In social studies, the elements of history, culture, science and economics are easily derived from story books. In the book “Crow Boy” by Taro Yashima, the culture and history elements for Texas Essential of Knowledge and Skills are well represented and can be easily taught to children.
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In a classroom of social studies lesson, the “Crow Boy” can be used to educate children how to communicate by listening. Listening is a significant part of communication. Understanding different voices and cultures, as reflected in the book, is very important. The book introduces the character (Chibi) as a timid young boy whom his peers cannot seem to understand. He is always far away from the rest of the class. However, towards the end of the script, we learn that he had a talent which makes him have the last laugh. When everyone calls him the Crow Boy, he is not afraid, and he strongly shows that he has mastered the art of imitating voices. The reason I would use this book for children is because it portrays what many children go through. Therefore, it would encourage them to keep up without fear of intimidation from their friends.
This book falls in the History strand of social studies since it has an introductory history of the Japanese people and their culture. The representation of crow voices also displays the cultural and family set up of the society, and how they relate with the animals, “The author indicates that owls crow or cry when the villagers become unhappy about an accident.”
The book can help to teach a number of Texas Essential Knowledge and skills. In social studies, the skills attained become useful in the form of oral communication. It is also useful in developing culture skills and in understanding the relationship between humans and animals.
Taro Yashima is an author born in Japan. He has two other titles to his name other than Crow Boy. They are “Seashore Story” and “Umbrella”.
In conclusion, the story of Chibi brings a sense of responsibility, patience and confidence to the children and therefore this book can be used effectively for children literature.