INTERMEDIATE & MIDDLE SCHOOL ACTIVITY
Meet artist Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of the 2012 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor Title, ‘Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.’
Read a summary of the book.
Listen to the Prologue and Chapter One of Heart and Soul performed by Debbie Allen. (You will need to scroll down to find the audio.) Pay attention because the narrator is “only going to but tell you this story but once!”
Watch and listen to Kadir tell about the process of writing and illustrating this history of America from the perspective of African Americans. What surprises you about how he created this book?
Check out this April 15, 2020 CBS News interview and take in Kadir’s new work entitled ‘After the Storm!’ How is Kadir choosing to respond to the coronavirus?
View a broad selection of Kadir’s works here. What surprises you among his subjects and the manner is which he depicts them?
NOW LET’S GET TO NEXT STEPS!
Guiding questions for your reading, writing, thinking and acting:
- The narrator of Heart and Soul tells of large paintings and statues in Washington DC with ‘not a black face among them.’ Who is included in your own notion of history ? Are there invisible people? Why? What stories are not included? What voices are not being heard? Why? Kadir said that he hoped that readers of Heart and Soul would be able to connect their family story with the great American story. Give it a try! Interview your parents or another adult. Ask them to tell you about a family member during an important historic moment. Ask them why they made the choices they made. Why did they choose that family member and why that moment? Then together with them consider others who were affected by that moment in history whose story doesn’t often or ever get told. You are welcome to share your writing and/or thoughts in our comment section (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo
- In creating ‘After the Storm’ Kadir wanted to make an image that would give hope. What does ‘After the Storm’ say to you? What feelings does it evoke? Kadir challenges anyone and everyone to fill our days with creating. Take the challenge today! Gather the medium that you like best—colored pencils, markers, paint, collage materials, maybe even clay —whatever is at hand and you enjoy using! Sit down and consider how you might create an image of hope. Make it personal. Make it your own. Will it be a narrative picture? Will it be abstract? Will it include words or be three dimensional? Give yourself time for the process. Maybe you’ll take Kadir’s challenge to heart and do this kind of thing everyday? You are welcome to share your experience and thoughts about this activity in our comment section below (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo
We look forward to hearing from you!
AND MORE WILL BE COMING! FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, OR INSTAGRAM
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson