Posts tagged ‘individuality’

115. Tea With Milk by Allen Say

tea with milkRetell: Masako is a Japanese-American who moves to Japan after spending her childhood in America.  Adjusting to life in Japan is rough for Masako.  She must repeat high school in order to learn Japanese, her classmates call her gaijin (a derogatory word for ‘foreigner’), and she must learn how to be a proper Japanese lady.  One day she boards a bus for Osaka and finds work, a companion and a cure for her homesickness.

Topics: English, Japanese-Americans, homesickness, culture shock, matchmaking, individuality

Units of Study: Character, Social Issues, Personal Narrative, Memoir

Tribes: right to pass

Habits of Mind: taking responsible risks, thinking flexibly

Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, prediction, empathy

My Thoughts: I especially enjoy Tea With Milk because I have a personal connection to this book.  I taught English for three years in a rural village in Japan.  I can relate to May and her struggle to get used to sitting on the floor (women are expected to sit on their knees–it’s considered rude to sit cross-legged) and missing comfort foods.  When I read this book I thought of my students who often visit the countries where their parents are from and experience an identity crisis similar to the one that May faced.  I hope that this book inspires them to write their stories.  Though this is technically a personal narrative (the main character was the author’s mother) you could angle this to fit in many different units including the current Character unit.  It’s particularly useful for modeling how readers notice subtle changes in a character.

October 19, 2009 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

36. You Can’t Go to School Naked! by Dianne Billstrom

you can't go to school nakedRetell: Parents try to convince their young son to put on clothes for his first day of school.  They manage to come to an interesting compromise.

Topics: clothes, consequences, individuality, decisions

Units of Study: Poetry

Tribes: right to pass

Writing Skills: using rhythm and rhyme

My Thoughts: This is a really cute ‘fun read.’  I can see using this during a discussion about rules and how they are usually implemented for a reason.  “If you went to school naked when the sun’s overhead, you would get a sunburn and turn very RED!”  It also addresses the idea of having the right to pass (even having the right to pass on wearing clothes) but that each decision we make has consequences.

August 1, 2009 at 9:01 am Leave a comment


Feeds

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


%d bloggers like this: