Characteristics of Enabling Texts: Grandma’s Gift by Eric Velasquez and http://ericvelasquez.com Characteristic Definition Provide a Healthy Psyche lead them to look within show AA teens defining themselves Provide a modern awareness of the real world connected to issues/questions that Focus on the collective struggles of AA students find essential today take place w/in the context of their life experiences deal with issues that are important to AA adolescents (ELIS) present “real” environments/conditions AA teens face inside and outside school provide insight into issues related Serve as a road map for being, doing, thinking and acting Examples / Quotes from Grandma’s Gift to social justice allow AA adolescents to take a critical look at their oppression & oppressors contain content that will cause them to take action in their own lives challenge them to think about their existence cause them to examine the academic & social ills they face reflect an improved human condition suggest steps/strategies/supports for improving life speak to the power of the individual speak to the power of the collective Autobiographical picture book of what inspired Eric Velaquez to become an artist What do you do when it feels like you are in a situation where no one is like you. Multigenerational family experiences. Separation of neighborhoods by culture. Author’s note at the end of the book talks more about how this experience was a wake up call for him as previously “all of my heroes, sadly, did not look like me” Pair with author’s website to show the work and success that has resulted from this initial challenge. When Eric is in a unfamiliar situation where he feels no one is like him: He focuses on helping others, helping his grandmother translate signs. He eventually works to change the situation. Much of his current work is creating more images of black heroes in books and art. What is inspiring you about a possible future career? How will you make the world a better place? Recognize, honor & nurture multiple identities Demonstrate resiliency Interesting--deeply penetrating “Good writing” academic cultural economic gendered personal social sexual communal national international focus on self-reliance focus on self-determination shows AA males as problem solvers challenges victim mentality thematically engaging complex--multi- layered developmentally appropriate fast moving provocative intellectual curiosity Connected to other texts Avoids caricatures hoopster fatherless son gang recruit dummy truant purveyor of poor grammar scorned for being smart trying to break from norms of impoverished neighborhood Despite being unfamiliar Eric & Grandma visit the museum Eric translates signs for Grandma when she has trouble Multiple ways to engage with the text: Spanish, food, art, feeling isolated. taps into feelings, imagination, and Celebrates both sides of author’s Afro-Puerto-Rican heritage. Trip to the museum is an art project for school. Helps make traditional Christmas dish for and with the family and larger community. Detailed description of how to make pastels, a traditional dish, in the book, recipe on the website. Story of a real living person that students can find out more about, write to, have visit the school. website for this author has his bio and further. other works by this author show the difference he has made with his art. Challenges stereotypes of both African American and Latino students. beating the odds--”made it” Aligns with one or more literacy platforms define self become resilient engage others build capacity Taking pride in where he came from. Using his gifts to help others and change the world.