1 Unit Enhancement Project Marcia Wagner Halmoni and the Picnic By Soook Nyul Choi Illustrated by Karen M. Dugan Halmoni and the Picnic is a story in our basal reader. It is a story that my students enjoy reading year after year. My additions to the lesson are printed in italics to highlight how I could make the lesson more multicultural. Here is a synopsis of the story: Yunmi is worried about her grandmother, Halmoni, who has recently moved from Korea to Live with Yunmi’s family in the United States. Halmoni is uncomfortable in the strange new culture, and is too shy to speak English and make new friends. Yunmi and her classmates Helen and Anna Marie decide to ask Halmoni to chaperon their class picnic. Halmoni agrees, and prepares a Korean dish called Kimbap for the children. It is a big success, and the children even make up a jump-rope song about it. When the picnic is over, Halmoni says goodbye to the children in her new country’s language, English. Before reading the story I like to have the students talk about some of the vocabulary words used throughout the story. The words suggested are dignified, embarrassed, disturb, cautiously, and relieved. I use an activity provided in the student workbook to further define these words. There are sentences listed for each of the vocabulary words with ways to act out the words. We cut these sentences into strips and take turns drawing them out. We usually work in pairs or groups so everyone gets a chance to participate if they wish. The sentences are: You drop a book on the floor, and you want to act dignified as you pick it up. 2 You just spilled your milk at lunch, and you feel embarrassed. You are walking through a classroom and don’t want to disturb the people who are hard at work. You are at a busy street and must cross cautiously. You feel relieved because you thought you were late for school but you really aren’t. Other words I have discovered that need extra explanation for this story are: sighed, grinned, skipping, and hummed. I could add these to the sentence strips for acting out. You sighed when you cleaned up the mess for the third time. You grinned as you stepped onto the carousel. You are happily skipping down the street. You are humming along to the song on the radio. A way to encourage language with ELL students would be to ask students to think of the many ways people communicate with one another. These responses could be put into a word web. interests words body language words How we Communicate facial expressions what we wear 3 To enhance the story I think it would be helpful to locate North Korea on a world map. Point out that it is located between China and Japan. At various points in history, Korea was controlled and greatly influenced by both countries. Koreans, though, are an ancient and homogeneous, or similar, people. Usually my third graders read the story by taking turns, making sure that each student has a turn. A couple of years ago, I think it was at Anita Archer’s workshop, I discovered a new way to read the story aloud. Sometimes I have the boys all read a page together, sometimes all the girls read at once, other times the west or east half of the class, sometimes I read a page aloud. I can see that this takes the focus off the student who isn’t such a good reader and it works well in my classroom. There are several good comprehension questions listed in the teacher’s manual that I use. After the implementation of the new common core standards I have learned that I should have the students summarize the story. This is something I plan to add to the lesson. To help understand the story, I have the students looks through the pages and try to predict what will happen in the story. I have them try to decide which characters are Yunmi, her grandmother Halmoni, and her classmates, Anna Marie, and Helen. As they try to find these characters I ask my students whether they think they feel happy or sad. When we have finished reading Halmoni and the Picnic, I feel it is important to have the students discuss whether their predictions about what the story would be about were correct. Then ask the students what the problem in the story is and how it was solved. 4 Some of the skills that are taught with this story include predicting outcomes, writing an invitation, using context to figure out unknown words, and irregular verbs. It would be fun for the students to plan an occasion and write their own invitation for that event. Discuss the word culture. This could be a class discussion or possible a web diagram with the word culture in the center and different words and ideas stemming from it. Some examples of what makes up a culture are traditions, celebrations, different types of food and how they are eaten, messages that families pass down from one generation to the next, how one understands oneself in relation to everyone else, how people communicate and understand each other, and so forth. Relate the word to the various cultures represented in your class. Talk about how there can be many various cultures in one country, such as the U.S., and how new cultures can be formed when people of different cultures interact. Also talk about how cultures may have different ways of helping children learn new things. Another word that is important for the third graders to discuss is chaperon. It is hard for them to understand. Literally it means “hood or head covering.” The meaning of the word was eventually changed to “escort.” This will be hard for ELL students to understand. The word should be discussed and several sentences should be shared using the word chaperon. Koreans generally do not eat a lot of meat, preferring vegetable dishes such as kimchi, a highly seasoned pickle of cabbage, turnip, and cucumber. When Koreans do eat fish or meat, it is grilled. In Korean, bap means “rice.” The seaweed used to make kimbap comes in sheets. The rice and vegetable mixture is spread on the sheet and rolled 5 up. Then it is cut into small round pieces. Chopsticks originated in China 2,4000 years ago. The first part of the word comes from a word of Chinese origin meaning “fast or quick.” Chopsticks come in many varieties such as wood, plastic, ivory, silver, and brass. Since the recipe for Kimbap is included in our basal reader, it would be appropriate to either make kimbap together in class or to make Kimbap ahead of time and bring it to class. If possible have chopsticks available for students to try. Here is a video of how to use chopsticks: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-usechopsticks.html. A fun map activity would be to have students measure and compare distances from their city or town to Korea, San Francisco, and New York. Students need a ruler, a globe, a large wall map, or a small map in an atlas. Point out to students that they will need to understand and work with map scale located on maps and globes. Have them estimate how many miles are represented in a 1-inch scale and then actually measure the distance and convert the inches to miles. Remind students that Halmoni brought kimbap, a special Korean food, to the picnic. Ask students to describe one of their family’s favorite foods. Encourage them to describe one that is part of their family’s culture. Students may enjoy having a food festival during which they share samples of the foods they describe. Have students pretend that they attended the picnic and write a thank you note to Halmoni for being a chaperon for their picnic and for bringing the kimbap. Ask your students to write about how their family teaches them new things based on their culture or family traditions. Some questions to help them get started might include: 6 Can you personally relate to this story? Why or why not? What are some things that are special about your culture or family traditions? Did anyone in your family help you not to be embarrassed? If so, how? Was there ever a time that you were embarrassed about something in your culture or family tradition? Did anyone in your family help you not to be embarrassed? If so, how? How does your family help you learn new things? How do other families you know do this differently? If students are comfortable, have them share their reflections. For younger students, this can be modified to use as questions for group discussion. ` An important aspect of this story is that at the beginning of the story the grandmother feels isolated and unhappy about her new life in the United States. By asking Halmoni to chaperon their school picnic, her feelings for the United States change and she becomes happier. The students even make up a jump rope rhyme about the special food she brought to the picnic. Have students make up different jump rope rhymes to share with each other at recess. Students may be surprised to learn that jump rope started out as an activity for boys, it was considered unladylike for girls to jump rope. The textbook provides a short summary about the author and illustrator. We read these aloud and discuss what we have learned about them. It might be interesting to do a google search to find out more about their backgrounds and how this may have influenced the writing of the story Halmoni and the Picnic. 7 Reflection While creating the additions to this unit, I discovered that there was a lot that could be added to the original framework to integrate multicultural content and address adversity. I found it fairly easy to create the additions after being a part of this EDUC549, Race. Class, and Power. By adding the discussion of the word culture and how it influences our daily lives, by eating Kimbap and possibly using chopsticks, doing the map activities, and writing reflections I feel the students will have a broader understanding of the Korean culture. 8 References Choi, S. N. (1993). Halmoni and the picnic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Invitations to Literacy, Celebrate (1999). What’s cooking? Halmoni and the picnic, Houghton Mifflin, Co., Boston. http://www.hfrp.org/family-involvement/projects/family-involvement-storybook-projectcompleted-project/storybook-corner/the-reference-desk/teacher-guide-for- halmoni-andthe-picnic http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-use-chopsticks.html.
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