Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I Be

I love integrating character education into the curriculum.  I think that having good character is one of the most important things we can teach our students.  This lesson combines five of my greatest loves... childrens books + Michael Franti's music + character education+ creative writing + art!!!  This super cute story is one of Michael Franti's songs turned into a childrens book.  If you don't know about Michael Franti today is your lucky day!  He has been such an inspiration to me since I first saw him in concert in 2003.  I have seen him six times in concert in three different states and he always puts on an ROCKIN' show!  I even got to meet him in 2007 :)  He recently performed at NAACP awards and on Jay Leno!   

(This is me and my cute husband at Solar Festival in Taos, New Mexico last summer.)

 (This is Michael Franti at the end of the show when he calls all of the kids on stage.)
Go to to learn more about Michael Franti and Spearhead.

 This book has BEAUTIFUL illustrations and very creative music.  It comes with a CD too!  The song is the words in the book so you can play the CD right along as you look at the book.  The music is a combination of Michael Franti, Youssoupha Sidibe who does vocals and plays the Kora a traditional West African Harp, and Ade Franti-Rye Michael's son.  It is also great to have in a center!!  My students LOVE it, they dance and sing a long as they listen and read it!!!

Click on the picture above for the link to purchase this book.

Here is a peek at the book...

This is from the back of the book:  What I Be, is a visual and musical journey about self acceptance.  It's okay to be just who you are and strive to be the best you can be, by embodying the most inspiring characteristic of nature.  Be as radiant as the sun, as healing as the rain or as generous as a tree.  

(For upper grades this book would be a great example for metaphors.) 

In the back of the book there is this page for students to do some creative writing, I have each student create their own part of the book.

Then they get to illustrate their page.  Here are some student examples:

"If I could be a deer I would dance and make people happy!"

 "If I could be a tree I would grow food for the whole world!"

 "If I could be a slide I would be so, so, so slippery.  So the kids can have fun!"

 "If I could be fishes, I would set earths peace by being glimmery and shiny!"
 "If I could be a tree I would grow a house!"

 "If I could be a lion I would save people from a robber!"

 "If I could be the dirt I would let people grow trees in me!"

"If I could be a butterfly I would fly so high in the sky!"

1 comment:

Sarah Boston said...

This is a super cute idea! I love this song.. and can't wait to get the book and do this lesson with my students! :)