Author-illustrator Christian Robinson cares about his readers. How do I know this? Let’s start with the title of his book You Matter. Here, we can almost imagine Robinson pointing at the reader, telling them with confidence, “You matter.” Readers will find more encouragement on the copyright page where Robinson writes, “For anyone who isn’t sure if they matter, you do.” What a way to enter a story. Imagine how a reader will feel when they realize the author cares about them.
The story begins with a Black girl looking through a microscope. The illustration helps readers feel like they are looking through the lens, too. They’ll see tiny green organisms floating around the glass slide. The science theme continues with illustrations of the ocean, land, and outer space. Then, readers are brought to a city, where a diverse group of people walk, relax and travel through the pages.
Readers will enjoy the simple text and the colorful illustrations that convey an important message we all need to hear.
AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Include/Share II.C.2 Learners exhibit empathy with and tolerance for diverse ideas by contributing to discussions in which multiple viewpoints on a topic are expressed.
Invite learners to consider the title of the book You Matter by Christian Robinson. Ask the following questions:
Read the message on the copyright page before digging into the book. Consider how this message gives readers a clue about how author feels about the people reading his book.
After reading You Matter, ask learners why they think the author wrote the story. Tell learners that you agree with the author. Invite learners to give the thumbs up sign if they agree with the author. Explain that they will write what matters to them. They will think about the dreams they have, the people and things they love, and the activities they like to do.They can write words or draw pictures. Explain that they will share what they write, so they shouldn’t record things they want to keep private.
Divide the class into groups. Invite learners to take turns sharing dreams, activities, and people that matter to them. Then, ask learners to make connections with others in the group. Discuss similarities and ask for more information about interesting statements. Learners can share with the entire class if time allows.
Check out Christian Robinson’s “Making Space” YouTube channel. Share it with learners. Everyone will fall in love with Robinson and his message while watching his videos.
Here’s a worksheet for learners to record their ideas for sharing with the group:
You Matter Worksheet
Learners will write or draw what's important to them in the parachute panels. They can use their recordings to connect with other learners in the class.
If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.
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