The Red Pencil
The Red Pencil
The Power of the Pencil. In The Red Pencil, reading and writing gives Amira a voice. She is able to communicate her ideas and participate in the world in new ways. Pair your students’ reading of The Red Pencil with a viewing of the United Nations speech by Malala Yousafzai following her attack on her school bus ride. Support students to make connections between Amira and Malala’s life circumstances and the ways that reading and writing changes their lives. Consider with students the issues of power and fear that are associated with girls and literacy both in the novel and in various regions of the world. In what ways are Muma’s fears about her daughter’s literacy development surprising to us? How can we come to better understand her position? In what ways is a pencil a powerful weapon for social change?
The Horn Book: Profile of Andrea Davis Pinkney
About Katie Cunningham
Katie is a Professor of Literacy and English Education at Manhattanville College. There she is also the Director of the Advanced Certificate Program in Social and Emotional Learning and Whole Child Education. Her work focuses on children’s literature, joyful literacy methods, and literacy leadership. Katie is the author of Story: Still the Heart of Literacy Learning and co-author of Literacy Leadership in Changing Schools. Her book Start with Joy: Designing Literacy Learning for Student Happiness will be released September 2019. She is passionate about the power of stories to transform lives.
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