Shortly after Dreamers by Yuyi Morales was published I read it and fell in love. I knew this was a book I HAD to share with my students. The powerful story and exquisite drawings would work for all grades. I definitely saw this as a book for our Mock Caldecott. This would be a book that all could enjoy and many could relate to. I have a very diverse school and our students come from many different countries. I read it and put it aside while I contemplated how I would use this book in our library.
I flew to the United Arab Emirates to present with librarian Todd Burleson, at the ALA conference in conjunction with the Sharjah International Book Fair. When I landed, I met Todd and Lego Travel Buddy (LTB) at the airport and our adventures began.
On Day 1, we read Dreamers and wrote where we were from on large pieces of paper (graffiti style). I told students that we were celebrating where we were from - near and far.
I found some students frustrated with the lack of options of pictures from their country using Pics4Learning, but we were able to find an image for almost everyone using these copyright-friendly images.
I was concerned about how I was going to get everyone successfully using the green screen app, but I worked with a small group of students and then sent them out to teach the others and they were fantastic leaders and teachers.
This felt just-right on several fronts. We read a beautiful book, poured over the artwork, connected to our own lives, and used technology to create an original celebratory piece to share with others. This was a beautiful celebration, inspired by Todd Burleson and Ali Schlipp. I took a virtual spin on an idea, and used it to celebrate my students’ heritage. This experience was yet another reminder of how sharing experiences in our libraries can impact others. My teaching world is a better place because of the connections I have made. Teach, share, and connect - we are stronger together!