In February, Black History Month, our Fourth Grade students studied the Civil Rights movement. Inspired by the Unquiet Librarian’s Musical Chairs + Book Tasting * we played a little musical chairs of our own: Biography Book Musical Chairs. Through this fun and dance-friendly game, students were introduced to a variety of picture book biographies about inspiring African Americans throughout our country’s history. When the music played they walked (and danced) around the circle of chairs. When the music stopped, students picked up the book in the chair closest to them and sat down to get a taste of the biographical figure within the book. After four rounds of musical chairs, each student selected one of the four books** they had tasted. The book was checked out and brought back to class for a project with the classroom teacher. In class, students read their biographies and wrote about their chosen historical figures. The teachers then had students select one passage from the text that they felt best represented the heart of the person they read about. Some of the passages were very moving. This project will be shared with parents at conferences this week, the highlight being the student reading the chosen passage aloud to their parents from the biography.
*Buffy J. Hamilton can now be found at her new blog, Living in the Layers.
**There were sometimes two or more students who were dead set on the same biography. Trouble? For the most part, no. The majority of students were very kind and easily solved the problem through conversation or games of rock, paper, scissors. For the others, we stepped in to help them make good choices.