Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Is There Really a Human Race? By: Jamie Lee Curtis

Title: Is There Really a Human Race?

Authors: Jamie Lee Curtis

illustrator: Laura Cornell

With the opening question "Is there really a human race?", this book talks about the human race as if it were an actual running race. Through out, it asks questions about getting ahead in life and why we compete with each other. It asks about cheating and making mistakes. However, toward the end of the book, it asks what would happen if we did not slow down and help each other. We will all CRASH, is the answer. the ultimate message of the book is to try your best and do what you can to help others in the race and make this place a better one for everyone you encounter during that race.

The play on words for the message of "race" was so cute and hysterical. Children sometimes have a hard time time considering things that are not concrete. It was genius in this case to relate such an abstract topic to something concrete that kids can relate to. The message of the book is such a basic but enormously important one to relay to students. Though it is important to be successful and run in the race, the race would not be possible if we do not help each other to succeed. Something that we have talked about a lot is the idea of allies. This book really promotes the idea that allies make the race even happen.

How to Use This Book in the Curriculum:
Since the book focuses on the human race, it would be a wonderful starting point to talk about "the human race" as we usually refer to it- people all over the world. Students sometimes have a hard time considering things aside from the world they live in. Expanding their horizons and making them aware of people outside their immediate community is a hard but possible feat. Studying people in the social studies curriculum would be enhanced by this book greatly. Also, the book is written in rhyme form. The TC curriculum does a lot with poetry and word study. Using this book within TC curriculum would be a great fit.

Domains of Social Justice:

1. Self-Love and Acceptance : Students learn to love themselves for who they are and understand that it is okay if they are not first or even second to finish the race.
2. Respect for Others: Students learn that the most important part of the race is to slow down help those who cannot finish the race themselves. If we do not help each other, no one will succeed.
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: Students will explore that some people may need help in finishing the race, and some people do not want to help them. It is their responsibility to help those people in need and to change the mind and ways of those who do not want to help others.
4. Social Movements and Social Change: Students learn about how to be allies for those who cannot speak up for themselves. It is not enough to think about themselves, they must think about and help those around them to finish the race.



1 comment: