Calvin Didn't Know
Calvin Didn't Know addresses African-American History in a very engaging, non-combative, fun manner. As the reader becomes more involved in the story, he discovers interesting facts about day-to-day inventions of African-Americans. The book is designed as a reader for upper elementary and middle school students but can be enjoyed by both youth and adults. Along with the story, the book includes biographical material, a list of patent information, and a short vocabulary section. The story of Calvin began as a story told to elementary and secondary school students at African-American History Month presentations throughout the greater Atlanta, GA area. Over a series of years, word of the story grew until it was requested at over 40 schools during the 20 (school) day month of February 1990. It was at that time that the decision was made to turn the story into a book. The manuscript has been read and enjoyed by individuals from the 4th grade to adulthood. In addition, the manuscript has been reviewed by reading, social studies, and science teachers and all agree that it would be a welcome addition to their classroom materials. Of all the comments about the story during its 10+ years of existence, probably the most poignant came from a 5th grade student, Heather C., who wrote: "Dear Mr. Randall, I loved your story, and it made me think life would be a wreck without black people and I no longer think black people are of no use." What made this particular statement so "poignant" was my realization after the teacher´ s following comment: "Mr. R., Heather C. is a black student." During my discussions with parents, students and fellow educators, I have found that Calvin Didn't Know addressesan area where there is, unfortunately, a dearth of material. A search for engaging material for elementary and middle school use in this area has frustrated parents, students, and educators alike. Outside of simple biographies and biographical materia
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