We begin every year in the Lower SchoolLibrary by having Second Grade students read biographies. We talk about what it means when we call a book a “biography” and why people might want to read them. Students learn to read the labels we put on the spines of books that are biographies and how they are organized in the library’s biography section.
More important, Second Graders begin to see what makes a person great. It could be a person who overcomes obstacles to achieve extraordinary success. It could be someone who pursues their passion in the face of discrimination. Sometimes biographies profile people who learned to stand up for themselves. The message is clear—one person, even a child, can make a difference.
During our study of biographies this year, we have read about trombonist Melba Liston, activist Ruby Bridges, and we will soon read about Helen Keller. We also read about Charles Atlas, who believed in being strong on the inside and the outside. Second Graders drew pictures of their strong selves and identified the qualities that make them strong: kind, generous, creative, friendly. We were delighted to share their artwork and strengths with the Lower School in a display outside the Lower School Library.