Looking out for Sarah by Glenna Lang. Describes a day in the life of Perry, a seeing-eye dog, as he guides his owner Sarah to the grocery store, post office, and on a school visit. He dreams about the month that he and Sarah walked from Boston to New York.
The Making of my Special Hand: Madison’s Story by Jamee Riggio Heelan . Madison, a little girl born with one hand, tells about having a helper hand made especially for her. She explains all the stages involved in fitting her for a battery-operated prosthesis that allows her to open and close her new hand.
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman. Three children enjoy a day in the attic exploring their grandfather’s grand days tap dancing for vaudeville.
Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie dePaola. A young boy must stand up to bullying because he prefers to paint, read and tap dance instead of play sports.
Rap a Tap Tap by Leo and Diane Dillon. A preschool and primary grades introduction to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, one of the most famous tap dancers of all time. This book has beautiful art and word repetition for young children to participate.
Book Extension Activities: Emotions Discussion: What was Clayton Bates Feeling? : Have a discussion of what Clayton Bates may have been feeling after losing his leg. Did he think he would never dance again? Can you imagine how he felt being called “Peg Leg”? What was it like to be a famous entertainer, but not able to share the same privileges as white people? Did his feelings change, as he got older?
Gross Motor Skills/ Movement:Dancin’ with one Foot: for older primary and intermediate students, take turns folding left leg up with a scarf and give student a walking cane (or 2 broomsticks). Turn on jazz music and give children the chance to dance like Clayton Bates. Tip-tapping Toes: Tape quarters or metal washers to the bottom of shoes (toes and heals) and teach children a few basic tap steps.
Writing Extension:A Great American Hero: Many people consider Peg Leg Bates an American hero; write an explanation of why you think he should be admired. An Inspiration to us All: Mr. Bates often said, “Thank God I lost this leg!” Why do you think he felt that way?
History Extensions: The Lifetime of A Man: Create a timeline of Clayton Bates’ life, noting the important times in his life and historically significant events. Nothing can Stop Me! : Research other men and woman who fulfilled their dreams despite disabilities. Seeing is Believing: Interlibrary loan a copy of the documentary video : “Dancing Man: Peg Leg Bates” (c1992. Director, Dave Davidson. 58 min.) Show a few scenes of actual footage of Mr. Bates’ dancing at different time periods of his life. Literacy/Language Arts Extensions: Sequencing: write out events from Knockin’ on Wood on cards; have children sort the events in chronological order.