Please note that students worked in partners to write these essays. If students wrote separate introductions, I will feature each essay even though the body paragraphs are the same. This allows me to celebrate each author's hard work and dedication. Thanks for reading!
In the Field of Art
By T.K.M. and H.J.E.J.
One of us plays football at recess. He knows he will be made fun of if he shows his art skills. But when it comes to Ernie Barnes, he had to pay the price, literally--his coach fined him $50 when he sketched. sandraneilwallace.com/Between the Lines written by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Coller should win the Sibert Medal because its illustrations, main text, and back matter support the book’s main idea-perseverance.
The first reason Between the Lines should win the sibert medal is because the illustrations support the book’s main idea-perseverance. In the end of the book, there is an image of Ernie in his small studio painting a picture made from his father's fence. Bryan Collier represented this to show how much sadness Ernie felt when he glanced down at the last part of his father he knew. He persevered to overcome this challenge. Tick tick tick! Let's go back to when Ernie was a boy and he was excluded from art museums and libraries. Many people would give up on art. But not Ernie. Instead, Ernie persevered to overcome this challenge. He went home and sketched, drawing all his ideas,on one blank sheet of miraculous paper. By the time Ernie was playing for the Colts in professional football, he still had a passion for art. His coach fined him fifty dollars when he got caught sketching. One time “he reached under his seat to get his notebook and it was gone!” He looked up and was startled to see his notepad scattered on the field.This ties in with perseverance because he didn't listen to his coach, he wouldn't give up on art. Bryan Collier gave the feel of Ernie persevering to push past the insults people shouted when he drew.
The second reason Between the Lines should win the Sibert Medal is because the main text supports the book’s main idea perseverance. As a boy, Ernie was made fun of because of how shy he was. Most people would have cried but Ernie persevered and “hurried home and painted.” This supports perseverance because he simply didn't accept the fact that people were pushing him around, making fun of him. In his first year of college the civil rights movement shot into place. Then, he was allowed to go to art museums. He asked the tour guide, “Where are the paintings by Negro artists?” The tour guide was simply surprised and said, “Your people don’t express themselves in that way.” This is racist is because the tour guide is saying that African Americans can’t draw. As an adult, it was hard to live a poor life when he quit football. He had no money, no job, and had no idea what to do next. To persevere, he gathered his paintings and gave a speech saying, “I want to become the official artist for the American Football League.” Ernie still sketched, but mainly his life as an unknown artist was over.
The third reason Between the Lines should win the Sibert Medal is that the back matter supports the book’s main idea perseverance. You probably all know that blacks were excluded from fountains and all, but did you know they couldn't go to art gallery, libraries,and had to attend all black schools? Ernie had to persevere to overcome this challenge. Racial inequality was not the only thing on Ernie´s mind, he was bullied. He never gave up on art, instead he found hiding places to sketch. Ernie had a poor, sorrowful until, “A high school weight lifting coach discovered him in the halls and helped him become a star athlete.” Ernie Barnes persevered through his lifetime and became history touring the U.S.A.!
Between the Lines written by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier should win the Sibert Medal because it’s illustrations, main text, and back matter support the book’s main idea-perseverance. Sandra Neil Wallace and Bryan Collier showed how Ernie persevered to overcome these challenges. That is is why Between the Lines should win the Sibert Medal!
A special thanks to Sandra Neil Wallace for sending our class bookmarks once she heard our class picked it as our Sibert Medal winner!
Words Set Me Free Every Day
By: R.B & M.T
Have you ever wondered what slaves went through? Frederick Douglass knew, he lived his whole life in slavery. Words Set Me Free written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James Ransome should win the Sibert medal because the illustrations, main text and back matter support the book main idea - perseverance.
The first reason Words Set Me Free should win the Sibert medal is because the illustrations support the book’s main idea - perseverance. The first page of the book shows a woman holding a candle that lights the room while Fredrik sleeps on the floor. The family has no money for a bed or electricity. This shows perseverance because it shows his family suffered through poverty. Turn a few pages and you will find, Fredrik standing there tied up waiting to be taken as a slave. His face showed hope which showed us perseverance. When the reader flips three pages you find a shadow of a man yelling. It made Frederick feel unwanted but it made him feel like he should never give up.
The second reason Words Set Me Free should win the Sibert Medal is because the main text supports the main idea - perseverance. In the beginning Lesa Cline-Ransome wrote, “We ate our two meals a day out of a trough like the animals in the barn.” This shows perseverance because he’s eating from the same thing the animals do. His will to survive was greater than his circumstances. In the middle of the book, Lesa Cline-Ransome wrote, “With a brick and a lump of chalk was first how I practiced my letters. Scratched them all along the brick streets and wooden fences of Baltimore.” This shows perseverance because he never gave up on learning his letters. At the end of the book, Lesa Cline-Ransome wrote, “ At twelve-years-old, with tips I saved from my errands, I bought my first newspaper and learned new words--- liberty, justice and freedom.” This shows perseverance because it took a long time for a slave to earn money and to use the savings on his road to freedom.
Our third reason Words Set Me Free should win the Sibert Medal is because the back matter supports the main idea - perseverance. In the beginning of the back matter, Frederick wrote a letter to end his life in slavery. This shows he was persevering to end slavery. He thought he had preserved through life as he worked through his challenges. Shortly after in the back matter, Frederick tried to escape slavery but he didn't escape that night. This shows us perseverance because he tried to escape to show the rest of the world that slaves can be more than what they think. He did not give up. In the end of the back matter, Frederick and his friends where jailed and taken away for trying to escape. This shows perseverance because jail is a really hard place to be in, and all he was trying to do was retrieve his freedom.
Words Set Me Free written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James Ransome should win the Sibert medal because the illustrations, main text and back Matter support the book’s main idea - perseverance. Frederick Douglass lived a hard life trying to survive from when he was born to when he was twenty and became free. Cover to cover Fredrick overcame challenges to be free.
Between the Lines
By B.S. and A.J.
We have painting supplies at our houses. But Ernest Barnes? Nope. He didn’t even have close to painting supplies, but he didn’t give up. Since he didn’t have paint, he had to be creative and use mud on the ground. Ernest didn’t stop believing, and he came to be an amazing artist. Between the Lines by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier should win the Sibert Medal because the illustrations, the main text and the back matter support the book’s main idea- believe in yourself.
The first reason Between the Lines should win the Sibert Medal is because the illustrations support the book’s main idea- believe in yourself. The first spread is Ernie painting with a stick in the mud. He waits for the Carolina rain to make mud to paint with. In the middle of the book, we saw African-American children in museums. We read that African-American children couldn't go to segregated museums, but Ernie Barnes changed that. On the front cover of the book is a self portrait of Ernest, on the left side of him is his football team, on the right of Ernest was his art. Ernest was really good at football, but he loved art so he made paintings of football players. This is important because Bryan Collier is showing that Ernie did not stop believing in himself. Instead of quitting one, he combined painting and football.
The second reason Between the Lines should win the Sibert Medal is because the main text supports the book’s main idea- believe in yourself. When Ernie was a child, Ernest’s family was poor but Ernest still found ways to paint. He used the mud to paint on the ground because he didn’t have any materials for painting. He also saw beauty in all of art. After college, Ernie played for a pro football team. Ernest drew in his sketchbook between plays in games, but his coach fined him fifty dollars every time he brought it out to sketch. Although, “Ernie kept drawing. One time when he reached for his notepad, it was gone. He watched the pieces of paper floating above the field in the wind. “Hey Barnes!” The coach yelled. “You could be great only if you could get that art out of your head!”” That is important because Ernest didn’t let the coach tell him what to do or what not to do. Later in his life Ernie did become an artist. His coach wouldn't let him do both because his coach wanted Ernie to focus on the game and not to draw in his sketchbook. This highlights believe in yourself because he tried to to sketch between plays. Later on in the book, Ernie meets Sonny Werblin, the owner of the New York Jets. “Sonny offered Ernie a football player’s salary. But he didn’t want Ernie to play. He wanted him to paint!” Ernest believed that he could do both football and painting and not have to stop doing one. Ernest Barnes believed in himself and got to where he is now, in the hall of art!
The third reason Between the Lines should win the Sibert Medal is because the backmatter supports the book´s main idea- believe in yourself. In the backmatter it shows that Ernest painted his whole life because it starts with kindergarten and ends when he dies. This ties with believe in yourself because Ernest did not give up painting his whole life. When he was a very young child, Ernie found hiding places in the school to sketch and believed that he would be an artist. And through believing in himself, he became a very famous artist. He said, “Art has the capacity to change people's point of view.” He really believed that and that's one of the reasons he got to where he is, he believed in himself.
Between the Lines by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier should win the Sibert Medal because the illustrations, the main text and the back matter support the book’s main idea- believe in yourself. He had no painting supplies and his parents were poor. Still, he came to be one of the most well known artists. If you want to know about someone who really believed in himself, read Between the Lines.
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