Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grimes

Grimes, N. (2008). Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope. New York: Simon &
        Schuster. Grades K-5.

Award: NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Children's category
Subject Area: Social Studies
Genre: Biography

Summary: This biography is framed around a young African-American boy who asks his single-parent mother to tell him about Barack Obama. Obama's life is then traced from when he was a young boy himself, living in Hawaii. There is mention of his parents divorce during his childhood and the fact that they both remained supportive of Barack and his education as well as his needing to confront racism. Towards the end of the story it is brought back to the frame of the young boy and his mother as he explains to her that he, too, would like to be president some day.

Topics/Themes: Presidency; Racism

Initiating Questions & Activity:
  • Questions: Who can tell me the name of the President of the United States of America? Would anyone like to be the president some day? Who knows what a biography is?
  • Activity: We will discuss President Obama and the election that he fought to win in 2008. For higher level grades, we will review who the first president was and perhaps the president before Obama. We will also discuss what the students think makes a good president for our country.
Culminating & Extending Questions:
  • Questions: What was one thing that you learned about President Obama that you might not have known before we read this book? What is one thing that you would do if you were president? If you could vote, would you vote for President Obama?
  • Activity: To focus a bit more on the fact that the story we read was a biography, we will do an activity in which each student will create their own biography which tells about their life thus far. They can do so with pictures or words and are encouraged to highlight the most important parts of their lives so far.

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