USING "REAL" STORIES TO TEACH 21st century READING
Joy Hakim's books use an ancient teaching method: STORYTELLING. Today it is known as narrative nonfiction. THEY ARE INTENDED TO TEACH READING AND CRITICAL THINKING as well as content.
THE VOICE OF AMERICA wanted to see how Joy's books work in classrooms. Here's a link to a story they sent worldwide:
http://www.voanews.com/content/joy-hakim-finds-stories-in-us-history/3390875.html. A Texas teacher, using the books to teach reading to low achieving students, saw reading scores soar and was named Texas Teacher of the Year.
Joy's next books, The Story of Science, were published by the Smithsonian with coordinated "hands on" experiments and activities (from Johns Hopkins and NSTA's former president Juliana Texley). The Story of Science won the Benjamin Franklin Award, a CBC/NSTA's Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, and a Best Science Book of the Year award (topping all categories) from U.S.A. Books. This is world history with a physics backbone. Joy is now working on biology books.
Freedom: A History of US was written to accompany a 16-part PBS television series Freedom: A History of Us. The TV series is available on DVDs from PBS. The book works especially well in high school or freshman college history classes. Freedom: A History of US is narrated by Katie Couric with Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, and a bevy of well-known celebrities, this TV series was designed with classroom use in mind. Here's a link to the PBS teacher/student website: go to PBS.org/historyofus. The book is available from Social Studies School Services.
Joy's recent works are ebooks: Reading Science Stories and "Free To Believe (Or Not)," the STORY OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICA. Do you know of the Flushing Remonstrance? Read about it here.
A HISTORY OF US is also published in ebook format (text but no illustrations); THE STORY OF SCIENCE is in beautifully illustrated ebook format and is also translated into Korean and Chinese.
Teaching materials to accompany A History of US are available from Oxford University Press, as well as from the teacher/educator CSOS team at Johns Hopkins University (on Amazon). That team has also done imaginative learning books to go with The Story of Science. NSTA's president, Juliana Texley has done an amazing teaching resource to accompany "Einstein Adds A New Dimension."NSTA has made teaching materials available on their website.
K12 has produced an abridged 4 volume edition of A History of Us.
-Nancie Atwell, Winner, Global Teacher Prize 2015