Friday, August 6, 2010


What is culture? What are customs? Nim and the War Effort  by Milly Lee is a great book to help children understand what it is like to grow up in another culture. I have the students look for text based evidence of Chinese culture under these three categories:
  • mealtimes and food
  • language
  • other customs
You can also use Nim and the War Effort to teach theme and conflict.
Another great picture book choice when you explore the concept of culture/customs is Encounter by Jane Yolen. This book is about a Taino indian boy who meets Columbus. It fits in nicely with my 5th grade American History curriculum but I also like it because it is told from a different point of view. Elementary grade children are so familiar with the story of Columbus. This book turns that story on its head. It really helps children think about what they are reading. Christine

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