Rosie Revere, Engineer (Abrams, 2013)
Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
Pre-K through Grade 4
In ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER, a young girl learns to follow her dreams no matter what else happens.
Rosie Revere is a young girl who sees beyond the trash and finds treasure. At school, she is very shy and hides her talents; at home, when no one is looking, she makes amazing creations. She hides out in the attic and creates all sorts of gadgets until she’s too tired to continue working. Why does she hide her fantastic inventions? When she was younger, Rosie made a hat to chase off snakes for her favorite uncle…who laughed at her invention. This reaction caused Rosie to be self-conscious and withdrawn from following her dreams.
She continues with this fear of creating until one day in the fall, her oldest aunt shows up to visit with her. The great-great-aunt, Rose, worked on planes and as a young adult had adventure after adventure. She admits she has one desire that had never been quenched: Aunt Rose (a.k.a. Rosie the Riveter) has always wanted to fly.
Rosie contemplates the stories and her aunt’s dream to fly. As soon as she wakes the next morning, she begins to build and create a cheese copter to test. But when she tests the machine for flight, it does not do well. Her Aunt Rose begins to laugh, and Rosie’s confidence shrinks again. Rosie begins to think she should give up inventing, but Aunt Rose reminds her with a hug that she has made a beginning and the only thing to do is try again.
This book illustrates the power that our words have on others and the ability to choose any career desired. Girls can choose science; boys can choose fashion. Careers are not built on getting everything right the first time, but rather on persistence and perseverance in the face of obstacles.
Cross-curricular connections: Science, Art, Social Studies, English
Ideas for Classroom Use:
The purpose of this activity is to encourage students to make connections with real life events and the story. After reading ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER, discuss Aunt Rose’s career and how that was different for women of her generation. Show pictures of some of the Rosie the Riveter women that helped during the time of crisis in war. Discuss how these women were strong enough to choose to help even though society frowned upon it at first.
After this discussion, encourage students to think about what job they may like to have when they grow up. Encourage them to think outside the box and consider careers that might not be generally accepted for them. Have the students write or dictate a short speech on why they would choose that particular career and how it might be challenging for them.
Hold a career day in which each students comes dressed as their chosen career worker. Allow students time to explain why they would choose the career and how it would be challenging for them.
The purpose of this activity is to explore the concept of inventing along with the process of recycling. Ask parents to save “clean” garbage to donate to the class before the project begins. Discuss inventions and creating ideas out of materials that are unlikely to be used. Read the book about Rosie Revere and then discuss the inventions she created. Allow students to work independently or in small groups using that material that were donated.
Have students explain their inventions to the classroom. Encourage students to give positive feedback and constructive criticism to each invention.
Sticks and Stones
The purpose of this activity is to encourage students to think about their choice of words and actions in respect to others around them.
After reading ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER, ask students to think about how Rosie felt. What actions and words made her happy? What actions and words made her sad? What actions and words made her quit doing what she loved? Why were her reactions different with Aunt Rose laughing than when her uncle laughed?
Brainstorm ways to encourage people and list ways we discourage people. As a culminating activity, allow students to journal write about a time when they felt discouraged because of the actions of others. Have them include a way that they could have reacted differently like Rosie did at the end of the story.
Allow students to share as they feel comfortable, in small groups or as a whole class. With young children this may best be completed as a small group discussion and activity, with the teacher taking dictation of their stories. Do not force any student to share because of the personal nature of the stories. Read and respond to each one in writing to help encourage students to build confidence and stand up for themselves.
Additional Resources and Activities:
How Stuff Works: History of Rosie the Riveter
This site has an easy to understand description of the history of the Rosie the Riveter campaign during World War II. Pictures, descriptions, and a list of several links that explain the work force for women and men of that time, more information about World War II, and links to additional sites about the Rosie the Riveter campaign are all available through this link.
This website created by Kids.gov is set up in three sections. Learn about jobs, play games about jobs, and videos about jobs all give easy to understand information designed for the lower elementary level, teens, and adults. Students can view a list of jobs by category or by skill. The jobs include a range from chef to veterinarian. Videos showcase several of the jobs to reinforce their skills and interest levels. The links to games provides a range of interactive activities for students.
Andrea Beaty…Children’s Author
The ROSIE THE REVERE, ENGINEER author’s website has information about the author herself and includes links to teacher resources connected to the book. The teacher resources include cross-curricular activities as well as a downloadable paper airplane for students to create. The author also includes links to several other books that are career related, INCLUDING IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT.
Kathy Prater is a Reading Specialist who works with students with dyslexia, an Adjunct Professor at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, and a full time pre-kindergarten teacher at Starkville Academy in Starkville, Mississippi. Her passions include reading, writing, tending her flock of chickens, and helping students at all levels to find motivation for lifelong reading and learning. She believes that every child can become a successful reader if given the right tools and encouragement.
© 2013 Kathy Prater. Please do not reproduce in any form, electronic or otherwise. Jobs & Careers Book Reviews Celebrate International Literacy Day with IRA