Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Creating Family Timelines: Graphing Family Memories and Significant Events
Students interview family members, and then create graphic family timelines based on important and memorable family events.
Grades K – 4 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Digging Deeper: Developing Comprehension Using Thank You, Mr. Falker
A read-aloud of Patricia Polacco's Thank You, Mr. Falker helps promote deeper comprehension through questioning to achieve personal connections and discussions of character and theme.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Recurring Lesson
Acquiring New Vocabulary Through Book Discussion Groups
This lesson employs direct instruction and small-group discussion to help students learn new vocabulary skills while reading Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Using Picture Books to Explore Identity, Stereotyping, and Discrimination
Students analyze the concepts of identity, stereotyping, and discrimination by reading picture books; identify how these concepts are dealt with in each book; and discuss concrete actions to stop discrimination.
Grades 2 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco
Students use the Semantic Impressions and Possible Sentences strategies to write about Patricia Polacco's books Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Egg, complete a character study, and write using a WebQuest.