Teaching

Big Picture 2: Kindness

Check out Donna Janell Bowman and Daniel Minter‘s websites.

After I purchased this at my son’s Scholastic Book Fair (for myself–doesn’t everyone love Book Fairs?!), I am sad to admit that it sat on my desk collecting dust for a few months before I finally decided to read it. And now that I have, I cannot believe I’ve been missing out on such a great book all this time! William “Doc” Key’s story is simply amazing and this book is beautifully written and illustrated, with Doc’s kindness shining through the text and illustrations on each page. This should be in classroom libraries everywhere, but I would also recommend the book to adults. It’s the kind of story that makes you want to run and find someone to share it with the minute you finish reading.

Teachers, this book is a bit lengthy. The Lexile measure is 910L, with a reading age of 8-10, but on Amazon it’s listed for grades 2-8. With the length of text and sentence complexity, I would probably use this with 3rd and 4th graders, but it could be read aloud to a younger group of students. You could even break up the text into 3 parts, reading each on a different day. This would be a great resource for Black History Month (which is right around the corner), even Valentine’s Day, but let’s face it, kindness is relevant any time of the year.

Essential Questions

  • What is kindness?
  • What makes a good teacher?
  • How do people influence the lives of others?
  • How can we effect change?

Standards

  • CCSS SL.3.1 Engage in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • CCSS SL.3.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • CCSS RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrat understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • CCSS RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recound the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • WIDA ELD-1 English language learners communicate for Social and Instructional purposes within the school setting.
  • WIDA ELD-2 English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of Language Arts

Vocabulary – Part 1

As a “resource” teacher, I only have 30 minutes with my students, so I chose to break this book into 3 parts. Part 1 starts on the first page of the book and ends on the page with Doc’s medicine wagon, with the sentence: “Soon Doc was one of the wealthiest men in Shelbyville.”

I will include vocabulary for Parts 2 and 3 in a separate post.

  • colt
  • slavery
  • prejudice
  • tame
  • educate

Teach Sheet

Here is your FREE worksheet for Part One of Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness.

Teach Sheets for Parts 2 and 3 will follow in separate posts. You do not have to break this up like I did; use this resource in whatever way works for you and your students.

Comments

Have you used this resource or read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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