For me, a lot of this learning occurred by reading books.

Along with a knowledge of different experiences, empathy requires a general picture of what every individual should have access to as a human being. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was issued by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, as a response to the Second World War. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, created by the same international organization, took effect on September 2, 1990. These two documents represent a series of basic rights to which every human being is entitled.

Two books that do a remarkable job of explaining these rights in language that young people will understand are Every Human Has Rights created by National Geographic and A Life Like Mine developed by Dorling Kindersley in association with UNICEF. Every Human Has Rights includes brief statements which summarize each of the 30 universal rights along with photos and writings from young people around the world. A Life Like Mine organizes individual vignettes about children around the rights defined by the Convention.

Both of these books will inspire conversations around what these rights mean to children in our classrooms. What does “every human in the world must be treated as a person” mean in our world today (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)? If “every child should have a home” why don’t they (Convention on the Rights of the Child)? Imagine the writing projects that could stem from the question, “What can we do to ensure this right is a given for every person or child?”

Knowing what justice looks like is one of the first steps in addressing injustice in our world. These texts are wonderful ways to introduce this concept to students.

Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards:

Diversity 8: I want to know more about other people’s lives and experiences, and I know how to ask questions respectfully and listen carefully and non-judgmentally.

Justice 14: I know that life is easier for some people and harder for others based on who they are and where they were born.

Action 16: I pay attention to how people (including myself) are treated, and I try to treat others how I like to be treated.

Action 19: I will speak up or do something when I see unfairness, and I will not let others convince me to go along with injustice.

Action 20: I will work with my friends and family to make our school and community fair for everyone, and we will work hard and cooperate in order to achieve our goals.

Common Core Standards:

RI.5 – Use text features to locate information relevant to a topic efficiently.

RI.7- Use information gained from illustrations and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.

W.1- Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

W.9- Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.