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In her 2020 novel, Erin Entrada Kelly’s We Dream of Space, takes readers on a journey of discovery, growth, and self-love. With its themes of identity, family, and belonging, this story provides an ideal opportunity for teachers to explore and discuss these issues with their students. Here are some tips on teaching We Dream of Space in the classroom.
Understanding Concepts Through Discussion and Writing Activities
Erin Entrada Kelly’s We Dream of Space offers educators the opportunity to explore several important concepts that are essential for any student’s development. By engaging in conversations about the book’s themes (including identity, family dynamics, resilience), teachers can help students process and understand complex ideas.
Writing activities can also be beneficial. For example, after reading an excerpt from the book or watching a related video clip/interview with author Erin Entrada Kelly, have your students write a response to a prompt such as “What did you learn from this passage/clip?” or “How do you think the characters might have felt?” This encourages creative thinking and reflection on the content in a more meaningful way.
Exploring Characters Through Creative Projects
We Dream of Space is full of diverse characters with unique personalities and perspectives. To get students thinking about what makes these characters tick, try assigning creative projects based on them! For example, have your students create a visual representation (such as a collage) that represents one character or craft a poem or song inspired by another character’s story arc. Not only will this foster an appreciation for literature but it will also encourage them to reflect on how their own experiences shape their understanding of different characters’ stories.
Developing Critical Thinking Skills
Erin Entrada Kelly’s We Dream of Space provides ample opportunities for teaching students how to think critically about a text. Through activities like group discussions, Socratic seminars, and written assignments, you can help your students learn how to analyze characters’ motivations and recognize narrative patterns. These activities will not only help them better understand Erin Entrada Kelly’s work but will also help them develop critical thinking skills that they can apply across all areas of study.
Encouraging Empathy and Inclusivity
The characters in We Dream of Space come from diverse backgrounds and experiences—from low-income families to wealthy households—and each has something unique to contribute throughout the story. Asking your students questions about why certain characters behave in certain ways or why certain events unfold as they do will help them become more aware of others’ perspectives and foster empathy for one another. Furthermore, exploring issues such as poverty, privilege inequality, racism through this book is a great way to encourage inclusion and understanding amongst your students.
Interactive Reading Activities
This book lends itself well to interactive reading activities such as literature circles or making predictions together as a class. These activities allow students to interact with the text in meaningful ways while providing them an opportunity to work on their social skills. The conversations that come out of these activities often provide teachers with insight into how students interpret the text and how they view different characters and plot points. Students can also be encouraged to take notes on their reading so they can refer back to them during subsequent lessons.
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Have your students explore various themes from the book by having them write about topics such as self-discovery and resilience. For example, ask your students to write about a time when someone overcame adversity despite all odds or what it takes to be an effective leader. When writing assignments are integrated into a larger lesson plan, it gives students an opportunity to reflect on the deeper meanings of the book while practicing important writing skills such as organizing thoughts, developing arguments, and incorporating evidence from the text.
Classroom discussions are another great way for teachers to engage students with this text. Bring up topics such as bullying, friendship, identity, etc., and see what insights your students have based on what they read in “We Dream of Space”. Encourage everyone in the class to participate by discussing their opinions with respect and civility. Listening is just as important as speaking; make sure everyone has an equal chance at expressing their thoughts without fear of being judged or ridiculed by others in the classroom.
Reading Erin Entrada Kelly’s We Dream of Space with your class is an excellent way to explore important topics like identity, family dynamics and resilience while encouraging creativity through projects such as writing activities or visual representations. It’s sure to leave both teachers and students with something valuable to take away – whether it be knowledge about these important concepts or simply the feeling that they are part of something bigger than themselves! No matter what though – it will be an experience worth having!