March On!: A Celebration of African American Heritage (+**GIVEAWAY**)

If you are looking for some terrific stories for use in teaching history or emphasizing African American Heritage or Black History Month, consider this new collection from Scholastic Storybook Treasures.  March On! is a collection of thirteen terrific stories, wonderfully narrated and brought to life.

March On!  The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World

A fun, dramatic telling of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s story from his sister’s point of view.  My kids were enthralled with the story, sound effects and narration.  This disc includes an interview with the author, Dr. Christine King Farris, that can make the story even more interesting.

Martin’s Big Words

This story is the perfect follow-up for the previous story.  It speaks to the power of words to change the world.  It also shows what can happen when you have a dream and are willing to carry it out.

Rosa

A dramatization of the story of Rosa Parks can make a big impact on children.  This story is the perfect springboard for discussions on doing what is right, even when it is hard.  You might even change history.

Henry’s Freedom Box

A clever story of how a man escaped slavery after his wife and children were sold to another master.  We already knew this story, and loved it, but seeing  and hearing it brought to life with narration, camera work and sound was terrific!

Duke Ellington

You may think that you know a little something about Duke Ellington or other African American folks in history, but “you ain’t seen nothin’” until you have watched the Scholastic Storybook Treasures Duke Ellington movie.  In the background, you hear the music of Duke Ellington as you hear his story.  When reading about specific instruments and people, the camera zoomed in on them in the illustrations, helping emphasize their importance.  Whether you love his music or are studying about him to celebrate African American History month, this would be a great addition to your educational (and fun) movie collection!

Ellington Was Not a Street, is an illustrated poem.  Our favorite part was the boatload of information at the end.  Detailed information and photos about each person mentioned in the poem brought the story to life.  It made watching it a second time even better.  This treasure trove is a terrific tool to help kids learn to love learning history.

I have always loved the music of Ella Fitzgerald, but I knew little about her.  The third story on this DVD, Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of Vocal Virtuosa was filled with information and (my favorite) her music!  If you or your kids have never heard the music of Ella Fitzgerald, this would be a great way to expose them.  The story uses pictures and music to share information in a very appealing manner.  Even my four-year-old watched and listened with rapt attention!

John Henry is based on the folk ballad by the same name.  It is well done and very enjoyable.  When it was finished, I had to explain to my kids about folk tales being fiction.  They couldn’t believe that someone could do what John Henry did.  It provided a great opportunity to talk about the difference between fact and fiction.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears

If you wonder why this happens, check out this story.  It is a Caldecott Medal Winner.  The kids were “reading” along with the repetition in this story and then laughing at the surprise ending.  I don’t think this is necessarily a true story, but it sure is fun to read!  The use of simple animations, music and sound effects, plus narration by James Earl Jones make this a must for lovers of African folk tales.

Hot Hippo

Hippo is hot and longs to spend time in the cool water with the little fishes.  When she approaches the god who made her, she asks him to allow her to be in the water.  With some concessions, he agrees and hippo finds herself much happier.

Not So Fast Songolo

This is a delightful story of intergenerational interaction and the fun that brings about.  Grandma needs to go to the market and she takes Songolo with her.  He moves fast and she moves slow, but together they have fun.  Never before released by Scholastic, we found this to be a heart-warming story and were glad it was included.

The Village of Round and Square Houses

There is a rule in villages that men must live in square houses and women must live in round houses.  Wonder why?  Check out this story for the answer.  It might not be for the reasons you think!

Who’s in Rabbit’s House?

We laughed and laughed at the antics shared in this story.  The illustrations are marvelous and have been brought to life with gentle animations, wonderfully appropriate music, sound effects and the voice of James Earl Jones.  What a treat!  We will never read this story the same way again!

Not only are there thirteen great stories (with lots of terrific music and narration) in this collection, but it also includes a Read along feature (that can be turned off) and discussion questions.  It is an excellent resource to supplement teachings on Jazz, African American music, African American history and the stories themselves.  I would encourage you to read the books and then watch these illustrated versions to help reinforce the concepts you are teaching!

Need more?  Check out the resources available from Scholastic Storybook Treasures.  There are so many great stories brought to life in their collections- a little something for everyone!  Right now, you can use the code NEWKIDEO20 to save 20% off your entire order from New Kideo/ Scholastic Storybook Treasures.

CONNECT!  Follow New Kideo on Facebook for announcements about new releases and special offers.

BUY!  This 3-DVD set is available for $24.95 from New Kideo.

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