Initiative Featured Book
For a read-aloud visit YouTube. The video is 17 minutes long. The story is long but all of the additional text is included.
Radio Rescue by Lynne Barasch
Back in 1923, a long-distance telephone call took hours to place, and overseas calls weren’t possible at all. But a new invention, called wireless radio, permitted instant communication over long distances. A young boy, itching to get involved, buys a secondhand receiver and earphones, and studies hard to learn Morse code so that he can pass the test to qualify as an amateur radio operator and get his own 2AZK. Its fun talking with people all over the world just by tapping on his telegraph key (and readers can tap along – there’s Morse code to follow in the pictures). Then one night he picks up a distress signal from Florida — family stranded in flood — and uses his skill for something more important. Based on the author’s father’s experiences as a young ham operator in the 1920s, Radio Rescue is an exciting story of a moment in technological history.
After reading the book to the class, process it with these or similar questions:
- How difficult do you think it was to learn Morse Code?
- Do you think he intended to be part of a rescue operation when he began his interest in HAM radio?
- Does anyone know of anyone who is a HAM radio operator? (They are still in use, today!)
- Read the beginning part of the book where it describes the true story upon which this story was based.
The boy in the story showed initiative by working on building his hobby slowly. He showed initiative when he intervened and helped rescue the family in Key Largo. Have you have shown initiative and helped out someone you didn’t know?
To further the lesson in the book, use your favorite search engine to find a list of Morse code translations for letters and let the students create their first name in Morse code.
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