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PS 165 Robert E. Simon School: Global Scholars Academy, Upper West Side, Manhattan, District 3

Gail Carson Levine, Dave at Night:

Behind the Book thanks Columbia Community Service for their support of our programs at PS 165. We'd like to especially thank Limarys Caraballo, doctoral student in Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, for her help with curriculum development for the Newspaper Program.

Visit 1: May 12, 2010
Visit 2: May 19, 2010
Visit 3: May 20, 2010
Visit 4: May 26, 2010

The Dave at Night Program was a multi-discipline study of the Harlem Renaissance which intertwined literature, history, creative writing, visual art and music. It is also an homage to Harlem: the students’ own neighborhood. A fifth grade class at PS 165 read Dave at Night by Newbery Honor winning author Gail Carson Levine. Dave at Night tells the story of a young boy (Dave) in an orphanage in Harlem during the 1920s who sneaks out every night and explores the innovations in music and art of the time. Dave, we learn in the prologue of the book, is based on the true story of the author’s father who snuck out of an orphanage in Harlem to buy candy.

Students had four Behind the Book visits: two writing workshops with author Gail Carson Levine; one collage and art history workshop with artist Barbara Korein, and one field trip to the National Jazz Museum of Harlem, where students enjoyed a live jazz band and joined the band in making music.

The combination of author workshops, artist workshops and field trips serve to bring a multi dimensionalunderstanding of Dave at Night as well as to prepare students to produce a high quality final project: an additional final chapter of the book with a new book cover created in the style of Romare Bearden. The students final chapters and art were compiled into a class book which Behind the Book published through Blurb.com. The link to the book was shared with parents so they could purchase a copy. Behind the Book provided a copy for the classroom and one copy for the school library.

Below is a video of the PS 165 students talking about meeting Gail Carson Levine as well as some pictures from the visit!

Gail Carson Levine talks to the PS165 class about Dave at Night and the art of writing.

A student cuts out shapes to construct her Romare Bearden-style book cover.

Enthusiasm abounds as this student works on his Chapter 19 book cover.


A young man workshops his Chapter 19 with Gail Carson Levine and his classmates. ..................


The inside of this student's book holds beatiful art and her wonderfully written addition to Dave at Night.


Smiling students proudly hold up their creative book covers.


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