Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

I Am the World

Smith, Charles R. (Author/Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2013. 44 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781442423022 (hardcover)
9781442482951 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

figurative language, recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

“I am the breeze of islands far and wide,” “I am the heart of warriors,” “I am the bite in bratwurst.” In bold and colorful type, poetic assertions such as these lead young readers through a range of international faces and experiences.

Many phrases touch on a unique cultural topic, whether it is music (calypso, castanets), clothing (Indian ghagras, Highland kilts), or something to eat (biscotti, wasabi). A glossary at the back defines unfamiliar words.

Illustrating the phrases are close-up portraits of young people, boasting a broad range of cultural backgrounds and mixed heritage. In one spread, a Eurasian girl in a cheongsam offers a sideways smile for the camera: “I am a stitch of Chinese silk.” In another, an upside-down boy in loose, white clothing kicks the air: “I am the rhythm in capoeira.” There is potential for discussion in every photo, but very young readers may prefer to just quietly examine these images.

The cumulative effect of this spectrum of humanity is well summed up in the last words of this good-looking and effective book: “I am the world and the world is me.”

  •  

    “Children of the world come in many shapes, colours, and sizes.” Discuss this sentence from the inside jacket cover. Illustrate its truth by creating a classroom photo-quilt with 3x5 photos brought from home (see front cover).

  •  

    “I am the fibre in the flag of humanity.” On a sentence strip, write down what this phrase means to you. Share your interpretation with the class. What makes this sentence so powerful?

  •  

    Discuss the proverb, a picture is worth a thousand words. In your opinion, what might have motivated the author to write this book?
    If you could include a photo or a saying in the book, what would it be? Create your own class book.

  •  

    Look at the pictures in the book and read along. Determine the meaning of new words from the context, the illustrations or the glossary. Are some words the same in French? Identify the flags on the inside front cover.

  •  

    Make a class chart of the countries represented in the book along with the associated object. Add other countries and objects. Find the countries on a map of the world. 

  •  

    Practise saying hello in different languages. Get help from students in your class who speak other languages.

  •  

    Design a bookmark that includes your picture and a sentence that describes you and your cultural background. Share with the class.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship