Amazing Grace – An Amazing Read!

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It’s time for Book Talk Tuesday again!  I skipped last week because I was crazy busy with a giant project, but I’m happy to be back on track, sharing my favorite books with you!

This week, I’m writing about one of my all-time favorite picture books.  It’s called Amazing Grace, and it’s by Mary Hoffman.


This book is about a little girl who wants to be Peter Pan in her class play.  The other kids tell her that she can’t be, because she is a girl, and because she is black.  Grace’s grandmother takes her to a ballet so that she can watch a black dancer perform, and Grace realizes that she can be anything she wants.  After lots of practice, Grace earns the role during tryouts and is the star of the play.  

There’s so much to say about this book!  An Amazing Grace lesson could encompass so many different topics.  The story would be great to use when you are teaching lesson or moral of a story, because the moral is pretty clear.  It’s also great for teaching about character feelings.  You might even be able to use it for character change, because Grace believes in herself much more by the end of the story.

Additionally, I love this book as a mentor text for writing.  The illustrations are beautiful and could be used to teach kids about drawing with detail.  In my second grade writing workshop curriculum, I use this book to teach a few different things.  The beginning of the story describes Grace as a person, so I use it to teach the strategy of beginning a story by describing a character.  I also use it to teach character thoughts and dialogue. 

This book is a must-have for any primary teacher!  Happy reading!

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Alison

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5 years ago

HI Alison – thanks for this book recommendation. My school district just started Lucy Calkins writer’s workshop this past year. I followed your link to the writing curriculum and it looks so awesome it almost (almost) made me wish I was a second grade teacher just so I could use it! But then I remember how much I love teaching my small group ESL kiddos, so instead I will be passing this along to my 2nd grade teacher friends – hopefully they can use it. And I will probably be getting the book for my own classroom library too –… Read more »

Michelle, thanks so much for your sweet comment and for passing along the link! I am in a similar position because I’m now a bilingual reading specialist. I think one of the best things about being a classroom teacher is teaching writing! 🙂 Hope you enjoy the book!!

5 years ago

I agree – I will often push-in to my student’s classes for half of our required minutes and I always push-in for writing.

Shannon
2 years ago

I love this book and so did my class. I am a first year teacher in second grade and I always try to find good picture books into my lessons. Amazing Grace was truly amazing. My students absolutely loved this book. They could really relate to Grace. All of my students are African American so they found it heartwarming to read a story about an African American little girl!

Welcome!

I’m Alison, a literacy specialist and Director of Curriculum and Instruction at my school. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

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