Friday, August 5, 2011

Swimming to the start of the school year

This week's post will use swimming as a metaphor. There will be no mention of swimming, the sport. Instead I will be introducing what I hope will be a weekly feature  the curriculum tie-in.

  Yes, parents, it's time to get your offspring swimming enthusiastically to the start of the school year. With this in mind, I'd like to introduce Phillis Sings Out Freedom: the story of George Washington and Phillis Wheatley by Ann Malaspina. When George Washington was struggling to win  independence
from Great Britain, the poet Phillis Wheatley wrote a poem of encouragement just for him. This picturebook biography  can be used as supplemental reading for the lower grades. Since the book is set in Massachusetts, I looked at the states core curriculum. Biographies are among the informational texts   acceptable for Pre-K- grade 5.

Ann says, "In my book, I tried to stick to what is known about Phillis Wheatley's life, which is not that much.  Because there are wide gaps in the details of her life, I did the best I could, using the best historical sources I could find. I gathered details and words from her poems and writings, as well as documents from Massachusetts Historical Society, scholarly biographies, and George Washington's own letters and biographies. "

For more information, visit Ann at


  1. Thanks for the recommendation and participating in today's Nonfiction Monday event.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  2. Love all the swimming references...makes your blog more fun, esp. for summer!
    best of luck!