February 28, 2011

The author’s and illustrator’s notes add a deeper meaning to the beautifully crafted text.  Nikki Giovanni and Bryan Collier share their passions for Rosa Parks.  I can hear their voices.  Bryan Collier stated that the heat was his first noticing when visiting Alabama.  Thus, in his paintings, you will observe “a yellow, sometimes dark, hue.  I wanted the reader to feel in that heat a foreshadowing….

When I was younger, I just knew that Rosa Parks was famous for not moving from her seat in the bus.  But there is much more to the story.  Rosa had been part of the civil rights movement.  She had been at work and heading home, thinking about supper like most wives.  She had trouble on the bus before and this one time, she decided she would take a stand.  Although life was hard, the unity that her one act created was amazing.

The narrative brings Rosa Parks alive.  When I read it to a class, they had more questions and felt an emotional tug.  The kids connected to the message being shared by Nikki Giovanni.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Rosa:

  • Voice – sense of passion and belief
  • Biography – summarizing crucial points
  • Internal Thinking – “She sighed as she realized she was tired…. Tired of ‘separate’ and definitely tired of ‘not equal‘.
  • Repetition of a word – major emphasis
  • One sentence paragraphs – “Mrs. Parks sat.”