The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For February, the project celebrated Black History Month by reading books about the achievements of Black Americans along with books written by Black authors. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email us at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in February:
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
Summary: This book is based on the story of Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel into space.
Reflective Questions: What do you want to be when you grow up? What kind of dreams do you have for the future? Do you ever draw pictures of what you want to be and put it on your wall?Read more
I am always looking for new books, authors, and publishers to highlight for the read aloud project. The other day, my father and I were talking about my project and he mentioned how his former high school classmate, Dorena Williamson, was a children’s book author. This led me to look up some of her books and I was amazed by them. In her books, Williamson uses her experience as a worship leader to address important topics like race and justice. She currently has three published children’s books that can be found below.Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For January, the project highlighted books about new beginnings. In February, the project will be celebrating Black History Month by reading books about the achievements of Black Americans along with books written by Black authors. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email us at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in January:
A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr. by David A. Adler
Summary: This book provides an overview of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and activism. The last page of the book provides important dates.
Reflective Question: If Dr. King were still alive today, what do you think he would be most proud of? What do you think he would be most disappointed in?Read more
Last year, What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book by Laleña Garcia and illustrated by Cary Davidson was published. The book aims to teach young children about the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter Movement as adapted by the Black Lives Matter at NYC Steering Committee. In the book, there are different activities that children can do and pages they can color. On January 20, 2021, I attended a webinar hosted by Lee and Low Books called Black Lives Matter in the Classroom: A Conversation With Experts, where Garcia and Davidson spoke about their book and how the principles of Black Lives Matter can be applied in the classroom.Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Gender & Identity Category in Read Aloud Program 2021-01-26 20:16:59 -0500
Read Aloud Videos: Gender & Identity
Gender, sexuality, & culture are all significant pieces of a puzzle that makes up our unique selves. Because of this, it is important to acknowledge, understand, and fight for these facets of identity in order to thrive as both individuals and as Beloved Community, a key principle of On Earth Peace. This category is meant to facilitate an identity-oriented kind of learning in regard to gender, sexual orientation, & cultural identity.
This book helps young readers begin building cultural bridges through simple comparisons.
While reading this book please thing and reflection on these questions while you watch this video:
- What makes you and your family unique?
- What language do you speak?
- Do you make special food?
- What things from other cultures do you enjoy?
Grace is surprised to learn that the U.S. has never had a female president. Her teacher decides to host a mock election and Grace runs for school president along with one other boy. Grace works hard to receive votes and ends up winning the election.
- If you were president, what would you have the courage to do?
- What is the first change you would make?
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History features the stories of forty trailblazing women in American history, including Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges.
- Can you think of a time that you were courageous?
- What was it and what did you do?
This book tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education.
- What would you do with a magic pencil?
- What would you draw?
- What would you say?
Lily and Salma are best friends. However, they do not like the same sandwiches: Lily likes peanut butter and jelly, while Salma likes hummus on pita. A food fight ensues when they declare that each others' lunch is weird. In the end, they set aside their differences.
- Have you ever swapped a sandwich with one of your friends?
Marisol is half Scottish and half Peruvian. She loves “mismatched” things. She has bright red hair, brown skin, loves to wear polka dots and stripes, having PB&J burritos for lunch, and being a complete fusion of everything.
- What makes you unique?
Unhei moves to the U.S. from Korea and is nervous about her first day of school. On the bus, the kids tease her because of her name. When she gets to class, she tells everyone that she will be choosing a new name for herself by the end of the week. Her classmates make a name jar to give her name suggestions. In the end, Unhei decides to keep her name and explains to her classmates what her name means and why it is important to her.
- If you could choose your own name, what would you pick and why?
Grace Byers' book is about loving yourself and respecting others.
- What do the children mean at the end of the story when they declare, “I am enough”?
This book captures what goes on during a pride parade. In the back of the book, a note to parents and caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity is provided.
On her first day of school, one of Heather's classmates asks her about her daddy. But Heather does not have a daddy, she has two mommies. Heather's teacher gives the class an assignment to draw a picture of their families. When everyone is done drawing their pictures, Heather realizes that not one drawing is the same.
- When have you felt different from other kids?
- How does this compare to Heather’s experience?
Harriet loves to wear costumes. Her dads plan a dress-up birthday party for her and purchase decorations. However, Harriet thinks something is missing and goes on an adventure to get party hats.
- Have you ever gotten carried?
This story is about two male penguins got the chance to raise their own baby penguin.
- Who makes up your family?
Julián decides to dress up as a mermaid after seeing three women at the pool in mermaid costumes.
- How do you like to or want to express yourself?
This story is about a non-binary child who overcomes being bullied through the guidance of their mother.
- Have you ever wanted to be more than one thing? What do you want to be?
Errol and Teddy are best friends that do everything together. On day, Teddy seems sad so Errol asks Teddy what's wrong. Teddy reveals that she is a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and would like to be called Tilly. Errol accepts Tilly and states that they will always be best friends no matter what.
- Is there something important about Errol and Tilly doing the same activities together at the beginning and end of the story?
- What do you think the author is trying to tell us?
This story is about a father and son walking through a city and discovering things that make them perfectly designed for each other.
- What makes you unique and perfectly designed?
This book is about Indian residential schools and the devastating impact it had on families.
- Who were the first people on the land you live on?
Alma, whose full name is Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, thinks she has too many names so she asks her dad about them. He explains the various people she was named after to honor them.
- What is the story behind your name?
When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. But Aidan realized that he was a boy and his parents fixed the parts of life that did not fit anymore. Aidan's parents announce that they are going to have another baby, which leads Aidan to panic because he wants to make sure that everything is going to be perfect for his sibling.
- How do Aidan’s feelings change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story?
In this poem picture book, the uniqueness of every child is celebrated.
- How did this poem make you feel?
This book is about connecting across generational and language differences, showing that sometimes you don't need words to find common ground.
- How would you feel if you could not understand a family member because they speak a different language?
- What are some alternative ways to communicate?
This story is about a girl who breaks the rules to become a drummer.
Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story and how the public library helped her feel like she belonged.
- What activities do you dream about doing?
- What do you think of when you hear the word dreamers?
This book is about finding the courage to connect with people when you feel scared.
- Have you ever walked into a room where no one was quite like you?
- How did this make you feel?
On Saturdays, a young girl visits her grandparents who have a European-American background. On Saturdays, she visits her abuelita and abuelito who are Mexican-American. She details what she does with each grandparent while visiting.
- Why do you think the little girl did different things with her grandparents?
This book details the achievements of the late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
- What is something you said no to because you knew it was wrong?
For additional activities related to Debbie Levy's book visit the following worksheet.
This book is about the artist Frida Kahlo and her pets that inspired her.
- What inspires you?
This story is about a child from the United States who visits her grandmother in Palestine and finds that love transcends language barriers, time zones, and national borders.
- How can you see people for who they are as individuals like how Mona sees her grandmother as separate from what she sees on the news?
- What can you do to fight for Palestinians and Palestinian justice?
For more activities related to this video, view our worksheet!
This book is about a girl and her family visiting her grandmother at the Mexican border. She has to figure out how to give her grandmother her Christmas presents because they do not fit through the fence.
- Have you ever been away from someone for Christmas?
For more activities related to this book visit this sheet.
Tiny prefers not to tell people if they are a boy or a girl. When Tiny starts a new school, they start getting questioned about their gender identity.
- How are girls and boys different?
- Does it matter if Tiny is a boy or a girl?
- What would you ask Tiny if you met them?
Lulu's Dad tells her that she is going to change her name to Rachel. Lulu is worried that Santa will not find out about her name change in time to fix the tags on Rachel's presents. Lulu and her friend go on an adventure to find Santa to let him know about her Dad's new name.
- Do you ever give presents to your friends and family?
- Do you ever make them presents?
- How do you feel when they open the presents you got them?
It is Christmas Eve and Maria is making tamales with her mother. Maria decides to put her mother’s ring on while she is making the tamales. She ends up losing the ring and asks her cousins to help her eat all of the tamales in order to find the ring.
- What lesson did Maria learn in this story?
For additional resources visit this worksheet.
Read along with OEP! While you follow along ask yourself the following:
- Which season is your favorite?
- What activities do you and your family do during that season?
- Why are those activities special to you?
For additional resources related to Messinger's book visit the link here.
Juno and his grandmother write letters to each other in order to keep in touch. Juno’s grandmother lives in a different country and writes in a different language that Juno does not understand. They overcome this language barrier by drawing pictures in their letters.
- Do you have someone that you would like to send a letter to?
For additional resources and activities related to this book, visit this link.
A biracial girl named Simone embarks on a journey to find her own color.
- What is your color word?
For additional resources and activities related to this book, visit this link.
This book is based on the story of Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel into space.
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What kind of dreams do you have for the future?
- Do you ever draw pictures of what you want to be and put it on your wall?
This book was inspired by Misty Copeland’s experience as a young girl in ballet. On Misty’s first day of ballet class, she learns about the ballet Coppélia and decides to try out for the role of Swanilda. Misty and her classmates work together to put on a show to remember.
- How did Misty’s classmates help her achieve her goal?
- Why is it important to work together?
This story encourages children to embrace the unique characteristics God gave them.
A young girl asks her father about the meaning behind her name.
- What are some things you family has told you about your history?
- Why is it important to you to know about your history?
This book is about Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who overcame racism to become one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the 1800s.
- Have you had anything in your life that has captured your imagination?
This books is based on the childhood of Marcenia Lyle Alberga, the first African American woman to play for an all-male professional baseball team.
- What sports do you like to play?
Following the Raising Race-Conscious Kids webinar series this summer, I began to look for more books about race-consciousness and antiracism. I came across a book called Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. I found the book to be very informative and later discovered that Marie Benner-Rhoades, OEP’s Youth and Young Adult Director, and Laura Hay, the Youth and Young Adult Intern, had also read the young adult edition of the book. For the Read Aloud Project and blog series, I have mostly been focusing on picture books and other resources for younger children (pre K-5). So, I wanted to create a book list for middle school and high school children. Here are five books about antiracism for young adults:
Stamped: Racism. Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
“The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited. Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.”Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For December, the project highlighted books about Christmas. In January, books about new beginnings will be read. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in December:
Hey, Wall: A Story of Art and Community by Susan Verde
Summary: “There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone.”
Reflective Question: Is there something in your community that you can work on to make beautiful?Read more
Priscilla Weddle published The Read Aloud Project's Most Viewed Videos of 2020 in Blog 2020-12-16 14:01:02 -0500
The Read Aloud Project has been going on since March of 2020. As of December 16, there have been 75 read aloud videos posted on On Earth Peace’s Facebook page. I went through the videos to see which ones had the most views. Our top five videos had a combined total of over 2,000 views. Here were the project’s most viewed videos in 2020:
1. Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima
Total views on Facebook: 534
Summary: “Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, to the supermarket, and most importantly, to her super-special dress-up birthday party. Her dads have decorated everything for the party and Harriet has her most favorite costume all picked out for the big day. There’s just one thing missing—party hats! But when Harriet dons her special penguin errand-running costume and sets out to find the perfect ones, she finds something else instead—real penguins! Harriet gets carried away with the flock. She may look like a penguin, but she’s not so sure she belongs in the arctic. Can Harriet manage her way back to her dads (and the party hats!) in time for her special day?”
Reflective Question: Have you ever gotten carried away?
YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBQHNXbN9M&list=PLF8eTiKnYWzyfmdio08rh1bnDcGDHaXsQ&index=19Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Multicultural Children's Books About Christmas in Blog 2020-12-09 11:33:10 -0500
Reading holiday books on Christmas Eve was always a tradition that I enjoyed growing up. With Christmas right around the corner, I wanted to make a list of Christmas books that had characters from different backgrounds. Hopefully, this list will give people ideas on what books to read or buy next for the children in their lives. Here is the list:
Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano
"It’s Christmas Eve and Mami has bought a delicious roast for a Christmas feast. But, oh no! It’s too big to fit in the oven. Jose and Papa need to find an oven big enough to cook Mami’s roast. As they walk from door to door through their apartment building, no one seems to be in the Christmas spirit. So they head down the street to find someone willing to help, and only when they do, lo and behold, the scent—the magical smell—of dinner begins to spread, and holiday cheer manifests in ways most unexpected."Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For November, the project highlighted books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. In December, holiday books will be read for the project. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in November:
Today On Election Day by Catherine Stier, Illustrated by David Leonard
Summary: “The school gym is a polling place and Bailey, Ren, David, Meg, Aiden, and Isabella know all about Election Day and voting! Bailey helped her Aunt Julia run for a seat on the city council. Aiden goes with his grandpa to vote. David’s brother Jake will be voting for the first time. Meg talks about how years ago, some citizens were not permitted to vote. A perfect picture book for future voters of America, Today on Election Day will simultaneously entertain and educate.”
Reflective Question: What are some qualities you look for in candidates?
Worksheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JJbgDKqK9U_wEWikEFJMDvNHMvPD9sqYXKI9ypQfIN4/edit?usp=sharingRead more
On November 12th, I attended a webinar hosted by Lee & Low Books about contemporary Native American children’s literature and educational resources. The guest speakers were Traci Sorell, author of Indian No More, and Carla Messinger, author of When the Shadbush Blooms. For the first part of the webinar, Sorell and Messinger talked about the meaning behind their books. Sorell’s book Indian No More is based on a true story about a 10 year old Umpqua girl and her family being forced to relocate to a different reservation after their tribal rights are terminated in the 1950s. Messinger’s book When the Shadbush Blooms discusses the past and present lives of the Lenape people. When discussing the importance of her book, Messinger provided a shocking statistic showing how 40 percent of Americans think that Native Americans do not exist or are extinct. For this very reason, Sorell and Messinger believe it is important to read children’s books that highlight the present lives of Native people.Read more
Written by Tamera Shaw and Priscilla Weddle
Overview of Symposium
Priscilla Weddle, the Children’s Peace Formation Organizer, and Tamera Shaw, one of the Racial Justice Organizers, attended the The White Symposium Iowa 2020 this year. It was held on November 6-7 via Zoom. The symposium was founded and is owned by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr; it centers on antiracism, equity, liberation, and justice. This year, there were 30 engaging workshops offered and four keynotes: Bettina Love, Wade Antonio-Colwell and Benjie Howard, Jane K. Fernandez, and Jennifer Harvey. Earlier this year, Priscilla and Tamera led a Raising Race Conscious Kids Webinar with Grace Cook-Huffman, Racial Justice Organizer, and Laura Hay, Youth and Young Adult Organizer that was based off of Jennifer Harvey’s Raising White Kids. They were both excited to hear her speak during this symposium.Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Documentaries & Docuseries About Peace, Courage, & Justice in Blog 2020-11-11 20:55:15 -0500
For this blog series, I have been focusing on the importance of books in developing children’s peace skills. However, movies and tv shows can also play a significant role in teaching children skills. I wanted to create a list of documentaries and docuseries that both children and adults would enjoy watching. The documentaries and docuseries I chose are about peace, courage and justice. Here are my recommendations:Read more
On October 22nd, I attended an Embrace Race webinar called “Using Books to Engage Young Children in Talk about Race and Justice.” Savitha Moorthy, Sara Rizik-Baer, and Aija Simmons of Tandem Bay Area were the guest speakers. Tandem is a nonprofit organization that has a mission of “engaging the whole community to ensure all families have the resources, skills, and confidence they need to support their children’s kindergarten readiness” (Tandem, 2019). Moorthy, Rizik-Baer, and Simmons were invited to speak by Embrace Race to talk about their new StoryCycles program. The StoryCycles program “provides families with the access they need to high-quality children’s books and also provides information to parents and educators on how to make the most of each book-sharing opportunity” (Tandem, 2019).Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For October, the project highlighted books about peace skills and Hispanic culture. In November, the project will highlight books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in October:
Mama’s Nightingale:A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat, Illustrated by Leslie Staub
Summary: “After Saya’s mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother’s warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she is in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother’s tales and her father’s attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good.”
Reflective Question: If you have any friends or family who are immigrants, what are some ways you can support them? How can you be a friend and support immigrants in your community?Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Children's Books About the Birmingham Campaign in Blog 2020-10-22 10:03:48 -0400
In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference began their campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham was viewed as one of the most segregated cities in the country and demonstrations were outlawed. King would later be arrested for being involved in a non-violent demonstration, which led him to write “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” The story of King’s arrest and letter is well-known, however, many may not know about the vital role children played in the Birmingham Campaign. Thousands of children joined the Children’s Crusade to protest segregation and were met with force by Birmingham’s police force. Even though they were being attacked, the children continued to march. Many children ended up being arrested and stories of their march made headlines around the country. Their courageous actions pushed officials in Birmingham to meet with civil rights leaders and desegregate the city. I wanted to create a list of books about the Children's Crusade to show children that they can be actively engaged in social justice and make a difference in the world. Here is the list:
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il! Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Children's Halloween Books About Courage and Friendship in Blog 2020-10-16 13:06:20 -0400
Halloween is right around the corner! Even though it is going to be different this year without trick or treating, there are still several things you can do to make Halloween fun for kids including reading a book. I decided to create a list of Halloween books that were not too scary so any kid would enjoy reading or listening to them. Also, I chose books with themes about friendship and courage. Here is the list:
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
This book is about facing your fears. A little old lady leaves her house for a walk in the forest, finding herself far from home as night falls. She encounters articles of clothing who start following her, but she refuses to let them frighten her. When the little old lady runs into a Jack-O-Lantern, she hurries home. The articles of clothing and Jack-O-Lantern show up at her home and the little old lady has a bright idea.Read more
I recently attended a webinar about climate change and how the pandemic has impacted relief efforts. In the webinar, the wildfires happening on the West Coast were discussed and I learned how damaging they have been. So, I decided to make a list of children’s books about climate change to introduce children to the topic and provide information on what they can do to help. Here is the list of books:
The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori
“The world is populated by some beastly dragons who care nothing for how much they mess up the oceans, chop down the trees, gobble up all the food and use everything up without stopping to think. Those dragons need to wake up to what they are doing to their world before it is too late. A delightful and energy-filled picture book that addresses concerns about the environment in the most child-centric and delightful way possible.”Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For September, the project highlighted books about peace skills and Hispanic culture. We will continue to read children’s books about these topics through October. In November, the project will highlight books about Native American culture to celebrate Native American Heritage Month as well as books about voting and elections. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in September:
Elephant & Piggie: Should I Share My Ice Cream? By Mo Willems
Summary: Gerald buys ice cream one day and wonders if he should share it with his best friend Piggie. He goes back and forth on whether he should share his ice cream until he decides to share with Piggie. But, by the time Gerald comes to this decision, the ice cream has melted. He is very sad. Piggie shows up with ice cream and shares it with Gerald to make him feel better.
Reflective Question: How does sharing with your friends make you feel?Read more
Priscilla Weddle published Children's Books About Voting and Elections in Blog 2020-09-16 20:49:27 -0400
With the 2020 presidential election coming up, I wanted to create a list of children’s books about voting and elections to help answer questions children might have about it. I picked out books that highlighted the election process and addressed the history of voting rights in the U.S. Here is the list of books:
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery.Read more