One time when I was visiting my husband's family in Tokyo, I took an early morning walk. I stopped to admire a gorgeous blue hydrangea bush. A grandmotherly woman happened to be pruning it. She looked at me, smiled, and with gestures, offered to cut me a flower. Embarassed that my longing was so apparent and horrified that she would actually cut the flower, I shook my head no. She smiled. I didn't walk away with a stunning flower that day. Instead, I walked away with something much more valuable. A moment of connection that spanned generations, culture and language. Drawn Together shows another way that an unexpected moment of connection can happen between family members who have the same barriers as that woman and I did. I can't wait for this book's release on June 5th, 2018!
Activity Name: Drawn Together
Activity Description: Ask students to brainstorm a list of activities that they like to do. Then, for homework, ask them to call a grandparent, or have their parents call or email if language is a barrier, and ask the grandparent for a list of ten activities that he or she likes to do. Next, ask the student to find a commonality in her list and her grandparent's list. The student will then create three drawings:
1) Herself doing the activity in color.
2) Her grandparent doing the same activity in black and white
3) She and her grandmother doing that activity together. The picture should be outlined in black and colored in.
Mount the three drawings on black paper and have the child give the drawings to a grandparent as a gift. Teachers, if you don't know about Bridges Together, it's a stunning program. I think it's the most important unit I teach. This activity complements their curriculum.
Author Website: minhlebooks.com/
Illustrator Website: www.dantat.com/
Here's another post where I talk about Bridges Together.
Here's another post where I feature After the Fall by Dan Santat.
Here's another post that features persuasive essays written by my students about Dan Santat's amazing book, After the Fall, and Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell.
Whether it be for one specific student, a small group of kids, or a whole class, finding a "just right" book makes the teacher's and the students' day.