Explore your Culture through Storytelling
Lesson Plan K-2
National Language Arts Standard 3: Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
National Language Arts Standard 10: Students whose first language is not English make use of their first language to develop competency in the English language arts and to develop understanding of content across the curriculum.
• Explore their cultural heritage through reading, writing and speaking exercises.
• Create illustrated mini-books that express their unique cultural and personal experiences.
• Share their stories with their class through an interactive circle game.
• Small book ring, string or wire
• Single hole punch
• Hanging Book Reproducible. (Option: Use standard 3 x 5 in index cards in place of Hanging Book Reproducible)
• Crayons, markers and pencils
• One copy of De donde yo soy/Where I'm From poem by Levi Romero
SET UP AND PREPARE
• Copy Hanging Book Reproducible onto standard paper, colored paper or heavier card stock. Cut enough cards for each student to assemble into a book. (Option: provide each student with 4 -6 standard 3x5 inch index cards in place of Hanging Book Reproducible).
• Hand out one small book ring to each student.
• Prepare to read De donde yo soy/Where I'm From poem by Levi Romero to class and/or other cultural heritage writings such as "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon (www.georgeellalyon.com ) and cultural heritage writings by Hispanic poets, youth and children available at www.nationalhispaniccenter.org.
Exploring Cultural Heritage and Personal Identity
1. As a group, brainstorm the elements of life that define culture. The list will probably include: place, language, beliefs, foods, clothing, music, jokes, and stories.
2. Read aloud the poem by Levi Romero and/or other poems about cultural identity. Additional writings by Hispanic poets, youth and children are available from the National Hispanic Cultural Center at www.nationalhispaniccenter.org .
3. Identify and discuss the everyday details that illustrate unique family and cultural communities. Have students share personal and cultural details which include: their birthplace, description of their home, birthplaces of their parents, names of family members, languages they hear and speak, common statements by parents and grandparents, everyday items, everyday foods, foods for special occasions, songs, and family stories. Comment on the beauty and richness of diverse cultural traditions, and teaching appreciation for diversity. Use whiteboards, Word Walls, and flip charts to write key words as a reference for students later writing activity.
Create a Hanging Book
1. Give each student a set of "I come from" cards (or 3x5 inch index cards) using the Hanging Book Reproducible.
2. Have students write appropriate words and/or create pictures on each card to create their own series of cards which represent their personal cultural heritage. Allow students to use their first language as needed to express their unique cultural traditions, i.e., tortillas, Día de los muertos. Remind students to use words and ideas listed from group brainstorming as appropriate.
3. Use a blank card for the cover with title and student name.
4. Punch holes in one corner of each card and fasten each student’s cards together using a small book ring, string or wire.
Sharing Your Story
Show and Tell
1. Ask each student to stand up and read some or all of their cards to the class or a small group of students.
2. Ask the class to sit in a circle, holding their books on their laps. Ask students to take turns completing an "I come from…" phrase. This activity can be teacher or student led.
Teacher or student prompts the group: "I come from...FOOD"
Student one: I come from tamales!
Student Two: I come from hot green chile!
Student Three: I come from papaya juice!
Continue around the room.
Teacher or student prompts the group: "I come from…SONG"
Student one: I come from Cielito Lindo!
Student two: I come from Old MacDonalds!
Game can continue as time allows.
3. Using a classroom bulletin board and a grid of thumbtacks, display the hanging books in rows and columns in preparation of family open house or parent conferences.