Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with lesson plans, book lists, and learning activities for grades PreK to 12.
Before Reading Angel Child, Dragon Child
Step 1: Have children examine the soft, muted colors artist Vo-Dinh Mai uses to illustrate the cover and text of the book.
Step 2: Explain to children that an artist's techniques and preferences can be influenced by the culture in which he or she grew up.
Step 3: Visit the library to observe works by other Vietnamese artists. Are the students able to find works that look similar to the book's illustrations?
After Reading Angel Child, Dragon Child
Step 1: Pose the following questions to your students:
- Ut knows she looks different from the American children, and she knows they look different from her. What does Ut notice about the American children that is different (e.g., their long noses, their round eyes, etc.)?
- What do the American children notice about Ut (e.g., her clothing, her language, etc.)?
- Why do the American children tease Ut about the way she dresses?
- Why doesn't Ut tease them back?
Step 2: Ask the class to talk about how Ut felt on her first day in the American school. Ask them to describe how she might feel differently if she were attending school in Vietnam.
Pastel Water Colors
After observing the illustrations in Angel Child, Dragon Child, suggest that students attempt to approximate the art featured in the book by painting with pastel water colors. Provide students with paint boxes or purchase tubes of real water colors from art stores. Look to art books for inspiration and try approximating other kinds of artwork from Vietnam. Display finished pieces together with the title “Vietnam-Inspired Art.”