Trade Book: Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

Summary from Goodreads:

In New Orleans, there lived a man who saw the streets as his calling, and he swept them clean. He danced up one avenue and down another and everyone danced along. The old ladies whistled and whirled. The old men hooted and hollered. The barbers, bead twirlers, and beignet bakers bounded behind that one-man parade. But then came the rising Mississippi—and a storm greater than anyone had seen before. In this heartwarming book about a real garbage man, Phil Bildner and John Parra tell the inspiring story of a humble man and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

How to Use Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans in the Classroom:

  • Have students visit Wonderopolis so they can explore how hurricanes form and how the natural hazards can impact the land.
  • Have students view images and videos of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes to understand the impact hurricanes can have on people and the land.
  • Students could work together to design a solution that could lessen the impact of hurricanes and other weather hazards.
  • Check out the National Hurricane Center to track hurricanes and tropical storms in real-time.
  • Visit the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences to learn more about Hurricane Katrina and learn how to prepare for extreme weather.
  • Encourage students to use information from Marvelous Cornelius, other books in the library, high-quality, vetted websites, and other media sources to learn about New Orleans and its culture.
  • This book is a modern-day folktale about Cornelius Washington. Ask students to pick a historical figure (like Louisiana folk artist Clementine Hunter, president Teddy Roosevelt, astronaut Mae Jemison, scientist Marie Curie, explorers Lewis and Clark, or famous civil rights figure Ruby Bridges) and research the person’s contribution to society in order to write a tall tale. Remind students to use the characteristics of a tall tale to present their historical figures as folk heroes. Students could draw a picture of their chosen person to accompany their story.

Have you read Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans with your students or child? How have you used this book beyond reading comprehension?

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