Thursday, August 18, 2011

Journal Entry #3 – Tripping along

I’m having a really hard time not getting caught up with journey = travel. Mostly because it fits so well with personal growth, opening one’s horizons, experiencing life in new places, meeting different people, adjusting to new circumstances and maybe taking a few risks. My own personal experiences are feeding into this and are always niggling away in the back of my mind, while I’m looking for resources related to the next ‘big idea’ to be explored at Nellie McClung Elementary School.

And, there are so many good books, both fiction and non-fiction, that could work with this aspect of journey.

Here are just a few examples of what I mean:

Marco Polo by Demi (910.4 DeM 2008 PIC BK)
Our Journey from Tibet by Laurie Dolphin (951.5 DoO 1997)
Shipwrecked!: the true adventures of a Japanese boy by Rhoda Blumberg (952 BlS 2001)
Uncommon traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa by Don Brown (910.9 BrU 2000 PIC BK)
The Wall: growing up behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis (823 Si81ZS PIC BK)
100 Great Journeys: exciting voyages through history and literature edited by Keith Lye (910.202 On 2008)

Home of the brave by Katherine Applegate (823 Ap53H FIC)
Grandfather’s journey & Tea with milk by Allen Say (823 Sa99G PIC BK; 823 Sa99T3 PIC BK)
I Know here by Laurel Croza (823 C8862I PIC BK)
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo (823 M829K FIC)
My name is Sangael by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed (823 W6733M PIC BK)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
The Watson’s go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (823 C941W FIC)
Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin (823 L527W FIC)
Ziba came on a boat by Liz Lofthouse (823 L8275Z PIC BK)

There’s a range of other things going on besides people traveling in these books. Some of these journeys are voyages of discovery and exploration (Mary Kingsley; Grandfather’s journey) whereas others are more happenstance (Shipwrecked!; Kensuke’s kingdom). Some of the journeys are undertaken because of desperate circumstances (Home of the brave; The Wall; Ziba came on a boat). Or sometimes it’s the desire to return home (Tea with milk) and be in the place you feel most at home (I know here) that drives the journey.

These travelers found themselves in situations (voluntary or involuntary) that took them out of their familiar surroundings, making them vulnerable and perhaps allowing them the opportunity to perceive themselves in different ways. Some of the questions the teachers at Nellie McClung School have come up with include those asking about whether a journey ever ends or what compels us to undertake a journey or what is a destination or what happens along the way and how linear does this path have to be. There’s a lot here to ponder and many of the above books will also give you lots to think about.


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