Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story


By: Eve Bunting Illustrated by: Beth Peck

SUMMARY: This story follows a boy and his family on a journey from the Caribbean to America. Soldiers had entered the town and people from the town were forced to leave and find safety in America. The family leaves all of their possessions in their home and secretly board a boat. The boat travels for several days while coming across many obstacles in the ocean such as bad weather and thieves. Eventually the boat makes it to America on Thanksgiving day.

I liked this book because it gave a different/modern perspective of immigration and the meaning of Thanksgiving. This book portrays some of the current realities and hardships people from other countries are faced with. I also liked this book because I have not seen many books that focus on issues regarding people from the Caribbean.

HOW WOULD I USE THIS BOOK/CURRICULUM UNITS: I would use this book for a discussion about immigration/ the multiple meanings for Thanksgiving/ why people immigrate. Students can also compare and contrast this immigration story to that of the Pilgrims or any other immigration story. Another way to use this book would be for the students to imagine themselves in a similar situation of being forced to leave their home to express their feelings and reactions. I would also use this book to explain what refugees are. This book could also be used for social studies in regards democracy, freedom and human rights since these were the reasons the characters in the story chose to come to America. I would also tie in geography by having students chart the journey of the boat on a map.

DOMAINS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE: 1) Self love and acceptance- Students learn about and acknowledge the obstacles that the Caribbean people overcame. 2) Respect for others- Students learn about different forms of oppression and how people from other cultures escape oppression. 3) Exploring Issues of Social Justice- oppression, democracy 4) Social MOvements & Social Change- Students learn why and how people immigrate 5) Taking Social Action- Students learn about current immigration policies and measures people take to immigrate to America

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