Picking books that interest you is one of the greatest things about homeschooling. Besides Charlotte’s Web, I can’t remember one required book that we read in school that interested me at all. Since I went to an all-white school, there were none that I identified with either. In my house, my daughter’s books are eclectic and all-inclusive purposefully, just like the world.
As 4th grade is winding down, one of our final reads was Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes. Rhythm loved the story.
Hiroshima-born Sadako is lively and athletic–the star of her school’s running team. And then, the dizzy spells start. Soon gravely ill with leukemia, the “atom bomb disease,” Sadako faces her future with spirit and bravery. Recalling a Japanese legend, Sadako sets to work folding paper cranes. For the legend holds that if a sick person folds one thousand cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again. Based on a true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes celebrates the extraordinary courage that made one young woman a heroine in Japan.
This book sparked a few very interesting conversations between us. Just so happens that Israel is bombing Palestine, as she was reading this. She wanted to know how many of the children that were bombed would get leukemia. Very valid question. So, I went to Google, which prompted us to have a whole unit on exactly what leukemia is. Then, she was telling her Grandma (my mother) about it and my mother began to share that her Uncle died from Leukemia as well. Rhythm was mind blown, that fact one of her very own relatives died of the same thing, which brought the story home for her. It was not just something that happened in Japan. She was then excited to share with my mother that she was born the year before Sadako died. Just the fact that she remembered the dates and how old Sadako was, is remarkable. “She was already 21 years old when you were born grandma,” Rhythm said.
I was pleased with her impromptu oral report back to Grandma, so I didn’t make her write a report, but we did go to YouTube to help us with an art project.
I felt it was only right she makes her own paper crane! Thank God for tutorials because I wouldn’t have known where to start! Her Uncle Chris lives in Thailand and he sent her some beautiful oriental inspired paper last year that we made into fans. So, I went and got the kit, and she used the paper to make her very own paper crane!
This was a terrific book with a fun activity to really make the lesson a memorable end of the year activity for my little 4th grader!
Yes, we do homeschool in PJs a lot since Quarantine.