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Carter Reads the Newspaper

Last updated Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: Don Tate
Date of Publication: 2019
ISBN: 1561459348
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2023

Synopsis: "Carter G. Woodson didn't just read history. He changed it." As the father of Black History Month, he spent his life introducing others to the history of his people.

Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen, so Carter read the newspaper to him every day. As a teenager, Carter went to work in the coal mines, and there he met Oliver Jones, who did something important: he asked Carter not only to read to him and the other miners, but also research and find more information on the subjects that interested them.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Why do think it's important to read the newspaper?
•  How did you learn about current events and history?


•  Slate - a rock that tends to split in smooth layers
•  Penetrate - To pierce or go into or through
•  Blaze - To burn brightly

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do you think it's like to be a miner?
•  How would you educate people (like the Professor at Harvard) about the accomplishments and history of black people?

Craft ideas:
•  The children can make their own newspaper.
•  The children can draw a picture of one of the people who changed the course of history (such as Rosa Parks).

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!