A book by Eve Bunting teaches valuable lessons about getting along with people we do not know.
culture, rioting, differences, getting along, Los Angeles riot, diversity, multicultural
Display a picture of a person your students would consider to be from a different culture. (National Geographic magazine and library books are good sources of such pictures.) Ask students to share what they know or think about the person in the picture. Write their ideas and feelings on a sheet of chart paper or a white/blackboard.
Draw a Venn diagram on the board. Invite students to brainstorm their thoughts about similarities and differences between themselves and the person in the picture.
If you would like students to work on their own or in pairs to create a Venn diagram, you might use this template. Students can save a copy of the diagram to their computers and type their thoughts into it.The Lesson
Read aloud to students the book Smoky Night, the 1995 Caldecott Award winner by Eve Bunting.
From Amazon.comAs you read aloud, stop at pre-determined spots to discuss questions such as
Bunting addresses urban violence in this thought-provoking and visually exciting picture book inspired by the Los Angeles riots. Although they're neighbors, Daniel's cat and Mrs. Kim's cat don't get along. Nor do Daniel and his mother shop at Mrs. Kim's market. "It's better if we buy from our own people," Daniel's mother says. But when Daniel's apartment building goes up in flames, all of the neighbors (including the cats) learn the value of bridging differences. Illustrator David Diaz's dazzling mixed-media collages superimpose bold acrylic illustrations on photographs of carefully arranged backgrounds that feature a wide array of symbolic materials -- from scraps of paper and shards of broken glass to spilled rice and plastic dry-cleaner bags. Interestingly, Diaz doesn't strongly differentiate the presumably Asian American Mrs. Kim from the African American characters -- even the artwork here cautions the reader against assumptions about race. (Ages 5-up)
As a class, discuss the consequences when people do not get along with each other.
Check for Understanding
Ask students to write five reasons why getting along with others is a valuable character trait. Invite some students share their thoughts with the class.
Submitted ByKristina Davenport, an education student at the University of Idaho in Coeur d'Alene
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