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Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold began writing children's literature in 1991. Her first book, Tar Beach won the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrations, and was named a 1992 Caldecott Honor Book. She is an interesting author to study because her style is very unique. Combining her talents in painting, quilt making, and storytelling to create her books sets her apart. As an African-American artist she attempts to break through traditional stereotypes. It is not unusual to meet an African-American with red hair and green eyes in her stories. In today's multicultural society, Ms. Ringgold's work proves timely and carries an important message to our children - "We don't all have to be alike, and that for people to be different is wonderful and fine." Through the study of her work, we can convey a message of acceptance and tolerance in our multicultural classroom. Each child in our class, though different, can represent a square in our life quilt. Alone, they are just a piece, but together they can make a beautiful story.
 
 NEW BOOKS BY FAITH RINGGOLD:

IF A BUS COULD TALK:THE STORY OF ROSA PARKS

From Kirkus Reviews
Ringgold's biography of Rosa Parks packs substantial material into a few pages, but with a light touch, and with the ring of authenticity that gives her act of  weary resistance all the respect it deserves. Narrating the book is the bus that Parks took that morning 45 years ago; it recounts the signal events in Parks' life to a young girl who boarded it to go to school.

INVISIBLE PRINCESS:

BRAND NEW - Amazon says, "This original African-American fairy tale set during the time of slavery is sure to be treasured for years to come. Beautiful, astonishing."

BEGINNING THE STUDY:
 
 
A. Introduce Faith Ringgold-
 
 
Make a poster - including picture and information about her life.
 
 B. Read aloud from
Talking to Faith Ringgold
 
 
Share this interactive autobiography and complete several of the activities listed after each chapter.
 
 C. Activities developed to build background and introduce author to students.-
 
 Discuss her childhood in Harlem. Watch the video
Faith Ringgold:Paints Crown Heights (1995).
 
 
Activity - Write a brief autobiography describing yourself.
 
 -Quilt-making
 Activity - Discuss how Faith writes her books based on the story quilts she has made. We will do the  same thing as a class.
 
 THE BOOKS:

TAR BEACH

Cassie Lightfoot, an African-American girl growing up in Harlem in the 1930s has a dream, to be free to go wherever she wants for the rest of her life. One night, up on "Tar Beach", her dreams come true.

Read the book aloud.
 
 Activities:
 
 
Compare and contrast Cassie's life on Tar Beach in the city, with your life. How does Cassie try to make her dreams come true?
 
 Do you have a memory of something that happened to you when you were younger? Draw or describe what happened.

AUNT HARRIET'S UNDERGROUND RAILROAD IN THE SKY

In this sequel to Tar Beach, Faith Ringgold brings the Underground Railroad to life for young readers through the eyes of Cassie Lightfoot and her brother BeBe. This book provides the opportunity to discuss slavery and the importance of Harriet Tubman's part in the long journey from slavery to freedom.

Read aloud the book.
 
 Activities:
 
 
Use activity outlined in back of book to create a class freedom railroad. Each child writes on a boxcar what freedom means to them.
 
 Research information on Harriet Tubman's life

DINNER AT AUNT CONNIE'S HOUSE

The author, through family closeness, shares factual information about famous African-American women. From their frames on the wall, 12 famous African-American women tell the stories of their  accomplishments.

Read aloud the book.
 
 Activities:
 
Respond - Of all the women you met at Aunt Connie's house, who was your favorite? Why?
 
 Add another picture to Aunt Connie's wall. Draw the person's  portrait in a picture frame. Tell about that person and why you chose them. What would they say to Cassie?

MY DREAM OF MARTIN LUTHER KING

This book provides a wonderful introduction to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his life through the author's dream. The dream includes scenes from his childhood and major event of his life. BEAUTIFUL.

Read aloud the book.
 
 Activities:
 
 
Respond - What was Martin Luther King's dream?
 
 Do you have a dream? Write your dream and illustrate it for a page in our class book of dreams.
 
 
 CONCLUDING THE STUDY:
 
 
1. Discuss common thread in books -
 
 Author draws upon family tradition, autobiography, and history to portray inspiring African-American heroines.
 
 2. Show video of Tar Beach, and/or Faith Ringgold:The Last Story Quilt.
 
 3. Poll the students and make a bar graph illustrating their favorite book.
 
 4. Write a letter to the author expressing class opinions and ideas about the books they have read.
 
 5. Make a class story quilt and create a book from that quilt.
 
 6. Author's tea/luncheon. Display quilt and book, and serve samples of food mentioned in stories. Set up room to look like a tar beach by bringing beach towels, and/or chairs.
 
 7. If at all possible, take a class trip to see the amazing quilts that Faith Ringgold has on display in various museums.

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