The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About Their Bodies in Pictures and Words by Wendy EwaldThis book is beyond cool. Its the coolEST (book that blends photography, pride in body-image, and narrative poetry, that is). I was first introduced to The Best Part of Me during my summer with the Oklahoma Writing Project when a teacher colleague modeled how she used the book with her 5th graders. I immediately incorporated the text into my syllabus for the fall semester, eagerly anticipating collaborating on this creative composition with my pre-service teaching students.
Wendy Ewalds book is special, and the premise seems so simple. As per the cover, children talk about their bodies in pictures and words. The pages follow a pattern: black and white photograph of a childs favorite feature (nose, teeth, eyes, etc.) followed by their poetic ode to their best part. The book is not simple though; the message is incredibly strong. These self-portraits are powerful revelations about pride, individuality, culture, relationships, expression, and exercises in creative candidness.
Fast forward post-summer to reading the book with my class of educators, slowly pausing together to absorb the details in each students special photograph, and laughing with the kids sweet and clever narratives (Sometimes I can move my teeth. Sometimes my gramma can move her teeth too.). My students and I each took our own photos and wrote odes to the best parts of us (cue laughter about making sure everything stayed G-rated), and shared them on a particularly special night in class. We laughed, smiled, and got teary as journeys with insecurities, pride in familial features, and quirky takes on our compositions were showcased. We talked teaching moments and how else this book could be used - What would characters in a novel say was the best part of them? What if we looked for non-physical attributes? What would our best personality traits be? What is the best gift we can share with others? What is the best thing I want to try? The possibilities for this text are huge!
The last line of the poem on the last page of The Best Part of Me reads: These beautiful things are mine. This book reminds us to celebrate our students, celebrate each other, and celebrate ourselves. What is the best part of you?
“Best Part” by Daniel Caesar (Ft. H.E.R.)
One of the ways to help build our students up is to help them see themselves and their classmates in a positive light. The couple that I chose to read worked out well and my students enjoyed them. I love how the black and white photos turned out and it looks so great having the best part of all my students on a beautiful bulletin board display for everyone to see! Mary Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives. The pictures are fantastic and it must be so nice for the kids to think about themselves in a positive way.
I first wrote about this poetry project for Scholastic nearly ten years ago, and in that time, it has become more important than ever to help children have positive self-images of their bodies and abilities. From roadside billboards to magazines at the grocery checkout, children are constantly exposed to digitally altered images of models and athletes. Research shows that these types of images can negatively influence a child's body image by age six, which I can readily believe because I have, at times, heard my 3rd graders discussing "wanting to lose weight. Next, using methodology that later evolved into her Literacy Through Photography writing project, she had the students write descriptive poems about their favorite part. With all of my students gathered on the carpet around me last week, I pulled out a hand mirror and just started staring at myself, smiling. Finally, amid some giggles, one of my little girls asked why I was doing that.
Best Part Lyrics. [Intro: H.E.R.] Oh, hey [Verse 1: H.E.R.] You don't know babe. When you hold me. And kiss me slowly. It's the sweetest thing.
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I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at clifford popsongprofessor., YEBBA is phenomenal, she's onto massive things". Sheeran revealed the song's release date on 4 July
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