Monday, April 22, 2013

42, Baseball, and Reading Workshop

Do you love hearing those words?
I do...

Which is why I had to see the movie 42.
It is a MUST see; baseball fan or not!
Jackie Robinson's story is so inspirational!
His courage to take a stand...
Not just a stand for equal rights of all...
But a stand to not fight back when so many are against you.
To not fight back when you are humiliated, ridiculed, injured.

One of many favorite quotes from the movie was when Branch Rickey called Jackie Robinson into his office to talk to him about being the first African American in the Major Leagues.

The conversation went something along the lines of...

Rickey:  I know you are a good ballplayer.  What I don't know is whether you have the guts.

Jackie Robinson:  Mr. Rickey, do you want a ballplayer who doesn't have the guts to fight back?

Rickey:  I want a ballplayer with the guts enough not to fight back.


Here is the trailer to the movie in case you are interested:

So how does this tie into reading workshop?
Books about baseball and Jackie Robinson are great ways to teach theme, character traits and development, how characters respond to challenges, perspective, historical events, etc.

There are some great books out there about Jackie Robinson as well as many others who had the courage to stand up for what is right.
This message of courage is so important to teach children and can tie into many topics besides racism (bullying, telling the truth, peer pressure, etc.)

One of my many favorite books is Teammates by Peter Golenbock.

This book not only shows Jackie Robinson's courage to take a stand on segregation and racism but also his teammate, "Pee Wee" Reese's courage to do the same.

In "Pee Wee's" hometown, which at that time was not a fan of Branch Rickey's decision to put an African American into the MLB, he was confronted with a difficult decision- Go against the beliefs of his family and community and ridicule and shun Jackie or take a stand for his teammate and do what is right.

Such an AMAZING book with a powerful message for all.

Here are some other books, among many, about Jackie Robinson:

If you are a baseball fan and want to take this one step further, you could also go into the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  In a time when most men were off fighting the war, women were asked to step up and keep alive the love of baseball.  A truly inspirational time in the history of females and their struggles to be treated equally.
Check them out!!

There are so many picture books out there that are excellent ways to inspire children to have courage and stand up for what is right.

What are some of your favorite books that have powerful messages or strong characters that face difficult challenges?
We would love to hear your ideas.

Antoinette :)

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