You are on page 1of 5

Kelsey Kennedy

Multi-Cultural Text
September 29th, 2015
What a Family by Rachel Isadora
Key Words: family, humor, relationships
This book describes the different relations of a family and shows how an individual can
be connected to many different people. When most children think of their families they
tend to think of their immediate family, however there are many different relatives and
relationships that children do not know or think about. I think this book would be a great
read-aloud for first grade. The illustrations are very vivid and describe the words on the
page very nicely. I believe that children would find this book to be interesting because it
talks about many different types of relationships such as second cousins, which they may
have not learned before. The plot in this novel is not very rich, however I still think this
book would be a great read aloud to read to young children. This book does a great job
explaining those different relationships and highlights how family members can be very
similar, yet also very different. I like how this book mentioned family members that
expressed all different types of cultures and expressed different traits such as spiky
hair, freckles, and big ears. All families are very different from one another, however
they all share a common connection of love. After reading this book, I would have the
students draw a picture of their families and try to write a few sentences describing their
families. I would then ask what students wanted to share their drawings. In conclusion, I
would sum up this lesson by reiterating that although many of family members are
similar, they are also very different at the same time.
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Key Words: prejudice, racism, separation
This book was a very powerful picture book that explained the segregation of blacks and
whites. A white girl named Annie starts sitting on the fence that separates the black
people from the white people. Clover, a young black girl starts to become very interested
in why this fence is there in the first place. One day, Annie asks to play with Clover and
her friends, but Clovers friend Sandra quickly tells her no. A couple days later, Clover
decides to go to the fence and converse with Annie. The two girls become friends and
begin to start playing together. At the end of the book Annie says, Someday somebodys
going to come along and knock this old fence down. The big idea that this novel
conveys is the confusion of separation between blacks and whites. I feel like this story
would be perfect for a second grade class. The story includes a problem that is still
prevalent in our society today, and the illustrations are beautifully painted with
watercolors throughout the story. The two characters represent two different races that
have a common bond of just wanting to play with one another. The end of the novel does
not necessarily solve the issue of the stereotypes that are still present in our society,
however it helps to express that idea that it should not matter what race a person is.
Getting to know a person is much more important than relying heavily on their physical
appearance. At the end of the story, I would assign the students into partners. Each set of
partners would be given a Venn diagram that would compare and contrast Annie and

Sandra. This would be a great way for the students to see that even though these two girls
are different races, they both still share many similarities.
I Too, Am America by Langston Hughes
Key Words: equality, hope, strength
This is a very famous poem written by Langston Hughes that expresses the fight for
equality. Hughes is a very strong individual who voices his opinions about the divide
between African Americans and white people. It seems as though he is told to eat in the
kitchen when company comes. However, this does not lower Hughes self esteem. He
continues to show that he is a strong individual who loves his country. The takeaway
from this story is that just because Langston Hughes is African American, does not mean
he is any less of a true American as a white person. This poem gives children a lot of
things to think and allows them to connect to real world issues. The fact that the author is
a famous African American makes this story that much more real and conveys more of a
powerful message to readers. I would like to use this book in a third grade class. I think
that this poem could be incorporated into a social studies lesson about the civil rights
movement. After reading this poem to the class, I would have students try to create their
own poems about what the key concepts and ideas that they learned about racism.
Duck For Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules
Key Words: culture, tradition, unique
Tuyet is the main character in this story. The last day of school before Thanksgiving
Break, Tuyets teacher tells everyone to enjoy their meals and eat lots of Turkey. When
Tuyet arrives home, her mother explains to her that they will be having duck for
Thanksgiving dinner. The duck is part of their Vietnamese culture and has been carried
on as a tradition year after year. Tuyet gets very upset and demands that their family
should be having turkey for dinner on Thanksgiving because that is what everyone in her
class will be eating on the holiday. When the day finally comes, Tuyet helps herself to
second helpings of duck and raves about how delicious it was! When Tuyet arrives back
at school after the holiday, she is pleasantly surprised by how many of her classmates ate
roast beef and lamb for Thanksgiving dinner, as oppose to the traditional turkey. The
characters in this story seem very realistic, and represent different cultural groups. This
would be a great read aloud for second grade students to help them understand that
different cultures celebrate holidays in different ways and have varied traditions. After
the read aloud I would have my students write journal entries about the traditions that
they remember from their Thanksgiving holidays. I would encourage students to share
with a partner to show that every student has different traditions and experiences.
Our grandparents A global Album by Maya Ajmera, Shelia Kinkade, Cynthia Pon
Key Words: grandparents, diversity, custom
This book explains about all of the different relationships between children and their
grandparents. The first page of this book shows pictures of grandparents from many
different cultures, and also shows how grandparent is written in different languages.
Although this book does not have the best plot or storyline, I still think this is a great

book to share with a first grade class. There are many vocabulary terms that are bolded
such as play, explore, and love which are high frequency words that the students should
be able to recognize. In addition to vocabulary terms, this book expresses many different
countries and cultures through the illustrations. After this read aloud I would have the
students make cards for their grandparents. Inside the cards, the students would be
required to write 3-5 sentences about activities they do with their grandparents. This
would be a great way for everyone to express their feelings and use different sentence
structures to talk about their grandparents.
Families by Susan Kuklin
Key Words: family, values, culture
Throughout this story, there are multiple interviews of children from all different types of
families who talk about what they like and dislike about their family life. All of these
families have different backgrounds, races, sexual orientations, religious views, and many
others dissimilarities. I do not think that this book would be a great read aloud, however I
do feel like this book could be used in a fifth grade classroom in small groups. I think this
book would be very interesting to children and allow them to compare and contrast their
own families to those described in the book. The illustrations corresponded to the
different cultures of families throughout the text. There is a wide variety of diversity
described throughout the book, whether it is through culture, race, customs, or traditions
that each family endeavors. I believe that this book would be a great way to introduce a
lesson on culture. If possible, I would love to coordinate a day during the week where
parents and students could bring in a favorite dish or food that was culturally specific to
their family. I think this would be a great way for the students to truly experience
different cultures.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Keywords: acceptance, community, encouragement
This childrens book is a perfect book for an elementary school level. Unhei is the new
kid in school and is very nervous to attend because she feels like the majority of
Americans who go to school there will judge her. Uhei decides to not introduce herself
and tells the class that she is going to put names in a glass jar, and by the end of the week
she will choose an American name for herself. One of her classmates ends up finding
out what her real name is and finds that this name has a special meaning. At the end of
the week, Unhei looks for the glass jar and realizes it is nowhere to be found. All of
Unheis classmates inspire her to keep her name and allow her to teach them how to
pronounce Unehi. This book could be used in a kindergarten class at the beginning of the
school year to try to help create a positive environment and friendships in the classroom.
This book teaches students that everyone in the classroom should be accepted no matter
where they come from. There are not any stereotypes used in this story, however the
children are exposed to different cultures. Following this book, I would like to create a
name jar for my classroom. Each student would write his/her name on a notecard and two
things about themselves. I would then pick out of the jar and whatever name I chose, I
would have that student introduce him/herself. This activity would allow all of the

students to get to know each other and be able to see how similar and different they are
from each other.
How to Make Friends with a Giant by Gennifer Choldenko
Keywords: inclusion, friendship, approval
Jake is the smallest kid in the class, while Jacomo is the new kid in class, otherwise
known as the GIANT. All of the students are constantly making fun of Jacomo and not
including him in activites. Lucky enough for Jacomo, Jake is always by his side making
him feel better and encouraging him to participate. By the end of the story, Jake and
Jacamo label themselves as best friends. I would read this story to my first grade class
because I feel like the children would find it humorous and engaging. There is a conflict
that is relatable to first grade students, which is solved in a positive way by Jake. The
illustrations are vivid and very appealing to young children. I would print off worksheets
that had a space for the students to draw and write a few sentences. There would be a
question that asked, How would you feel if you were Jacamo and why would you feel
this way? The students would respond by answering this question in a couple of
sentences.
Its Okay to be Different by Todd Parr
Key Words: accepting, confidence, individuality
This childrens book is perfect for a kindergarten read aloud. The book explains the ideas
that every person is different in some way. Every person has strengths, as well as
weakness that make up who they are. This book enforces children to be confident and
accept who they are. Children should not feel like they have to act or behave in a certain
way. Children should just be themselves. The illustrations are very colorful and vibrant,
and are geared toward young children. Diversity is portrayed throughout each page of this
book. At the end of the read aloud I would give each student a piece of construction paper
where they would draw a picture of themselves and write three words to describe
themselves. I would then staple all of the pieces of construction paper together and create
a classroom book, which would represent all of the differences of the students in the
classroom.
Sukis Kimono by Chieri Uegaki
Keywords: courage, self-assurance, sentimental value
This childrens book is about a young girl named Suki who loves her blue kimono. This
kimono was a gift from her grandmother whom she shares many extraordinary memories
with. Suki decides that she is going to wear her kimono the first day of school. She is not
worried about how other people will view her. She is confident in her self and on the first
day of school she shares the story about her blue kimono and how she went to a fun
festival and participated in a circle dance. She knows that she may be viewed as different,
however she does not let this get to her. Instead she sings the music she head from the
festival to her class. I think a second grade class would enjoy reading this book. I like

how this book represents a different culture from the norm, and allows people to learn
more about the Japanese culture. I think students would enjoy reading this book because
they would be learning about a culture that is most likely very foreign to them. I would
have students in third grade respond to a prompt in their journals. I would have them
write about a time where they felt like they stood up for themselves or someone else.
How did it make them feel? This book would be an appropriate read aloud to read to the
students during Anti-Bullying Week.