What do the inventor of the potato chip, open-heart surgery and the induction telegraph have in common? They were all African-Americans. And all three (among many others) are featured in the newest book by basketball-great-turned-historian Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, "What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors."
I have seen this book used and talked about at various economics workshops that I have attended. However, it is much more than a piece of children's literature that teaches Economics. 'What Color Is My World?' shows youngsters African-Americans' roles in science and technology
Teaching history using children's literature, both fiction and nonfiction, is an old idea enjoying new vitality in the elementary and middle school curriculum. This Digest discusses (1) the revival of interest in teaching history through children's literature, (2) research-based guidelines for teachers of history and children's literature, and (3) an innovative method of teaching history using children's literature.
This lesson uses the piece of literature “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters” by Barack Obama. My students love this book. Not only does it teach about history, but it will help our students expand their knowledge of citizenship to include an individual uses his/her gifts and talents to the benefit of others. Students will reflect upon their lives and begin thinking of their strong gifts and talents. Students will write and draw a picture with a clear message.
The story of champion high jumper Alice Coachman, the first African American woman to win the Olympic gold at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. Students should be able to relate to this story as it incorporates being the first to accomplish a feat, as well as providing teachable moments that relate to the Olympics. I'm sure your students will love this story, as mine does!