I Walk With Vanessa is wordless book that provokes a conversation about racism. The story begins with a black girl moving boxes into her new home with her family. Her name is Vanessa. Readers follow Vanessa as she starts her first day of school where everyone ignores her. As she walks home from school, a white boy starts yelling and pointing at her. We can see how scared and upset Vanessa is by this confrontation. A girl of color witnesses this act of aggression. She is shocked and saddened about what happened. After pondering for some time, she comes up with a brilliant plan that is sure to make Vanessa feel better. The wordless platform encourages readers to talk about disrupting racism.
AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Include/Create II.B.1 Learners adjust their awareness of the global learning community by interacting with learners who reflect a range of perspectives.
When looking for books about racism, find books that demonstrate what racism in America looks like today. That way, learners will understand that racism is still happening and not just an atrocity of the past. Take a look at the book resources on embracerace.org.
This lesson activity for I Walk With Vanessa supports the Include Shared Foundation. Click here for more lesson activities in this category.