8 Worlds Upside Down
We learn by example how to be good members of society, but what happens when those setting the example fall down on the job? In Ellen Schwartz’s Heart of a Champion, a young boy who’s nuts about baseball finds a way to keep his family’s spirits up amid the inhumane conditions of a Japanese Canadian internment camp. When children mistreat a crow in Roy Henry Vickers’ Peace Dancer, the Chief of the Heavens brings down a ferocious storm, forcing people to abandon their homes. Only once the waters recede do the villagers see that they’ve failed to teach their children the importance of respect for all creatures. Sometimes, when worlds are upside down, we have a chance to learn how to be better people.
- Heart of a Champion, Ellen Schwartz
- Peace Dancer, Roy Henry Vickers
- Identity, Diversity, Human Rights
Both Heart of a Champion and Peace Dancer describe the need for role models. Discuss with students who their role models are, or what a hero is to them. Create a chart as a class with the traits of what defines a ‘hero’ that students have contributed.