Our Skin: A First Conversation about race

Our Skin Summary

Young learners will have questions about race. Be ready to answer by grabbing a copy of Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race. This incredible resource, written by experts, will educate readers of all ages.

The board book opens with a note to adult readers. The authors, Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, explain the importance of answering questions about race. Ignoring these conversations will leave children to believe ideas and opinions that are wrong.

Our Skin opens with a diverse group of children looking at the reader. They seem to be listening to the narrator who says, “We all have skin. It comes in different colors!” A follow-up question asks, “What color is your skin?” The text structure continues with a statement followed by a question.

The narrator does a wonderful job explaining terms to young children. Readers will learn about melatonin and discover how the idea of race began.

Readers will explore the injustice of racism. They may even connect with the different racist scenarios presented in the book. The narrator explains that racism can happen on purpose or by mistake.

A call to action encourages readers to be brave. Children can say, “That’s not right!” when they see or hear something that is wrong. The narrator lists other ways learners can stop racism.

Notes at the back of the book help adult readers continue conversations about race. Here you’ll find information about diversity, stereotypes and activism.

I love the illustrations by Isabel Roxas. The images are large and clear, making this board book accessible for class read alouds.

This image shows two pages of the book Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race. The page on the left shows a girl of color playing football and a Black boy looking through a magnifying glass at a snail. The other page shows a white boy eating noodle soup and a boy of color eating  a croissant. The text says, "Skin color can't tell you much about what people are like, what they know, what foods they think are yummy, what their favorite books are, or even where they were born. Just by looking at someone, we can't tell who they are on the inside. But sometimes people try to anyway.

Our Skin Discussion

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Think I.A.2 Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.

Before Reading
  • Ask learners what they think they know about race.
  • Record questions they have about race on chart paper.
During Reading
  • Invite learners to answer the questions in the story. Explore skin color and identity.
After Reading

Ask learners to reflect on how their thinking changed. What did they learn by reading the book?

Record remaining questions for future conversations about race.

More Resources for Educators

Preorder a copy of Let’s Talk about Race in Storytimes by Jessica Anne Bratt. She is the Director of Community Engagement and Outreach at the Grand Rapids Public Library and facilitates workshops about race.

The book Start Here Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community by Liz Kleinrock is available now. Not to brag, but I have the book and enrolled in her 3 part webinar. Kleinrock is I learned about building a strong community where learners feel confident about themselves and appreciate learning from others. Watch Kleinrock take on a teachable moment about race in her fourth grade classroom.

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If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Purchase Books

I am an affiliate of Amazon and Bookshop. If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Click here to read the Disclosure page.

Ten Beautiful things

Life is always changing, and sometimes, change is hard. In Ten Beautiful Things, we learn how finding beauty in our surroundings can make things easier.

The story starts with an illustration on the title page. Here, we see a grandmother loading up her car with suitcases and a moving box. A little girl with a backpack and a stuffed animal sits on a box marked “stuff.” She looks sad about moving.

When the trip begins, Lily, the little girl, looks at a map to find her new home in Iowa. She is moving in with her grandmother. To help Lily feel better, Gram suggests they look for ten beautiful things while they travel. The first thing they witness is a gorgeous sunrise. This helps Lily feel better for a few moments, but then sadness creeps in again.

Staying in the game, Lily finds beauty in the wind turbines along the road. Then, she spots a colorful bird. Gram counts the sound of moving water from a creek to their list. Lily adds the rich smell of mud.

Appreciating beauty gives Lily moments of peace. But she still feels hollow and queasy.

When Gram turned onto the last road, a magnificent storm filled the sky. They marveled at the dark swirling clouds and bolts of lightning. The beautiful strength of nature filled Lily with awe. She also realize how grateful she was to have her grandmother.

When they pulled up to Gram’s house, Lily realized they only found nine beautiful things. Gram gives her a hug and tells her what the tenth thing is. I’ll leave it at that so I don’t spoil the ending for you.

What I love about this book is that Lily keeps looking for beauty even though it only gives her moments of peace. At the end of the story, Lily is still not all that happy. She recognizes that her new situation will not be easy, but she finds strength in the love from her grandmother.

Lesson Activity for Ten Beautiful Things

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Curate/Think IV.A.1 Learners act on an information need by determining the need to gather information.

Ask volunteers to share a time when they had to make a big change. How did they adapt to their new circumstances? Did someone help them feel better?

Discuss the strategy Gram used to help Lily. Explain that finding beauty in our surroundings can help us regulate our emotions. Tell learners that today, they will make a zine; or a small magazine. They will use the zine to jot down the beautiful things they see throughout their day. A zine is small enough to keep in pockets. This provides easy access to review things of beauty whenever they feel sad, anxious or overwhelmed.

Watch this video to learn how to make a zine without scissors, tape or staples:

More Books About Finding Beauty in Nature

Want to find more books that inspire readers to appreciate nature? Click here to find lesson ideas that will fill readers with awe.

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Cover of the book Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades by Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini.

If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included

Purchase Books

I am an affiliate of Amazon and Bookshop. If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Click here to read the Disclosure page.

Keep Your Head Up

Blog banner featuring the cover of the book Keep Your Head Up by Aliya King Neil and Charly Palmer.

Summary

How do you turn your day around when it’s off to a bad start? In Keep Your Head Up, D. starts his day with a cloud over his head. He is in a bad mood. His alarm did not go off, and his favorite toothpaste is missing. Things aren’t any better at school. D. forgot his gym clothes, and he got stuck with the junky laptop. The cloud continues to hover above D.’s head.

D. keeps trying to turn things around. He recognizes his feelings, and uses positive self-talk to manage his emotions. D. hopes to turn things around if he gets the “Recycler” job. The “Recycler” can take long walks and check in with the principal. This job helps D. feel better. But someone else gets to be the “Recycler” for the day.

When paint gets on D.’s uniform, he’s had it. He has a meltdown. The teacher sends him to the principal’s office. Here, D. cools down under the gentle guidance of the principal and his parents. They remind D. that when days are crummy, all he can do is try to keep his head up.

The acrylic illustrations in this book add texture to D.’s feelings. Readers will notice the cloud that hangs over D.’s head. The cloud takes on different shapes and colors as D. runs into problems. A close up of D.’s “Bad Day” face will connect readers with their own reactions to anger.

Image of two pages in the picture book Keep Your Head Up by Aliya King Neil and Charly Palmer.

Keep Your Head Up Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Collaborate/Think III.A.2 Learners identify collaborative opportunities by developing new understandings through engagement in a learning group.

What I love about Keep Your Head Up is that D. recognizes his feelings and has a few strategies to manage them. When he finally gives up trying to keep things together, he has a meltdown. The great thing about this story is that D. does not get in trouble for expressing his feelings. Instead, the principal and his parents answer his questions about how he can turn things around when he doesn’t feel like it.

Before reading the book, invite learners to think of a day when nothing went right. Ask how they felt when they had a bad day. How did they react to their circumstances?

Explain that you will read a story about a boy who is having a bad day. Say, “Let’s see how he recognizes and manages his emotions.”

After reading the story, discuss D.’s strategy for managing his emotions. Invite learners to describe a time when they had a bad day. How did they work through it?

Divide learners into groups. Explain that they will work together to create a “Things To Try When Having a Bad Day” poster. Start by looking at examples of infographics to get an idea of how to illustrate the posters. Point to great examples of visuals that attract readers. Then, invite learners to brainstorm and sketch some ideas. Hang posters up where learners can refer to them throughout the day.

I hope you’ll buy this book after watching author Aliya King Neil read Keep Your Head Up.

Take a look at a tweet by Aliya King Neil. In the post, we learn the story behind the book and meet D.!

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The Circles All Around Us Lesson Activities

Animated image promoting the book The Circles All Around Us. The cover of the book is in the center of the frame. White circles surround the book.

Summary

If you need help making your way back into social circles, read The Circles All Around Us. This book reminds us how much better the world is when we include others in our lives.

The story opens up with a child drawing a circle. The child sits alone inside the shape. When family members want in on the space, a bigger circle includes everyone. Larger circles follow to accommodate more family members, friends and neighbors.

A double-page spread shows the child making the circle big enough to fit people from around the world. It’s mentioned that including people with different experiences can be hard at times. However, if you start from a place of love, “wonderful things can happen.”

The message in this story is a reminder of the importance of human connections. Life is so much more meaningful when we engage with different people. The narrator compares social circles to books. Think of how limiting life would be if we only had one book to read. This idea applies to the people we meet. Life is better when we make connections with many new and different people.

Double page spread from the book The Circles All Around Us. The illustrations show children and adults helping each other.

Lesson Activities

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Include/Create II.B.1 Learners adjust their awareness of the global learning community by interacting with a range of learners who reflect a range of perspectives.

Socktober is an event developed by the creators of The Circles All Around Us. They invite everyone to contact local homeless shelters and find out what they need. This call-to-action can inspire learners to collaborate on a service project.

After reading The Circles All Around Us, introduce Socktober. Visit the Homeless Shelter Directory to find the shelters in your area. Read about the different homeless shelters and discover their missions. Find out what they need. As a class, vote for a shelter to support.

Next, invite learners to work in groups to develop a service project plan. Use the Service Project Guides created by the iTeach team at Kennesaw State University. Allow groups to present their plans. Then, vote on a project to implement.

If a service project is too big right now, think about starting simple acts of kindness. Watch The Circles Show on YouTube for some ideas. Invite learners to brainstorm simple things they can do to make the world a better place. Direct learners to commit to one activity and develop a plan to make it happen.

The Hope for Families Center

This activity compelled me to make a donation to The Hope for Families Center in Vero Beach, Florida. They are looking for donations to their new Reading Resource Center. Donations will help buy new books for children. If you would like to help, here’s a link to page: https://www.hopeforfamiliescenter.org/donate.html

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Saving American Beach

Promotional image of the book Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch. The book is centered in the image, with shells and garbage around it. The book is resting in sand.

Summary

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Think I.A.1 Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.

What would compel you to give up everything and fight for justice? For opera singer MaVynee Betsch, it was saving American Beach.

When MaVynee was little, laws prevented Black people from swimming on many beaches. MaVynee’s grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, wanted to change this for his family. He purchased beach property and opened it for all to enjoy. Lewis named the oasis American Beach, and MaVynee loved spending time there.

MaVynne grew up and performed around the world as an opera singer. Her travel left little time to visit American Beach. She missed her childhood playground by the sea.

When MaVynne returned to American Beach, she was sad to see how much it changed. Nobody was taking care of the oceanfront property. Garbage littered the sand and water. Dilapidated cottages fell in disrepair. MaVynee wanted to change this. She cleaned the beach and made it her home.

Developers started appraising the property all around the beach. They wanted to build condominiums. MaVynee would not stand for that. She began a creative protest to grab people’s attention. She grew her hair into a long, thick rope and attached protest pins and shells to the braid.

When MaVynee found a captive audience, she talked about the history of the beach. She asked people to help her protect the spot. She wrote letters and spoke to lawmakers.

Her relentless work made a difference. A note from the author informs readers that American Beach is now protected. It is part of the National Park Service and the Florida Black Heritage Trail. American Beach is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Double-page spread of Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch. The illustration shows people playing on American Beach.

Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Think Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular
topic.

Introduce the book by asking learners why people enjoy the beach. Explain that we are fortunate because there are people who help take care of the beach. Tell learners that you are going to read a story about a woman who dedicated her life to protect one beach. Say, “Let’s read and find out why it was so important for her to save American Beach.”

Ask the following questions while you read the story:

  • “After looking at the cover and reading the title, what questions do you have?” (cover)
  • “What questions do you have about American history after seeing the dividing rope in the water?” (pp. 3-4)
  • “What do you want to know about Mr. Abraham Lincoln Lewis?” (pp. 5-8)
  • “How does the ocean influence MaVynne’s career?” (pp. 9-12)
  • “What changes do you notice on the beach? Why do you suppose this happened?” (pp. 17-18)
  • “What do you suppose the author means when she writes that ‘MaVynne was saving more than a beach’?” (pp. 9-12)
  • “How do you suppose growing long hair helped MaVynee with her protest?” (pp. 28-30)
  • “Why do you think the author wrote this story? What questions do you have after reading the note from the author and illustrator?”

After reading the story, invite readers to share what they would like to investigate. Explore the American Beach Museum’s website to find answers to questions. Consider emailing the museum with a note of appreciation. Their work continues to inform people about the important history of American Beach.

Readers may also want to write to author Heidi Tyline King and illustrator Ekua Holmes for sharing this incredible piece of history with us.

If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included

Purchase Books

I am an affiliate of Amazon and Bookshop. If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Click here to read the Disclosure page.

Amira’s Picture Day Lesson Activity

Cover of Amira's Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim

Summary

It’s the night before Eid, and Amira is busy preparing for the holiday celebration. She fills goody bags with candy and decorates her hands with henna. Her Eid shalwar kameez is hanging on the closet door, ready to wear to the masjid. Amira loves celebrating with family and friends. 

Tomorrow is also picture day at school. This upsets Amira. She’s afraid that if she’s not in the class photo, nobody will remember her.  

When Amira arrives at the masjid the next day, she’s happy to see her friends. The decorations are beautiful and the food smells delicious. Amira has a great time. 

Amira packs up the extra goodie bags when the festivities end. She realizes that school is still in session, and asks if she can bring the treats to her class. 

Amira feels a little funny and nervous about walking into her classroom. She’s still wearing her shalwar kameez, and no one will know why she missed school that morning. Amira’s mother explains the absence to the teacher, and the class is happy to see Amira. They  love her clothes and her decorated hands. 

The story ends with the class getting their picture taken. Amira is in the photo. She made it back to class in time for the class picture. 

The illustrations in this story capture the joyful celebration of Eid. The pages are full of candy, streamers, and clothes in brilliant colors. The story will compel readers to learn more about unfamiliar words and practices. 

Two pages of the book Amira's Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim. The pages show hands decorated with mehndi designs.

Lesson

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Grow: I.D.1 Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge.

Engage learners by asking them to name a favorite holiday. Explain that you are going to read a story about a holiday called Eid. Show the cover of Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim. Explain that Eid is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims. Ask learners to share what they already know about Eid. 

Explain that Eid could fall on a school day. When that happens, Muslims go to a place of worship instead of school. Sometimes, this means that they miss out on special school activities. 

Discussion Questions

Ask the following questions as you read Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim:

  • “Take a look at the cover of the book. What do you notice? What questions do you have? Now, what do you notice about the endpapers? What questions do you have?” (cover and front endpapers)
  • “What is happening on the title page?” (title page)
  • “How do Amira and Ziyad feel about seeing the Moon?” (pp. 1-2)
  •  “What questions do you have about Eid after reading these pages?” (pp. 3-4)
  • “What are we learning about the celebration so far?” (pp. 5-6)
  • “How is Amira feeling about picture day? How do you know this?” (pp. 7-8)
  • “How does Amira feel about her mother’s response about picture day? How do you know this?” (p. 9)
  • “Why was Amira upset about missing the class picture?” (p. 10)
  • “How is Amira feeling on these pages? What makes you say so?” (pp. 11-12)
  • “What new information did you learn about Eid on this page?” (p. 14)
  • “What else can we infer about Eid after looking at this double-page spread?” (pp. 15-16) 
  • “Why do you suppose Amira feels a little funny?” (p. 26)
  • “What did the teacher learn about Eid?” (p. 27)
  • “How do the classmates respond to Amira’s traditional clothing and decorated hands?” (p. 28)

Amira’s Picture Day Lesson Activity

Ask readers to consider the author’s purpose for writing the story. Invite learners to learn more about Eid or another holiday they are unfamiliar with. 

Introduce a favorite database or nonfiction book series to help answer questions. Tell learners to record lingering questions as they research their topic. 

After they gather information, ask learners to consider how they can share what they learned. 

Skillshare Course

After reading this story, I wanted to learn about mehndi. Skillshare offers classes on this craft. I watched Puja Modi’s course and learned how to make a mehndi cone, mix a batch of henna, and paint designs.

Decorating with henna and a mehndi cone is a lot like decorating a cake. It takes practice to get the mixture at the right consistency. My first batch was probably too thick. Sometimes, the mixture got stuck and I had to apply more pressure to the cone. This left clumpy lines.

I look forward to trying it again. I’ll stick with practicing on paper for a while. I want to get a good handle on it before trying to design on skin.

If you’d like to check out Skillshare free for 14 days, you can use my teacher referral link. I will get a small fee if you decide to subscribe. Click here for the referral link.

Cover of Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades by Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini

If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Purchase Books

I am an affiliate of Amazon and Bookshop. If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Click here to read the Disclosure page.


Fatima’s Great Outdoors Lesson Activity

Promotional image for the picture book Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq and Stevie Lewis. The book is in the center of the image with wood and leaves in the background.

Summary

Fatima Khazi is having a hard time at her new school. Classmates wrinkle their noses at the food she brings for lunch. They make of the way she pronounces words, and her grades are below average.

But when she’s camping with her family, Fatima can relax. She enjoys eating familiar food like shami kabab. She’s also excited to try bacon for breakfast “like the other American families” (23).

Spending time in nature with her family transforms Fatima. She learns how to assemble a tent, build a fire, and face her fear of spiders. Camping helps Fatima feel confident, and she takes her new energy back to school.

Throughout the story, readers will encounter words associated with Indian culture. The storyline and illustrations help readers infer the meaning of these words. Readers will love the digital illustrations by Stevie Lewis.

Author Ambreen Tariq wrote this book to inspire all readers to connect with the outdoors. Her #BrownPeopleCamping social media campaign inspires all families to spend time outside.

Listen to Camping is an Adventure for All Americans in ‘Fatima’s Great Outdoors’ from NPR. This riveting interview explains why the @BrownPeopleCamping campaign is important for America.

Two pages in the picture book Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq and Stevie Lewis.

Discussion Questions for Fatima’s Great Outdoors

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Think I.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.

Begin this lesson activity by showing learners the cover of Fatima’s Great Outdoors. Ask learners what they expect to learn from the story. Discuss the following questions as you read the story:

  • “What can we tell about Fatima’s school by looking at this illustration? How do you think Fatima feels about school? ” (pp.1-2)
  • “After reading these pages, how has your thinking changed about Fatima and school?” (pp. 3-4)
  • “What did you learn about Fatima’s family on this page?” (pg. 6)
  • “How did Fatima’s feelings change about assembling the tent?” (pp. 13-15)
  • “What questions do you have about the food they brought on their camping trip?” (pg. 16)
  • “What did you learn about Fatima’s family after reading these pages?” (pp. 17-18)
  • “Why do you think Fatima wanted to have bacon ‘like the other American families?’” (p. 23)
  • “How did Fatima’s feelings change about building a campfire?” (pp.25-30)
  • “What new information did we learn about Fatima’s family after reading these pages?” (pp. 29-30)
  • “What did Fatima appreciate about the camping trip?” (pp.31-33)

Fatima’s Great Outdoors Lesson Activity

Ask learners to compare how Fatima felt about school before and after she went camping. Invite learners to explain how the camping trip empowered Fatima. Learners can illustrate Fatima as a superhero using her superpowers in nature or at school.

Thank you, Kim Kaelin, for bringing this book and the NPR interview to my attention! I’m grateful for your contribution to our Facebook Group.

Cover of Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades by Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini.
If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Purchase Books

I am an affiliate of Amazon and Bookshop. If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Click here to read the Disclosure page.

Milo Imagines the World Lesson Activity

Promotional image for a lesson activity based on the book Milo Imagines the World. The cover of the book Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson is featured in the center of the image. Crayons and crayon drawings surround the book.

Summary

When Milo gets anxious, he imagines stories about the people around him. He studies their faces and conjures up images of what their lives must be like. Milo captures his imagination by drawing his visions in his sketchpad.

But could he be making correct judgements about the people he sees? Milo begins to change his thinking when he realizes one of his stories is wrong. He wonders about the quick judgments he’s made and considers different possibilities.

Milo questions what people might think of him. Can they see that he is a poet and his aunt takes good care of him? Do they know that his mother loves him very much and is incarcerated?

Milo Imagines the World is a beautiful story that opens up a conversation about bias and empathy. Illustrator Christian Robinson based Milo’s story on his own life. When Robinson felt overwhelmed as a child, drawing gave him a sense of control. His imagination opened up a world of possibilities while living in a small space without his mom.

Author Matt de la Peña does an incredible job unfolding Milo’s story. Readers first see Milo waiting for a subway train. The words describing the approaching train help readers see, feel, and hear the train as it comes to a stop. Text clues help the reader learn more about Milo as he travels. We get a full understanding of Milo by the end of the story where we read how he feels while hugging his family.

Double-page spread of Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson.

Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Explore/Think V.A.2: Learners develop and satisfy personal curiosity by reflecting and questioning assumptions and possible misconceptions.

When looking at the cover of Milo Imagines the World, what do you suppose the story is about? I thought we would learn about a boy who aspires to be an engineer. I made this assumption because of the cityscape drawings and the pencil behind Milo’s ear. Reading Milo’s story made me realize how wrong I was with my first impression.

I fell into the same trap that Milo did in the story. I made a quick judgement about Milo just by looking at the cover of the book. Matt de la Peña wrote this book to help people like me learn to question first impressions. He wants readers to consider different possibilities with the people we see.

This lesson activity will help readers to question their first assumptions of Milo after reading Milo Imagines the World.

Step One

Begin the lesson by showing learners the cover of the book. Ask learners to share what the illustrator wants us to know about Milo. Record responses on chart paper.

Tell readers that while you read, their job is to notice new information about Milo. Learners can infer how he feels and discover his living situation. Record new information on the chart paper.

Step Two

At the end of the story, learners will know more about Milo. Invite learners to reflect on how their thinking changed about Milo from the beginning of the story to the end. Discuss how Milo questioned his assumptions and considered different possibilities. Ask why it’s important to practice this reflection process when meeting new people.

Subscribe to our blog to get access to our free lesson activity worksheets. A worksheet is available for Milo Meets the World.

Cover of Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades by Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini.
If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Purchase Books

I am an affiliate of Amazon and Bookshop. If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Click here to read the Disclosure page.

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

Promotional blog banner featuring the book Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki. Steam rises above the book, highlighting the idea that the setting of the story takes place in a kitchen.

Summary

What does it take to make a satisfying meal for hungry neighbors? Passionate volunteers who are ready to work with whatever they have. In Our Little Kitchen, by Jillian Tamaki, readers watch volunteers pick garden vegetables, rifle through refrigerated items, and warm up day-old bread. They peel, chop and cook in a hurried rush. The clock ticks away the minutes before they welcome their neighbors with food.

Tamaki does an incredible job tackling a serious topic with playful text and drawings. Spot illustrations with interesting text features help readers get a feel for the sights, sounds and emotions that fill the community kitchen. The story is full of love, light and compassion.

The author’s note explains how Tamaki volunteered for many years in a community kitchen. She gives background information about the work and presents reasons why her neighbors were hungry. Our Little Kitchen captures a small moment in Tamaki’s big effort to raise awareness about hunger in local communities.

Double-page spread in the book Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki. Large cans of beans spill over the pages, with a cook and a child falling with the beans.

Response to Literature

AASL Standards Framework for Learners Collaborate/Create III.B.1 Learners participate in personal, social, and intellectual networks by using a variety of communication tools and resources.

How are your neighbors doing? Contact your local food bank, community kitchen or social services to see if there is a need for donations. Consider inviting representatives from the organizations for a class visit. They can explain their roles in helping the community and point to areas where they need support. Learners can work together to create a plan to get food to those in need.

Do you want to learn about a grocery store that is making an impact on their community? Read about the Daily Table in Massachusetts. The only items you’ll find in the store are nutritious groceries and prepared meals at low prices. Find out how they do this by reading their website. It’s good stuff!

Cover of Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades by Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini.
If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

Purchase Books

I am an affiliate of Amazon and Bookshop. If you click on the links below and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Click here to read the Disclosure page.

New eCourse

Would you like to learn how to create a lesson plan based on the AASL Standards Framework for learners? Please join me for a 4-week course starting February 1, 2021! During our time together, you will learn how to:

1) find a compelling picture book

2) name an AASL Standard and classroom standards to work with

3) write an objective and a lesson

4) create a rubric to assess learning

By the end of this course, you will have a lesson plan that you can use with your learning community. Every week, you will watch a video, participate in a Zoom meeting, and complete an assignment. The Zoom meetings will take place on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM Central Standard Time. Here, we can share resources, ideas, and offer support as we build our lesson plans.

The class size is limited to 30 participants, so please sign up today!

https://aasl.digitellinc.com/aasl/store/31/index/158

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