“A good plan always starts with an idea and a pencil.” So begins a story Jason H. wrote for his three children during a Connections book discussion series on the theme of imagination. Participants read a simple children’s picture book and then wrote a corresponding story. Jason continues, “You’re going to want to write it down if it’s a fantastic idea worth remembering. May has decided she wants to fly to the planet Saturn using her mom’s old airplane.

What can poetry offer adults from all over the world who are just beginning to write in English? Carol Birch's ESOL students at the Dover Adult Learning Center were about to find out. During their four-part Connections book discussion series on Food, Family and Friendships, the class read How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina Freidman and illustrated by Allen Say.

At MindsEye Designs art studio in Dover a small group of student artists sat around a paint-splattered table, discussing the life and work of Georgia O’Keefe. They were about to read Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O’Keefe Painted What She Pleased by Amy Novesky and Yuyi Morales. This wonderfully-accessible book, with its simple narrative and striking illustrations, tells the story of the artist’s seminal trip to Hawaii. 

by Susan Bartlett, Connections Program Coordinator

Children’s literature is full of heroes. And for good reason: young children live in the imaginative world of who they will become, taking example from the strongest model at hand. But what role does the hero play for adult learners, especially those who are challenged by immigration, poverty or incarceration? Do the heroic subjects of children’s literature convey meaningful messages for these readers, as well?

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