This week, all primary students will be reading Rukhsana Khan’s Big Red Lollipop, a story about birthday parties and including family. The characters in the story came from Pakistan, and their mother is not familiar with North American birthday celebrations and customs, such as inviting classmates to a party. This book is based on a true story that happened when the author was younger. Big Red Lollipop is also an example of a “circular” story that ends in the same way that it started.
The intermediate classes will be listening to and discussing Janet Wilson’s nonfiction book, One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists. This book has been nominated for a Red Cedar Award.
Divisions 2 and 3 read Good Night, Commander by Ahmad Akbarpour this week and the students were asked to create a Word-List Poem based on the characteristics and feelings of the main character. The poems were powerful! Here are a few:
Do boogers and slime catch your attention? Well then I have the perfect book for you! This week we’ll be reading Richard Was A Picker by Carolyn Beck. Richard picks his nose constantly, and one day, he gets his finger stuck! Richard turns into a giant booger-ball! How does he get himself out of this mess? You’ll have to wait and see!
For the grade 7’s this week, we will be reading Good Night, Commander by Ahmad Akbarpour, translated from Farsi. It is a sombre tale from Iran, set during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). It tells of an Iranian child dealing with the loss of his mother, and a new physical handicap; he lost his leg in the war, presumably due to a land mine. He acts out a battle scene in his bedroom with his toy soldiers, while showing the picture of his mother that he is brave and will avenge her death. It is a powerful story about innocent people caught in a war.
This week we will be reading a folktale from Iran, called The Secret Message by Mina Javaherbin. The first day of Spring, March 21st, is also time for the Persian New Year, or No-Rooz/Nowruz. Persian people celebrate the New Year with food, family, and festivities. No-Rooz Mobarak! (Happy New Year!)
For this week, all classes will be reading The Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. This is a story about 2 girls who both eat the same sandwich for lunch every day – Lily eats peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and Salma eats hummus sandwiches. One day, Lily decides to tell Salma that her sandwich looks “yucky”, and thus begins a tale of tolerance and celebrating diversity.
Have you ever tried hummus? It’s a very tasty dip/spread made of chickpeas. Many middle eastern countries, such as Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria eat it regularly. For a kid-friendly recipe to make hummus, click here.
This week, the primary grades will be reading “A String of Hearts” by Laura Elliott, a Valentines Day story. The intermediates are reading “Buzaak Chinie (The Porcelain Goat): A Traditional Afghanistan Folk Tale”. I chose a story from the Middle East as a “tie-in” to events occuring in several Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen. We will look at a map of the Middle East, and locate Afghanistan. We will also discuss similarities and differences between Western folk tales and Middle Eastern folk tales.