Elijah of Buxton is an ideal choice to bring Black History Month to life in your classroom. In the 1800s, the Canadian Buxton Settlement held safety for runaway slaves. Elijah, the first black child born free in the Buxton Settlement, tells his story in first person and allows readers to see history through his eyes. His sense of humor often ignites uncontrollable laughter and his plight builds empathy, the character trait that is foundational to all others.
"One helping one to uplift all." The Buxton Settlement Creed
"It's the way all of us in the settlement look out for one another. We don't expect nothing in return, but if we see someone that needs a hand, we rush to give it. Good things always come from that." from Elijah of Buxton
Elijah was the first baby born into freedom in the Buxton settlement for runaway slaves. At eleven-years old, he struggled with his past and being so fra-gile. Every time someone told the story of his first meeting with the famous Fredrick Douglass, the story got more embarrassing! Mr. Douglass held baby Elijah over his head in celebration of being free-born, only to have Elijah throw up on him.
Being fra-gile was his Ma's biggest bone to pick with Elijah. That was something Elijah wanted, too, but it didn't always work to suck down the looseness and sloppiness in his nose and keep from screaming and running off at the littlest nonsense. It was even worse when Ma set about talking the subject near to death and then making the lesson permanent.
His best friend Cooter didn't help a lot. He just seemed to lead Elijah into one problem after another, but Cooter's stuff didn't even begin to measure up to the stuff the Right Reverend Deacon Doctor Zephariah Connery the Third dumped on him. Would he ever be able to judge "Preacher" for what he really was?
Now and then, runaway slaves would appear and be welcomed with the ringing of the Liberty Bell that brought every person in the settlement to meet them and offer their help in setting up their farm. Elijah's parents had protected him from hearing the horrors of slavery, but he caught bits and pieces from eavesdropping.
What will happen to this fra-gile boy when he finds an axe over his head? How will he respond when he is kidnapped? Will he be able to gather courage when he finds himself face to face with the horrors of slavery?
Named Newbery Honor Book of 2008, Elijah Of Buxton will make you roll on the floor laughing on one page and feel your own fragileness as you cry for Elijah's sweetness and the injustices in his world on the next. The dialect can be challenging reading, but it is a powerful read-aloud for grades 3-5 and an terrific novel for literature circles from grades 6-adult.
The 35-page Kids Wings Literature Guide by Suzy Red includes the following activities:
Essential Objectives addressed on each page/slide
Readers Theater Script
Freeman's Truck Garden, Logic Puzzle
Original Ballad to inspire summarization skills; music files are included in your download.
Preparing Your Intellectual Tools (Dialectical Journal)
Multiple Choice Comprehension Activities
The Civil War Map Activity
4 x 4 and Quartet Reading (This is really fun!)
Proofread Elijah's Letter
The Big Six Song (to the tune of "Sixteen Tons")
Research Famous Civil Rights Leader
Research Bible References
Before and After the Transformation
Transforming Text to Pictures, Figurative Language
Transform the Text to Another Point of View
From Nonstandard English to Standard English, Multiple Choice
and much MORE in both PowerPoint and PDF formats.
Also Included is a 53-slide Interactive Jeopardy-type game in PowerPoint.
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