We are citizens: A place to begin to talk about our membership in the world #pb10for10 2018

Picture book 10 for 10 is here!  This is one of the best days of the year to share picture book love and to increase your knowledge of picture book titles.

This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Thanks to both of them for the work they do to promote this wonderful day of picture book sharing!

This is my 7th year participating in this event. In 2012, I shared ten beloved titles. In 2013, I went with a theme: Connections across the generations. In 2014, I shared ten “go to” titles on various themes like generosity, courage and forgiveness. In 2015. I highlighted favourite historical fiction titles. In 2016 I chose books that may inspire philosophical discussion.Last year my list included 10 titles I described as beautifully quirky.

This year my list reflects my thinking about how I want picture books to support our discussions and thoughts about what it means to be a citizen – in our classroom, in our communities, in this world. When we look up the word citizen in the dictionary, there is a lot in the definition about being an inhabitant, a member of a group or society and about having certain legal and protected rights. In basic definitions, there isn’t much included about responsibilities to others.  I am wanting to begin to explore the idea of our global citizenship – beginning with who we are and how we treat others and getting ready to think about who we are in the world. What are all of our rights? What are our responsibilities?

How do we treat those around us? How do we develop our capacity to understand our role in a bigger world?

When I started to research definitions of global citizenship, I found many words and ideas that spoke to what I want to explore and foster in our classroom this year.

What is global citizenship? Who is a global citizen?

“An ethic of care for the world.”  Hannah Arendt

“It is a way of living that recognizes our world is an increasingly complex web of connections and interdependencies. One in which our choices and actions may have repercussions for people and communities locally, nationally or internationally.” From the IDEAS for Global Citizenship website

” . . . someone who sees himself or herself as being part of an emerging world community and whose actions help define this community’s values and practices.” from The Global Citizens’ Initiative website

I teach primary students and believe that these children are fully capable of examining and talking about world issues. But we need to begin with the immediate  (ourselves) and examine how we interact in the specific world around us. These conversations will allow us to begin looking further to talk about our connections globally.

More books will come. A lot more books. But we will begin here.

We will read They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel to remind ourselves that we all view things from different perspectives and that these perspectives are shaped by our experiences and our feelings of comfort and fear.

We will read Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers to remind ourselves that we share this planet with a huge variety of people and other living things and that we can be awed by the amazing but that we are also bound by responsibilities to care for all inhabitants of this Earth.

We will read Why Am I Me? written by Paige Britt and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko to explore questions about our personal identity and to celebrate our diversity and connection.

We will read Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein to understand that kindness is not only contagious but that kindness passed on grows and strengthens.

We will read When we Were Alone written by David A. Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett to honour personal histories and to talk about resilience. Our history connects us just as deeply as our present. Experiences continue to shape relationships and identity.

We will read Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and illustrated by A.G. Ford to remind ourselves to forgive and that we may need help practicing forgiveness.

We will read The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin so that we can talk about how our voices cannot be silenced and the incredible power of speaking up.

We will read Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love to talk about self expression and to remind ourselves “that anyone can be anything they want to be,” (as one of my students explained this year after hearing this book)

We will read The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein so that we can talk about helping and protecting wildlife as we go about our lives and interactions. This book will allow us to talk about how courage is in doing what you know is right even when you are told not to do it.

We will read I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoët to witness what it is to be an upstander. Because we know when we witness something that is wrong and there are all kinds of ways to respond.

Follow along on twitter using the #pb10for10 hashtag. All posts will be linked on the Google Community Site for Picture Book 10 for 10

pb-10-for-10What titles would you add to this list?

Happy picture book reading!  

24 thoughts on “We are citizens: A place to begin to talk about our membership in the world #pb10for10 2018

  1. I love the ideas you shared around the theme and discussions that you hope to have. You have inspired my thinking as well about how to have similar discussions with secondary students. I always look forward to your posts because you never fail to give me new ideas or book titles. Thanks!

  2. Your thoughtful ideas of being a citizen are to be admired, Carrie. There is much more to consider as you said, and these picture books will be a good beginning. I have I Walk With Vanessa & still need to read that one, but know the others, though cannot find “When We Were Alone”. I adore The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet, just finished a YA book with a character ‘who would not be quiet”! Thanks for this beginning list!

    • Thank you Linda. When We Were Alone is Canadian – a really important book about a grandmother sharing her experiences with residential school with her granddaughter. It is one of my favourites.

  3. Your list is so timely. It works nicely with the thinking in Being the Change which I read this summer. I’ve checked out several of your titles and can’t wait to read them.

  4. So thoughtful. I appreciated that you explained how you would use each text. Hope the school year is a very fine one.

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