Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope
by Nikki Grimes
About the book:
A young boy asks who Barack Obama is. In short vignettes a mother shares the story of this man who brings hope and promise to the next generation of Americans. Share his story with a young person in your life so they can learn that anything is possible, especially in America.
About the author:
Nikki Grimes began writing at the age of six. Her many award-winning titles include the picture books Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, which won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. She also wrote Bronx Masquerade, Road to Paris, Jazmin’s Notebook and Dark Sons. She lives in Corona, California.
What is hope? What kinds of things give you hope? How can learning the stories of other people help us reach our own potential?
Questions to consider:
- How did Barack Obama’s family stretch from Kansas to Kenya? How far apart does your family live from each other?
- Where did Barack Obama grow up? What were some of his favorite activities to do as a kid? What are your favorite activities?
- Why did Barack need to be told stories about his father? Why didn’t he have him around? Do all people have hurts?
- What is a beggar? Where did Barack see them? Have you ever seen someone who needed help? How can you make a difference?
- What three lessons were the most important that his mother taught him? What three lessons are most important to your family? How can you show your honesty, kindness and fairness to others?
- How did Barack choose his own way? What will you choose to study and become?
- What is the key, secret, way and path? Why do all these people agree? Do you? How can education unlock so many doors? What did Barack Obama study?
- How did Barack hope to be a bridge between people? How can you be a bridge?
- Why did he visit Africa? Where would you visit to connect with your family’s heritage?
- What state did Barack Obama become a Senator for? What position did he decide to run for next?
Write a speech about how you would change the country if you became president. What issues would be most important to you, as a citizen? Share the speeches with your class or other classes in your grade!
Create a timeline of Barack Obama’s life. Illustrate the event which you think was most important in shaping the man he has become. Research the life of another great American and again, try to discover the moment you think made the biggest difference in their life and career. Then, create a timeline of your own life and push your story and timeline into the future setting dates for the years you will accomplish all your own dreams and ambitions.
Research the math used to determine a presidential election. What percentage of electoral votes must a candidate receive? Why do some states have more electoral votes than others? How do candidates decide where to spend their advertising dollars? When you run for President in the future where will you focus your attention and money? Why?
On the outside of a small box (a shoebox is just fine) create a collage from magazines, newspapers, or illustrations of your own that represent what you’d like to see in your future. Fill this hope box with quotes, stories, and letters that inspire you to reach these dreams and goals.