Tag Archives: learners around the world

This Is How We Do It by Matt LaMothe

There’s been a push in education (and in school libraries) to make connections with those outside of our building.  Tools like Skype and Google Hangouts make it easier to see and interact with children outside our school walls, but those connections are usually across the US.  Trying to get out of North America and learn about others in the world is harder, if for no other reason than the time differences. And that’s where books and librarians can come into play.

It takes a concerted effort to teach global understanding and build empathy for others.  Finding titles that encompassed multicultural backgrounds and deepened world understanding AND are engaging read-alouds is even harder.  Lucky for us, there’s a new book to make teaching global literacy a bit easier.

This is How We Do It: one day in the lives of seven kids from around the world by Matt LaMothe

Children take center stage as they explain what their daily lives are like in seven diverse countries around the world.  Because none of the countries featured are from North America (children from Japan, Russia, Uganda, Peru, India, Iran, and Italy are included), it stands to reason that this was created for children with background knowledge from that continent.  The big takeaway is that we have similarities regardless of where we are from: we play, we go to school, we eat meals, etc.  It’s the little details that make our countries, our cultures, distinctive: while many children walk to school, it is what they experience on that walk – from mosques to fruit stands to cafes – that is unique to their country and culture.  The crisp font and child-like illustrations lend themselves to sharing with a group, and the captions on each page, describing the child’s experience in each country, are brief yet informative.  A book with a timeless quality, this is highly recommended.  Share with ages 6-10.

For teachers developing and implementing social-emotional learning in their classrooms, This is How We Do It is a must-purchase. Oftentimes, a lack of cultural awareness or knowledge is what leads to exclusion and bullying in schools.  There are rich research opportunities within these pages, too. Paired alongside the CultureGrams database, students could research about lives of children not featured in this book and – potentially – create their own.

Were I still teaching in the Northwest, this would be the 4th book in a “Learners Around the World” unit (the other three are Rain School, Waiting for the Biblioburro, and I’m New Here).

 

This Is How We Do It publishes on May 2, 2017.

One of the previewed titles at 2017 London Book Fair at the Chronicle/Abrams booth.

Cheers, y’all! 🙂 arika

Sep 26-20, 2016: Deborah Freedman, Trickster Tales, Learners in Our World

Week 5:  Deborah Freedman author study (K), Trickster Tales (1), Learners in Our World (2)

Kindergarten:

The first week of a 2-3 week Deborah Freedman author study (one class will miss a week due to a teacher workday).  I shared Blue Chicken as our first story…which was perfect, as the first part of the lesson was on book care.

At the end of the lesson, students can: identify ways to keep books safe, identify the role of an author, show where the E section is in our library, identify the E on the spine label of a book.

My friend Tiger – who only speaks to librarians and allows me to model polite conversation and manners – was holding a package as we sat down. After asking him if we could open it, we found books that had been destroyed: chewed up, colored in, pooped on, ripped apart, dropped in water. This was a tactile way to show why caring for books is important. I stressed that accidents happen and that telling someone if a book gets hurt is the right thing to do…no matter what.  And that they won’t get in trouble for it. 🙂

Blue Chicken – when blue paint is spilled everywhere – was a lovely story to follow. The chicken who spilled blue paint did her best to be a problem-solver and fix her mistake…which is what we expect our students to do.

1st grade:

Possibly the final week of our Folktales Around the World lesson…possibly, because my 1st graders called me out for not featuring a story from Europe!

At the end of the lesson, students can: sing and locate the continents of the world, explain what a trickster tale is, identify key traits of folktales (retellers, from 6 continents, stories passed down orally), make predictions.

Years ago, I performed Tops and Bottoms at a storytelling festival, and it remains a favorite to share with listeners of all ages. After the first trick Hare played on Bear, students started predicting what Hare could grow that would benefit him while giving Bear nothing good to eat. Many giggles, lots of opportunities for conversations, and fabulous illustrations!

2nd grade:

Week 2 of Learners Around the World! This week, we looked at schools in Colombia, South America with Monica Brown’s Waiting for the Biblioburro.

At the end of the lesson, students can: identify the 7 continents of the world and Equator, use a primary source to learn new information, access a database to learn about a country, compare schools and education in two different countries using personal knowledge and information gathered from a database and primary source.

This week, YouTube came to the rescue with these two video clips, showcasing the work of Librarian Luis and his two burros, Alfa and Beto, as he takes books to remote areas in Colombia.

Safeshare – https://safeshare.tv/x/ss57ed282af200f

Safeshare – https://safeshare.tv/x/ss57ed2896db50f

Other happenings in our library:

  • Fifth graders are enamored with the PokemonGO game in our library…so much so that they wanted to create game pieces, too. So, during recesses the past few weeks, I taught a handful how I created the images and QR codes. They came in on their own time (usually 10-15 minutes) and worked…and the first student PokemonGO to our library QR code was made this week!
  • A 2nd grader stopped by one morning, sharing how she downloaded the Quiver app at home and showed her parents how to use AR with the dot picture she made in library. She wondered if there was more she could do with the app.  Answer: YES! She came in during her recess and together we explored the Quiver website, downloading new coloring pages to augment using their free app. She had the best time coloring and making her work come to life. We wonder how the technology is made and works. Maybe a future Skype visit with Quiver?
  • Fifth graders+ lunchtime + Wednesday + picture books = Lunch & Listen in the Library! It’s holding steady with about 30-35 students in the room each week.
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Happy reading and teaching, y’all!   🙂   arika

Library Lessons: Sep 19-23, 2016

Week 4. Or, 10% of the year. Audrey Wood, Trickster Tales, Learners Around the World.

Kindergarten:

Our final week with Audrey Wood featured The Little Mouse…Big Hungry Bear and The Birthday Queen (so chosen because it happened to be my birthday on class day!).

At the end of the lesson, students can: make text-to-self connections (related to celebrating a birthday), identify moods/feelings based on illustrations, show where the E section is, identify the E on the spine label of a book.

Before reading The Birthday Queen, students thought of items that makes birthday celebrations special. Writing these on the board, we looked for these during our story. Each time something appeared (say, balloons were in the story), students did a cheer (pat-pat-clap-clap-HOORAY!)  There was MUCH cheering!

During The Little Mouse…Big Hungry Bear, we examined illustrations to infer mood and feeling of Little Mouse. His expressions showed surprise, worry, fear, seriousness and more. A wonderful story to practice the challenging skill of inference!

1st grade:

More trickster tales! This week, from South America: Jabuti the Tortoise.

At the end of the lesson, students can: sing and locate the continents of the world, explain what a trickster tale is, identify key traits of folktales (retellers, from 6 continents, stories passed down orally), identify ways to act when jealous of another.

Much discussion was had by the classes on who the trickster actually was – Jabuti or Vulture. This led to more discussion on why Vulture acted the way he did (jealousy) and how we, as humans, can act when we are jealous of another – a  needed, appropriate topic for 7 year olds, to be sure. A critical thinking question that came up as I read: Why, when Vulture dropped Jabuti, was it important that the tortoise land on his back?

2nd grade:

Week 1 of Learners Around the World! This week, we looked at schools in Chad, Africa with James Rumford’s Rain School.

At the end of the lesson, students can: identify the 7 continents of the world and Equator, use a database to learn about a country, compare schools and education in two different countries using personal knowledge and information gathered from a database.

Rain School is always well-received by students, though always with a bit of disbelief. Do children really build their own school with mud? This question is what CultureGrams is made for – learning about people, land, and cultures in a kid-accessible format.  While I usually wouldn’t use this with 2nd graders (it’s designed for grades 3+), I make it accessible by reading the information out loud, breaking down any difficult vocabulary or concepts, and making connections to our story.

As a whole class, we located the continent of Africa, the country of Chad (which we had estimated on our own world carpet map), then used the sidebar to navigate to Schools in Chad. And at the end, when asked how we are the same as learners, it was easy to make the connections. Yes, there are many differences. But there are many similarities, too…and seeing how we are the same as humans, no matter where we live or how much money we have, is a huge part of this mini-unit.

Students did not write any information down, as we barely had enough time to complete the story, database access, and check out…but I hope for them to independently access and use CultureGrams later this year…maybe for Culture Week?

Happy teaching, y’all! 🙂 arika