Sunday, September 11, 2011

365 Days of Reading: Tip #14 - Use Books to Help Kids Identify Emotions

I was teaching in Atlanta. As I was lining up my students to change classes, I overheard teachers talking in the hallway. I thought they were talking about a movie, because nothing like that could have happened in real life.

(I was wrong.)

The next morning, shop owners had changed their billboards to messages of sympathy and solidarity, and the digital signs above 75/85-S read "AMERICA IS IN A STATE OF WAR. USE EXTREME CAUTION". A coworker, born & raised in NYC, sent around pictures from family members taken of the Towers as they burned.

The next day, we all wore red, white & blue, and changed our classroom bulletin boards. But this was ten years ago, and I was still very young, and I had no idea how to explain how life had changed forever, to my 5th grade charges.

If I had known then what I know now, I would have reached for a few well-written books to help release the questions and emotions brewing in those kids' minds.

Where were you on the morning of September 11, 2001?

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