Last night, Rosie was reading her weekly story homework to me. It was all about little Jessica. Jessica loves to play soccer but her older twin brothers, Jason and Jamal, don’t think much of her playing because she is a girl. Throughout the short (about 20 pages) story, Jamal’s catch phrase is “she’s pretty good, for a girl.”
In the story, Jessica ends up scoring the winning goal in her brothers’ championship game when she fills in for a sick player. Sounds great, right? The message seems to be: see, girls can be great at soccer too! One problem: In the very last line of this story, after everyone else has congratulated Jessica for her skillful playing, Jamal utters his catch phrase: “Yeah. She’s pretty good…for a girl.”
When I saw this line, at the end of the page, I assumed that there were a few more sentences on the next page. Surely, there was more to the story; Jamal and his sexism weren’t going to get the last word, were they? But, no. That was the end. So, Rosie and I decided to add one more line to the story: “No, Jamal!,” all of his teammates exclaimed. “She’s a great soccer player period!”
“Rosie did a great job reading. We both decided to add onto the end of the story by having all of Jamal’s teammates call out his sexism.”
Ha! Rosie was pretty proud of that. This morning at school, I overheard her telling her music teacher about it. Yep, she’s a troublemaker in training.
note: This isn’t the first time I’ve been inspired to write about my kid’s reading assignments in first grade. Back in 2010, I wrote about a book FWA read, We Care.