Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - ideas for using biographies with lessons - 7.14.21

I love picture book biographies.  Not only can you use them to learn about new people or learn more about people you know of, you can also use them to study traits and ideas.  Some new ones!

The People's Painter by Cynthia Levinson
The People's Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice With Art
written by Cynthia Levinson
illustrated by Evan Turk
Ben Shahn was an immigrant from Lithuania who painted and took photographs of the people and the injustices and real life issues  they faced.
Use this book to teach and discuss:
  • doing what you think is right, and not following what everyone else does
  • speaking up and speaking out with art (it doesn't always have to be your voice)
  • determination

The Stuff Between the Stars by Sandra Nickel
The Stuff Between the Stars: How Vera Rubin Discovered Most of the Universe
written by Sandra Nickel
illustrated by Aimee Sicuro
In a time when studying the sciences was something men did, Vera Rubin continued to push gender boundaries by constantly questioning and finding new information in a land far away - in the sky and universe.
Use this book to teach and discuss:
  • questioning - why we are always asking questions and not settling for the same answers
  • perseverance - not giving up when others say no
  • gender boundaries - why it's not up to one gender to make rules and learn information

Dr. Fauci by Kate Messner
Dr. Fauci: How a Boy From Brooklyn Became America's Doctor
written by Kate Messner
illustrated by Alexandra Bye
For a long time during 2020, the only word I trusted about COVID19 was Dr. Fauci's.  Everywhere you looked, there was misinformation.  I knew his word was based on the science he had, at that time, in a time where information changed by the minute.  I knew whatever he said was what I needed to be doing at that time.  And if he revised what he said, I knew because the science changed.  Not because he just wanted something to happen.  So yeah, he kind of is my hero.
This picture book biography is a bigger glimpse into Dr. Fauci's childhood and his steps in his schooling.  It goes all the way up to today's time, so we're getting a quick glimpse of the man who has guided us through the worst pandemic we've ever faced.  I love how there are so many questions sprinkled throughout Messner's story because they really signify Dr. Fauci.
Use this book to teach and discuss:
  • make a list of those questions I just mentioned.  What do you notice about the questions?  What do the questions tell you about Dr. Fauci?  Make a list of questions you have.  Collect the questions to create a wonder wall.  What will inspire you?
  • how did Dr. Fauci's childhood inspire him later in life?  Take a glimpse into your future!  What are the things you are passionate about now?  How might you use those things in your future?
  • be a changemaker!  Dr. Fauci helped so many of us during the pandemic.  What can you do to make a difference?
And don't miss this zoom interview between author Kate Messner and Dr. Fauci!

These were some amazing biographies and people to meet.  But, I'm looking forward to using them for many reasons!  I hope these ideas inspire you, too!

1 comment:

  1. These look like excellent PB biographies—I've seen some praise for the book on Dr. Fauci, but I missed the other two you mention. I appreciate you sharing all of these neat discussion questions as well! Thanks so much for the great post!