Harlem by Walter Dean Myers
Bibliographic Information: Myers, Walter Dean. Harlem. Illus. Christopher Myers. New York, NY: Scholastic Press. 1997. Print.
Summary: This is a great book that speaks about the diversity in Harlem. It is written in poem form. It explains what everyday life was like for those who lived there. It includes passages about famous people who grew up or lived in Harlem at one point. The illustrations are very fitting and bring the reader in.
Possible Website: http://www.kennedy-center.org/multimedia/storytimeonline/harlem.html
This is a great website that will read Harlem to students.
Students can write a poem about where they grew up and what it was like.
” Yellow/tan/brown/black/red/green/gray/bright colors loud enough to be heard (Myers np).
Themes and Thematic Unit Ideas: Diversity, African Americans, City of Harlem, Change
Culturally Responsive Teacher: This ties into this article on the Alaskan Culturally Responsive Teacher, because it talks about a culture that was formed in Harlem. This can help students be aware of other place in the world and what their culture is like.
Cover Image from: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518F2RY9MDL._bL160_.jpg
Murphy, Jim. Dear America West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi. New York, NY: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication-Data. 2000. Print.
Summary: This book is the story of a young Italian girl named, Teresa Angelino Viscardi. It is written in diary form, from perspective of Teresa and her sister Antoinette. Teresa talks about her anger that she has for the fact that they are moving and she has to leave all of her friends behind. She talks about how she is not as ladylike as her sister Antoinetta.
Possible Website: http://www.suffolk.lib.ny.us/youth/jcssimmigration.html
This is a great website that gives various links to websites on learning about immigration.
Activity based on the book:
Pretend to be one of the characters in the book that do not have diary entries, such as Rosaria, Nanna, or mother and create at least three diary passages for them.
Questions based on the book:
1. Where was Teresa and her family originally from before they immigrated to the United States?
2. Why is Teresa so upset about leaving New York City?
3. Why did her family decide they needed to move to Idaho Territory?
4. Why did Teresa have to share her diary with her sister Antoinette?
Nothing is worse than to be praised in verse by a person who is never nice. But a letter from you, who has always been true is like having spring flowers bloom twice (Murphy 98).
Themes and Thematic Units: Sisters, Italian-Americans, Immigration, Travel, Change
Literary Elements: Genre: Fiction, Diversity
Culturally Responsive Teacher: According to the Alaskan Standards of the Culturally Responsive Teacher, this book fits into these standards. It talks about immigration and a young girl’s experiences from her diary on what it is like to travel from one place she knows so well, to several unfamiliar places and how she adjusts. This is a great book fro students to understand how traveling to new places can give you a new perspective of others.