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The Impact Of Picture Books
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The impact that the picture books made on my students became even more apparent when the students began reading and discussing Things Fall Apart. The picture books helped the students contextualize vocabulary and cultural traditions and therefore helped shape class discussions around cultural ideas rather than solely around a literary analysis of the text.
Our classroom novel discussions were all student-led. During five of the six novel discussions we had about Things Fall Apart, students referred to the picture books to help a classmate understand an element of Breitling Replica the novel that he or she had a question or comment about. On average, students referenced the picture books twice during each of these discussions. Most of the time, when one student raised a question that could be answered by something from a picture book, a student who had read that picture book would offer the information and show the relevant pages to the class. The picture books remained in the classroom, on display on a bookshelf, so students had easy access to them throughout the discussions. The students used these picture books naturally as additional resources, like the dictionary and the Internet that were occasionally also consulted during class discussions for needed information.
For example, during the first novel discussion, students used the picture books to help them understand both the kola ceremony and the relationship between two characters who participate in the ceremony. This ceremony takes place between two men, Okoye and Unoka, in the first chapter of Things Fall Apart. One of the students that day asked why these men were breaking the kola nut. A student who had read the picture book Here Comes Our Bride! An African Wedding Ceremony grabbed the picture book, read aloud that kola nuts "represent friendship, harmony and peace between people" (Onyefulu), and passed the book around for the other students to see. This informational passage about the kola nut includes a close-up picture of a bowl of kola nuts and pictures of Igbo men sitting in a living room, breaking the nuts and passing them around to their friends to share. The students then used this information to clarify a misunderstanding that some of them had about the relationship between Okoye and Unoka. These two men argue over who should break the kola nut.
Some of the students understood this argument to mean that these two men dislike each other; however, after reading the additional information from Here Comes Our Bride, the students decided that the tone of the Omega Seamaster Replica Watches argument is friendly. They also compared the breaking of the kola nut to their own customs, such as offering friends something to drink when they visit. In a similar manner, the students consulted the picture books to increase their understanding of African markets, women's rights, yams, weddings, masks, Mmo, and medicine.
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