Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Suki's Kimono

Group: Krista, Maria & Kristen
Book: Suki's Kimono by Chieri Uegaki Illustrated by Stephane Jorisch

Suki's Kimono is the story about a little girl who receives a kimono from her grandmother over the summer and attends a special cultural festival. She loves the kimono so much that she decides to wear it on her first day of school. Her sisters try and talk her out of wearing it telling her that she should try to wear something "cooler" and "newer", but Suki is not persuaded. When Suki gets to school she gets laughed at and teased for being different. In class when asked what she did over the summer she retails how her grandmother gave her the kimono and their adventure at the cultural festival, she then begins to dance as if she was at the festival. When she is finished everyone applauds her.

Suki's Kimono is a great book for showing the importance of treasured possessions and how they can be shared effectively with others. Suki loves her kimono and wears it to school with pride. The author, Uegaki, does a fine job of showing Suki's spirit and respect for her grandmother.

Reflection: This is a great book to use in the classroom because it shows the importance of being different. Suki has great spirit in the book, despite the fact that she is getting laughed at she continues to be herself even though its differs from her peers. This is an important concept for children to come to terms with, especially in school in which peer pressure and conformity are major issues.

How the book can be used/curriculum units:

This is a book that can be integrated into a social studies curriculum such as immigration. It is a good book to use in the classroom especially considering the number of students who immigrate from other countries. The book depicts how a person could maintain their culture in society that promotes conformity.
First Activity: Students will work in small groups and can pick a member from the community who has immigrated to the U.S. They will interview them about the struggles they have faced in maintaing their culture and resisting conformity.
Second Activity: Writing Workshop-- Students research and pick a cultural object that means a lot to the. They can write about why it is important and how it relates to their culture.

Domains of Social Justice:

1. Self-love and Respect: The students will discuss how Suki, had a great deal of confidence in being different and representing who she is culturally. Students can identify objects they love that represent their culture.

2. Respect for Others: Students will learn about Suki's culture which will foster respect for Suki's culture. We learn through this book the importance to respect others and their cultures, especially if they are different from our own.

3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: This book can open up a discussion on assimilation and how when immigrants come to this country they are expected to totally embrace our culture rather then maintaing their own. Students can talk about why its important to maintain your culture. This is an especially pertinent topic considering the different people that compose our NYC classrooms.

4. Social Movements and Social Change: Students will learn about the historical struggles immigrants faced in maintaining their culture, and how this struggle can still be seen today in education (i.e. No Child Left Behind).

5. Taking Social Action: Students can write letters to Suki's sister's explaining why it is important for them to take pride in their culture and the negative effects to a conformed society.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

i love the story Suki's kimono.