Friday, December 31, 2010

Rain School

Compare and Contrast the differences in schools in the US with the schools in Chad, Africa.

Rumford, James.
Rain School.
October 2010.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Sharing with readers a real-life experience of his own as a Peace Corps volunteer, James Rumford will enlighten children's minds with this fictional tale about the true-life schooling of children in Chad, Africa.

Schools constructed mainly of mud are washed away each summer due to torrential rain storms. Each September, upon returning to school to "learn," learning begins in altogether different way than what children of the US are exposed to. The children of Chad, Africa must first learn to build their school for the school year, starting with the walls and the roof before ending up finishing up by creating the desks and stools of mud. It is only then that they are able to begin learning.

In a community where the opportunity to be schooled is so rare, the children of Chad, Africa are very eager to participate in building their school so that they have the opportunity to learn. Hopefully, US children will find a whole new appreciation for their schools and opportunity to learn after reading about and understanding the challenges that other children face just to have a place to attend school.

Learning/Reading Activity:
  • After reading Rain School, have children complete the Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting schooling in the United States with schooling in Chad, Africa. A venn diagram specific to this task can be downloaded here.
  • Prior to reading Rain School, introduce children to the idea of differences between schooling in different geographic locations by reading Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin, by Duncan Tonatiuh.

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