I saw the news that the deadline for voting for the 2020-21 Texas Bluebonnet Award has been pushed back a couple of weeks. Having more time to vote on Bluebonnet books also means having more time for students to read and to engage with the books on the list.
For my book on the list — What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan — there’s a fantastic new resource supporting many levels of engagement.
Behold, the Biography Clearinghouse.
Before I point out some of the materials available for What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?, the nitty-gritty about Biography Clearinghouse in general is available here.
What we aspire to do with our entries is to support your planning. We think biographies can and should be used across the content areas and throughout the year. Ideally, you’ll find our teaching ideas invitations for using biographies with your students in new and interesting ways.
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? is one of the first three titles that the Biography Clearinghouse team has focused on, alongside Maritcha, by Tonya Bolden, and Otis and Will Discover the Deep, by Barb Rosenstock and Katherine Roy.
More featured books are on the way.
I’m not part of the team, but they did interview me, and I provided materials including my first draft of the manuscript and photos I took during my research. The Biography Clearinghouse team turned all that into tools for viewing Barbara Jordan and others from many perspectives.
I especially love how the Biography Clearinghouse team came up with writing, advocacy, and civics activities lasting from just a couple of class periods all the way up to a week or two. As an author, it’s moving to see so much educator engagement and classroom potential.
There’s a great chance next Wednesday to learn more about the Biography Clearinghouse from authors Tanya Lee Stone, Lesa Cline-Ransome, and Barb Rosenstock and educators Xenia Hadjioannou and Mary Anne Cappiello. I plan to be in the audience, and I hope you’ll join me. You can register here.