The coronavirus is impacting travel plans as I write this post. Some families are canceling spring vacation plans. Now might be a good time to remind the learning community that you can take a trip around the world without having to leave your home. All you need are books! Intrigue readers with a library display. Consider staging an open suitcase full of books about different countries. Create a banner to highlight the display. It could say something like “Explore the World with Books.” Include a resource list for patrons. Global travel through literature provides a germ-free way to learn about the world.
Here are some fabulous titles to build your display or list.
Every Month Is a New Year: Celebrations around the World
Marilyn Singer and Susan L. Roth put a creative spin on global holidays with their book Every Month Is a New Year. The book acts like a calendar with the pages turning from bottom-up instead of right to left. Each month describes a new year’s celebration from across the globe. Readers will appreciate the lyrical text and colorful collages that fill each double-page spread. Detailed information sits at the end of the book. For a lesson idea based on this book that meets the AASL Standards, check out my blog post on Library Lessons.
Lee & Low Books also has a 12-page teaching guide for this book. Share the ideas with parents if school is closed and parents are looking for learning activities.
Kids Cooking: Students Prepare and Eat Foods from around the World
For children who want to learn about global cuisine, they’ll appreciate reading Kids Cooking: Students Prepare and Eat Foods from around the World by George Ancona. They’ll see what it looks like to prepare recipes from Africa, China, Mexico, and Italy. A link to access the recipes is provided at the end of the book.
The narrator walks young readers through four different cooking sessions that take place in classrooms. Close-up images show teachers and learners working together to put a meal together.
Click here to see a video of me giving a book talk about Kids Cooking: Students Prepare and Eat Foods from Around the World.
Do any of your learners want to visit a Caribbean island? If so, they’ll enjoy The Field by Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcántara. The illustrations give readers lots of visual information about the scenery and the people of the island. The meaning of Creole words throughout the story are inferred with visual and textual clues. Check out Library Lessons for a lesson idea that supports the Inquire Shared Foundation.
A New Home
What is life like in Mexico City? How does it compare with living in New York City? Author Tania de Regil answers these questions in an interesting way in her book A New Home. The story opens up with two children who learn they have to move. They are both unhappy. The girl is afraid she’ll miss the sites, sounds, and activities of her home in Mexico City. The boy worries that he’ll miss his favorite adventures in New York City.
As the boy and girl name the things they will miss, readers will realize similarities between the children and their neighborhoods. Curious readers will appreciate the information at the back of the book about the different cities. If you are reading this book aloud, ask learners to think about why the author wrote the story. Invite them to write or draw what the cities and the children have in common.
Would readers like to go on a vacation by the water? If so, they can pick a destination by reading Water Land: Land and Water Forms around the World by Christy Hale. Beautiful illustrations in yellow and blue take readers on an adventure through different forms of land and water. Interesting cutouts provoke readers to turn the page to see water or land named in big chunky letters. A fold-out map at the end of the book points to the land and water forms listed in the book. A visual glossary defines the different forms.
Do you have any books to add to this list? If so, please comment in the box below! There is also a discussion on this topic in a Facebook Group I manage with my friend and co-author Rebecca Granatini. If you like to talk about lesson plans based on picture books, please join the Lessons Inspired by Picture Books Facebook Group.
Author: Maureen Schlosser
Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher: https://skl.sh/3a852D5