Sunday, February 3, 2008
A. Title: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
B. Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
C. Illustrator: Kadir Nelson
D. Publisher: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2006
E. Genre: Picture Book
F. Age Range: ages 5-8
G. Awards: Caldecott Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Award
H. Summary: In the book Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, Harriet Tubman is born into slavery and aches for freedom. She listens to the guiding voice of God, who leads her to freedom in Philadelphia, PA. In the process of becoming free, Harriet leaves her whole world and family behind in the south. She soon realizes how much she misses her family;Harriet would give her life to have the rest of her family free. She once again lets God guide her to his church doubling as a stop on the underground railroad. With this resource, Harriet returns back to the south and frees her family! Soon she realizes that her calling was to continuously return to the south and free as many slaves as she could. This picture book was written to be Harriet Tubman's spiritual journey of God guiding her to freedom and the freedom of others. The last page of this book has an author's note that tells about the true life of Harriet Tubman.
I. Response: The abolishment of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement are huge parts of our nation's history, and this book does an excellent job of combining excellent illustrations with a well told story. In my opinion, the illustrations are the best things about this book. Of course the story isn't too bad either! The materials used to create the illustrations are not listed in the book, but I love the effect they have. The colors are so rich, and the pictures seem to have an amazing depth to them; almost like what you're reading the book, you're looking into Harriet Tubman's world. I also like how the author took the spiritual journey of Harriet and connected it fully at the end by giving Harriet Tubman's biographical information. The book is written to easily be incorporated into lesson plans dealing with the Civil Rights Movement, slavery, and the life's of the individuals who helped to shape the free nation we live in today.
J. Teaching Ideas: This would be an excellent book to introduce or to incorporate slavory, civil rights, and underground railroad topics. Education World's website has a lesson plan for grades 3-5, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, that includes a internet scavenger hunt and some other activities. The lesson plan's keywords are Underground Railroad, Black History, abolitionist, Harriet Tubman, and slavery. I like this activity because it incorporates the learning of history with advancing computer skills. The bottom of this lesson plan has excellent internet resources including The Internet African American History Challenge, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and National Geographic's The Underground Railroad. The options for incorporating Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom into classroom learning, activities, and projects are pretty broad. The Educator's Reference Desk also has lesson plans dealing with these topics, plus many others. One of those lessons is for the Kindergarten grade level and is called Who Was Harriet Tubman?. This lesson helps younger children start to recognize the issues of slavery and to learn who Harriet Tubman was and how she helped many slaves escape.