Brain Pickings, one of my favorite places to find interesting things to read and think about, introduces a children’s book called “Friend or Foe?”
It’s an allegory with a not-so-hidden message about “otherness” — how we see people who are different, as enemies or friends. This Brain Pickings post is also a great example of how you can introduce a book to your classmates: with lots of pictures and selective quotes. Like this:
Whether or not you add a SPOILER ALERT (in this case, what the answer to the “Friend or Foe?” question is, which is NOT revealed in this post), is up to you.
Writing prompt: After reading the description of the story, what do you think the answer to the question is?
1000 Awesome Things is a list by Neil Pasricha dedicated to “the simple universal pleasures that we all love but we just don’t talk about enough.” (Quoted from his TED Talk — here’s the transcript) Practice your reading and listening comprehension and getting inspired to make your own list.
Watch his TED Talk:
A sample from the 1000 Awesome Things:
#967 Illegal naps
#122 Using nature as a fridge
#194 When insects are struggling to do something and you help them
#912 Hanging your hand out the window of a car
I ran across a blog called Books That Heal Kids, was intrigued by the title and think that even though most of my students are not “kids” anymore, you can still learn a lot from — and be healed by — books meant for kids. And if those books are written in English, that’s ‘two birds with one stone’.
The blog is a collection of book reviews and recommendations by an elementary school counselor, who focuses on “bibliotherapy” — using the power of books to heal.
A video introducing a book in the “Making Mistakes” section:
Found this on Reddit. It’s called “The Joy of Reading”:
Here’s a recording of A.A. Milne reading from a Winnie-the-Pooh story:
You can hear some famous British actors read the same section (I recognized Judi Dench’s voice right away):
And you can read along here — with an added bonus for people studying Spanish, Portuguese, Russian or Turkish.