The last several days my students have been working in narrative non-fiction. We’ve been reading a bunch of picture books: Here Come The Girl Scouts, On A Beam of Light, and Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The unit has been going really well. My students love being introduced to remarkable people.
I decided that today’s book would be I Dissent: Ruth Badar Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. We gathered on the carpet, discussed the similarities and differences between narrative non-fiction and expository texts, and then I began to read.
From the very fist pages my students were captivated. They loved learning about Ruth’s childhood. We were really happy to see that Ruth’s mom took her to the library. My students were shocked to learn how unfair our country has been to women, and saddened to learn that we still have a long ways to go. I asked a couple of girls what they thought about earning less money than a boy doing the same job. I wish I was a good enough writer to capture their reaction. Their disgust. Their determination to make sure that isn’t the case.
I have two daughters of my own (8 and 6), and I cannot wait to share this book with them. My heart aches when it thinks of them being treated differently in this world than their brothers because of their gender. I’m thankful that people like Ruth Badar Ginsburg work to their world a better place, and I’m thankful for books like I Dissent spark conversations in classrooms and homes that just might help lead us to a better world.