We’re wrapping up our discussion of loss and resolution here at Vamos a Leer and turning our thoughts to November, when we’ll begin to tune in, as many of you likely will, to the upcoming holidays. And the thought of winter celebrations is prompting us to think deeply about the importance of food. In the next few weeks we’re going metaphorically to sink our teeth into the discussion of how food expresses and reinforces cultural practices. We hope you’ll relish these resources as much as we’ve enjoy gathering them.
As always, let us know if you have ideas and resources! We welcome your input.
We are in week eight of the giveaway series so make sure you comment this week for your second-to-last chance to win! Thank you again to all who continue to comment each week and congratulations to the winner of last week’s giveaway! This week’s giveaway includes Tales our Abuelitas Told, and the Spanish translation, Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas, written by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy.The book has won many recognitions, including the Literary Guild Medal, and the Kirkus Review Kirkus Best Books award. In Tales our Abuelitas Told, “Twelve stories from varied roots of Hispanic culture come together in a colorful collection that includes talking ants, magic bagpipes, dancing goats, and flying horses. In some cases the tales emphasize a moral, such as looking for the good in any bad situation as in ‘Catlina the Fox.’ In others, the story illustrates the importance of friends, as in the case of ‘The Bird of One Thousand Colors.’ The authors seek to trace the origins of the stories through personal source notes, citing variants of the original story and the historical themes behind the tales. Of note is a tale of Juan Bobo that is included in this collection. Juan Bobo has entertained children and adults for more than five centuries with his antics and absent-mindedness. While Juan Bobo is well known by many, ‘The Bird of One Thousand Colors’ is a story that Alma Flor Ada was unable to trace to an original source, although she remembers being told the story by her grandmother. Throughout the collection, culturally accurate illustrations catch the eye with vivid colors and intricate details that convey aspects of the story. Each story leads naturally to the next, keeping alive the oral traditions of a rich culture that spans the continents.” The authors’ note tells that this book was indeed written as a way to keep the abuelitas memory alive and pass on the stories they once told. School Library Journal recommends the book for grades three and up. Continue reading →
Thanks for stopping by the blog this week! In light of the upcoming celebrations for Día de los Muertos, I am featuring a great short film (about three minutes in length) that really moves the viewer to understand the meaning and importance behind Día de los Muertos.
From the description of the publishers, “[In] this beautifully animated, and heart felt, short film about a little girl who visits the land of the dead, […] she learns the true meaning of the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos.” The main character is first seen at the cemetery, visiting the gravesite of a loved one, when she finds a flower that pulls her into the party of afterlife. She is given guidance by a friendly skeleton, who feeds her fruits and bread, and turns out to be the very loved one who’s gravesite the little girl was visiting. It’s a brief, three-minute-long film that can explain Día de los Muertos in a much easier, more emotional relatable way than just reading a description of the holiday online or out of a book. We think this short could be easily incorporated into a class discussion about Día de los Muertos, and could be used as a base for discussing traditions, afterlife, honoring the dead, and multicultural holidays. Continue reading →
For many classroom teachers, cultural celebrations are one of the easiest ways to address standards connected to cultural competence through introducing and studying different cultures and their traditions. Yet, just because we celebrate various multicultural holidays or heroes doesn’t mean we’re practicing authentic multicultural teaching. If our teaching never moves beyond what many refer to as multicultural tourism, we’re not providing our students the opportunity to think deeply or critically. I won’t go into more detail on the topic here, as we discussed the problems with multicultural tourism in greater depth in the post “Around the World in 180 Days Part IV: Holidays and Celebrations.” Continue reading →