Also, we often hear the narrative that immigrants come to this country, “to have a better life.” Although this may be true, there are a lot of assumptions that children may associate with that narrative. This story shows that other places have beauty and vibrant communities and that there may be many reasons why a family chooses (or is forced) to leave the home they love.
Social Justice Activities:
Abuela describes the beach like, “your favorite poem.” Work on poetry that describes your favorite places.
Like our main character, Lola, interview family/community and draw any places you feel you are from. Students are welcome to draw Lacey if this assignment feels too challenging.
Mr. Mir: Do you think Mr. Mir misses the Island? (he has a picture of the island in his workshop and describes it as a beautiful place).
Relevant Social Justice Standards:
Identity 3: Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals
Identity 4: Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people.
Identity 5: Students will recognize traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures and understand how they negotiate their own identity in multiple spaces.
Diversity 6: Students will express comfort with people who are both similar to and different from them and engage respectfully with all people.
Themes: There are so many themes to explore in this text- Belonging, Diversity, Oral Storytelling, Afro-Latino identity, Afro-Caribbean/Afro-Dominican culture, immigrant experience, family/community, self-knowledge/ancestry, appreciating diverse experiences
Imagery: Analyze what the the Dreadful monster could be a metaphor for. Then review the author's explanation:
- Fiction, All Ages
- Perspectives: Afro-Latino. Caribbean, Dominican, Island Born
- Author's stated heritage: Dominican Republic
- Subject Integration: Art, Music, Storytelling, Social Emotional Learning
Questions for families to discuss:
What does it mean to belong?
Do you know anyone from another country? Do they talk about what they remember most?
What is your favorite thing about a place you've visited?
How does a person connect to oral traditions and ancestors? Who are special people in your life who help you learn?
How do places in our lives influence who we are?