I'm working on what I can do in my own community, but I wanted to work to elevate black voices in my sessions this week, in ways that might help my students process current events and also be goal-oriented. A conversation about race is about many things, but partly thoughts and perspectives and experiences, all wrapped up in narrative language. Experiences start with the landscape of action (Bruner, 1986) or ability to describe actions in the story as well as character and setting, but relate to the higher level landscape of consciousness/theory of mind ability to describe thoughts, feelings, plans and perspectives related to these events. Cognitive verbs such as think, know, remember, realize, guess also often form complex sentences as in I thought I should do something to help.
For a group of 4th-5th graders this week I read from Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes And Friendship available on Epic! Books, reviewed here by Kirkus Reviews. The poems have a white and black student each reflect on planned topics for a poetry project, in the process sharing stories and embedded "thoughts" that often require some inferencing. I read the book in part and then made it available in the students' free remote access library available through Epic! As a post-activity we completed a discussion web of sorts with the students' contributing their understanding of some of the characters' thoughts as extracted from the narratives. The thought bubble visual is from Story Grammar Marker® and available in their downloadable icon products. (Note: Author has a contractual consultative relationship with Mindwing Concepts for provision of blog and presentation content, but receives not royalties should you buy their products) Typable thought bubbles as always are available through Google Slides in the shapes>callouts menu.
I was happy to see that this book was included in Epic!'s Start a Conversation about Race collection- if you are looking for material over this time.
And to make my feelings absolutely clear, #blacklivesmatter, this week and every week.