Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How My Parents Learned to Eat

I'll be posting some books in the fashion that can be seen in my "Great Books" section of the blog over the next few weeks. I am currently in a multicultural literature class and we are to read, review and come up with ideas for a multicultural book for 6 out of the 8 weeks of class. I decided this week (2nd book review) to make my technology connection posting the book to my blog. I will also back-post the first book I presented and the other books I review.

So for part 1/6 of this multicultural literature series I will be presenting How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman.

Told by their daughter, this story is a story of an American soldier and a Japanese “school girl” who met while the narrator’s father was serving in Japan. Although they really liked each other, both were afraid to go out to dinner with the other for fear of embarrassing themselves, not knowing how to eat the “right” way. The narrator's father learns to eat with chopsticks while her mother learns to eat with a fork. The couple agrees not only to teach each other “how to eat” but they also agree to be married and eat both with forks and chopsticks.

Reading Level:  DRA Level 20-24
                            Lexile Level 450L

Teachers: Here are some resources for you...

Web Resources:
  • Kid's Web: Explore Japan: On this site, students can explore folklore, virtual culture, nature, food and more about Japan. This is a great resource if you use How My Parents Learned to Eat as a kick off for your students to compare and contrast the United States and Japan.
  • Explore & More: This site offers an interactive map where students can click on Japan (and other countries) and explore different aspects of the chosen country. There is also a teacher section with various other activities.
  • Global Diversity through Literacy: This site offers a kid-friendly connection between How My Parents Learned to Eat and facts about Japan. The site also has lesson plans included.
Vocabulary:  ashamed, encouraged, foreign, gobble, museum, recognized, realized
Key Words: chopsticks, fork, knives, restaurant, taught

Before Reading:
  • Have students start a KWL telling what they know about Japan or what they know about specifically food/eating in Japan and what they'd like to know about food/eating in Japan.
  •  Have students predict why they think the narrator's parents had to "learn to eat."
During Reading:
  • When the narrator's mom learns how to eat with a fork, have students discuss how she is learning to use a fork differently than they typically use a fork.
  • After the narrator's mom and dad "learn to eat" ask students to predict how the story will end.
  • Ask students: why do you think the narrator's mom and dad are embarrassed to eat in front of each other?
After Reading:
  • Complete the L of their KWL
  • Compare and contrast how the narrator's parents eat using a Venn Diagram.
  • Learn how to use chopsticks!
Across the Curriculum:
  • There are many Social Studies connections you could make, learning about different cultures and their eating habits.
Read Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at31808PM_zps68eb8a00.png

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