NOTE TO TEACHERSEmbracing One’s Cultures: A Guide
Grades 3 up
by Sydney TaylorMaya Running
by Anjali BanerjeeFresh Girl
by Jaïra PlacideThe Shadows of Ghadames
by Joëlle StolzMacaroni Boy
by Katherine AyresHalf and Half
by Lensey NamiokaBindi Babes
by Narinder DhamiSee You Down the Road
by Kim Ablon Whitney
Visualize the varied cultures in American society today: descendents of Vietnamese refugees; foreign and native-born children of Latin American parents seeking to break the bonds of poverty; Muslim youth from devout Middle Eastern families; descendents of early 1900s immigrants from Ireland, Italy, and other European countries; sons and daughters of research scientists, scholars, and engineers from all over the globe. Every race, nationality, and religion contributes to the photograph of “Our American Family.” But instead of embracing the richness of America’s unique crossroads of cultures, schools often become a battleground where students from diverse backgrounds fight to belong. Prejudice stemming from negative stereotypes and ignorance leads to students being harassed and teased about the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the way they speak, which robs those targeted of the pride they should be able to express in their own ethnicity. The books in this educators guide include literature that encompasses many of the cultures students may encounter in their school, and can help students define and embrace their own culture as well as the cultures of others. These books focus on themes of acceptance, cultural pride, and a sense of heritage that must be fostered in all of our students if our schools, and ultimately our society, can hope to be productive, successful, and united.
ABOUT THIS BOOKAt the end of the nineteenth century, women in Libya live a cloistered life in their homes and on the rooftops where they are not allowed to talk to men. As Malika approaches that stage of her life, a stranger comes to her home and challenges her views toward the traditional way of life.
TEACHING IDEASQUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION
Malika has been taught her place in the society in which she lives, but she does not seem satisfied with her lot in life. She longs to travel with her father and to have an education like her brother. What are her feelings toward her culture? How does she come to terms with her desires and the traditions of her people? 2.
Abdelkarim tells Malika, “I learned several things while I was in hiding on your rooftop. For example, that the world of women is not as stupid as I thought” (p. 102) What did he observe and hear that led him to this conclusion? 3.
Malika’s father is more open-minded than most men in his culture. What are some of the traditions he is willing to relinquish? Why?
Taking It Global
Discusses cultural diversity in America.
American Civil Liberties Union: Immigrant Rights
The official Web page.
The American Immigrants Home Page
Helpful information for and about immigrants.
Federation for American Immigration Reform
Immigrant reform movement and its affect on public schools.
Cultural Diversity–a CCSD research program
Lifestyle patterns of immigrant youth.
Prepared by Susan Geye, Library Media Specialist, Crowley Ninth Grade Campus, Crowley, Texas. Download a PDF of the Teacher's Guide