This Caldecott book paints a portrait of a child who learns differently from his classmates. It also pays tribute to the teacher who understands.
Take your students on a journey to Japan with this award winning book. It demonstrates the importance of respecting an individual's learning styles and strengths. Crow Boy, by T. Yashima is a great book for teachers, parents, and students.
Take time to look closely at the illustrations before reading the story. Have students note differences and similarities in the school and setting. Discuss how it is possible to be the same and different simultaneously. Make a chart of "How We Are Alike" and "How We Are Different."
After reading discuss the plot. Even though Chibi did not like school, by the end of the sixth grade he was honored for having a perfect attendance record. Have the children talk about what is valued in their school. What honors are awarded or behaviors hold value for parents, students, and teachers?
Chibi had difficulty learning in school, but outside of the classroom he learned many things. His gifts were different from the other students'. Have children talk about the things they learn outside of school. Help them understand that they all have unique experiences that let them be unique and special. These are sometimes rewarded by schools and sometimes they are not.
Talk with the students about how Chibi's differences are first seen as being bad or wrong. In the end they are seen as being special. Discuss why it is important to focus on strengths rather than on weaknesses in ourselves and others.