Theme: MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE can be used to introduce your
students to African-Americans, salt workers, slavery, the life of
Booker T. Washington.
Show the students the cover of the book, read the title, author
and illustrators name. Ask them what they think the book will be
about. Next show the illustration of the newspaper man writing Booker's
name on the sand -- now what do they think the book will be about.
Have the students look at an atlas of the United States. Find the
Kanawha River (hint: West Virginia).
Reading: As you read and show the illustrations have the students look closely
at the drawings. What details can they find in the pictures? Without
reading, first have them look closely at the expressions on Booker's
face. How do they change during the story? Ask the students how
they think Booker is feeling. Don't forget to ask how they think
Booker's mother is feeling when she hands him a book.
Interview: Booker, Papa and John work all day as laborers at a salt mine. Coal
miners, river men, loggers and coppers all gather in town to hear
the newspaper man. Talk with a laborer whose work is physically
demanding. Write their story of how they became day laborer. If
you cannot find a laborer to interview, look up books on the subject.
Geography: Have the students plan a trip to Malden, West Virginia. Ask them
to estimate the miles, how long will it take, what they need to
bring -- food, clothes, entertainment items, books etc. What do
the think they will see along the way -- will the see rivers, mountains,
lakes, deserts, plains, farms, factories, cities etc.
Science: Sweet potatoes and corn cakes are some foods Booker will eat. Discuss farming techniques-- where does the food come from? Where are sweet potatoes
grown? Try growing plants in a variety of ways -- soil, hydroponics
etc. keep a journal of their growth.
In the story
Booker, Papa and John shovels salt all day. What happens when there
is a small cut on their skin? Will the cut hurt when it touches
Social Studies: Spend more time reading about African-American history and explore
the life of Booker T. Washington. Ask the students, why Booker and his brother were
working and not at school? What was Booker T. Washington's accomplishment
when he grew up? He founded what college?
Literature: Read JEREMIAH
LEARNS TO READ by Jo Ellen Bogart, A HUNGER FOR LEARNING by Gwenyth Swain, BOOKER T. WASHINGTON: A MODERN
MOSES by Lois P. Nicholson, MOMMA, WHERE ARE
YOU FROM by Marie Brady. Look for other books by Marie Bradby
and Chris Soentpiet. If you really enjoyed MORE
THAN ANYTHING ELSE write a review and post it on-line at Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com so others can enjoy your reading experience.
Board -- have each student list what they want 'MORE THAN ANYTHING