Fair Oaks Slid in, Boogied Out of Black History Month with an Integrative Book Study

Fair Oaks Elementary School students participate in the Electric Slide

Fair Oaks Elementary School slid straight into Black History Month with an integrative book study honoring a decades-old dance tradition, best known as the Electric Slide.  

“The Electric Slide and Kai” is a new book with a focus on family traditions, including passing down nicknames and bonding on the dance floor, especially to the tune of Marcia Griffiths’ Electric Boogie! This line dance, which was made popular in the ’80s, is a wedding favorite, especially among African American families. The fictional Donovan family is no exception. New to mastering this rite of passage dance is Kai, a young boy with a whole lot to learn about rhythm, traditions, and perseverance. 

As the song goes, “You can’t see it, you’ve got to feel it!”. That is exactly what Fair Oaks students did. Second and third-grade educators, including specialists, integrated this book, song, and dance into the February curriculum. 

Electric%20Slide%20(whole%20group).jpgTheir Fair Oaks students journeyed right along with Kai while diving deep into the book, “The Electric Slide and Kai.” All second and third-grade teachers learned about Black History through movement and engaged in a celebration of different family traditions. Students also introduced their peers to the dance traditions they uphold in their own families.  

This book study also included a virtual read-aloud by the author, Kelly J. Baptist. The author shared her inspiration for the plot and characters. She also answered questions including, “How long does it take to write a book?” and “How come Kai’s new uncle never got his nickname?”  Fair Oaks students encouraged the author to consider writing a sequel to “The Electric Slide and Kai.” 

The finale gave students the opportunity to dance the Electric Slide on the P.E. dance floor. The event proved that Fair Oaks’ teachers could teach language arts, math, science, social studies, and even the Electric Slide!