As I may or may not have mentioned before (remember I'm pregnant, I can't remember anything and I'm too tired to go back into the archives and look), my students have to write a letter to me every week about what they're reading. These are called "Reading Responses." Well, in honor of Black History Month, my students had to read biographies about, uh, famous black people. I changed the reading response assignment so that the letters they wrote were not to be addressed to me, but rather to the person about whom the biography they chose was written. They could ask the person questions, give them advice, tell them what they thought of them...you get the idea.
This is what what of my kids wrote in his letter to Duke Ellington:
Dear Mr. Ellington,
I've just read 3 chapters of Duke Ellington (yourself) by Richard Terrill. I wanted to ask you....[insert several pertinent questions here].
I'm also interested in the piano (like yourself) and am wondering if you can send me a miniature piano (if you're still alive at 109 years old). I'm going to look up if you're still alive on Google. I wish I could meet you in person. Too bad you're 109.
Sincerely, your reader,
I guess since he had only read the first 3 chapters at that point, he hadn't gotten to the part where Duke Ellington died in 1974.