Our January 2021 theme is Rise Up as our theme and our picturebook of the month is Freedom we Sing written by Amyra León, illustrated by Molly Mendoza and published by Flying Eye Books in 2020. This book has been endorsed by Amnesty International for reminding us that we are all born free and equal.
Looking at the international days which take place in January such as World Braille Day (4.01), National Human Trafficking Awareness Day (11.01), International Day of Education (24.01), World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture (24.01) and the Holocaust Remembrance Day (27.01), we felt our theme and this book was a fitting choice.
Picturebook as object
Front Cover: Explain that Amyra asked Molly to draw fowers especially Lilies in the picturebook in memory of her mother. Can the children see lilies on the front cover?
Back cover: Read the blurb: what is freedom? Is it a place? Ist it a thought? Can it be stolen? Can it be bought? Use these questions as prompts for thinking about freedom. Point out the picturebook is a poem.
Endpapers: Front and back are the same… bright and psychedelic. Can they see the lily in the front endpapers?
Dedication: The creators thank each other – can be used as a prompt to highlight the importance of working together and collaborating on projects
Title page: Could the illustration here be the photograph the mother and child are looking at in the first opening?
In this video I ask student teachers to consider a number or words and colours and carry out some research before actually reading the book.
Civic literacy: Defining and discussing the concept of freedom based on questions from the poem: Is it …? Can it …?
Identifying which children’s rights are connected with the concept of freedom.
Literary literacy: Identifying rhyming words.
Considering the effect of the refrain: Inhale. Exhale.
Noticing punctuation in the poem.
Performing the poem.
Visual and emotional literacy: Identifying and reading emotions – happiness, peace, hope, reflection, wonder, determination.