This time I need to thank all my fellow media specialists here in Coweta County who sent me biographies of Frederick Douglass to look over. At this point, of course, most of them are not even close to being readable by third graders.
The best so far is A picture book of Frederick Douglass, by David A. Adler (Holiday House), but even so it omits some key elements of Douglass’s life that we would need to have included. I’m waiting for one final biography that I ordered online that claims to have a reading level of 2nd-3rd grade. We’ll see.
I’m also obliged to Loren Hawkins, my 3rd grade partner in crime, for loaning me basal readers and the accompanying workbooks. I want to get some clearer idea, having been a high school English teacher in my dark past, of what would be needed in a three-week period in a 3rd grade language arts scenario.
Besides the obvious reasons for doing so (e.g., I have no clear picture of elementary language arts, never having taught it), we need to make sure that what we’re proposing isa), not so different that it would scare teachers who are more comfortable with their worksheets, and b), would cover the same necessary skills, albeit in a more integrated manner than is currently the case.