Good Day! I hope you are doing fine. Grandma has had a relaxing day today. Be sure to carry out your
tasks for the day; Childrobotics; something for physical education or health; language of ABC's, words,
vocabulary; writing; journals; yearbooks; family scrapbooks; math; and music.
In our Calendar History Book for March 25 Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor, was born in 1867. Gutzon
Borglum, American sculptor known for his Mount Rushmore project, was born in 1871. Book (1) says that,
"Gutzon Borglum and 36 hard-rock miners began work on Mount Rushmore in 1927. The project, a
memorial to four presidents--Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt--was finally finished
in 1941. The faces of the presidents are about 60 feet high. Challenge your (children) to come up with a
method for figuring out approximately how many times larger than life the faces are. Then have the kids try
their methods and do the computations. The next birthdays are for Bela Bartok, Hungarian composer, born
in 1881; Elton John, English singer and songwriter, born in 1947; and Debi Thomas, American figure
skater, born in 1967.
The events for the day are as follows: 1634 English Colonists first arrived in Maryland; 1665 The first
Recorded Horse Race in America took place in Hempstead, N.Y.; 1775 George Washington planted
Pecan trees--gifts from Thomas Jefferson--at Mount Vernon.(Therefore, it is considered Pecan Day.);
1776 The Continental Congress gave its First Medal to George Washington.; 1882 Pancakes were first
made in New York City. (It is also Waffle Day in Sweden.) Therefore, Book (1) says to have a "Pancake
party-With your favorite pancake recipe, challenge the kids to convert the measurements to metric. Can
they also calculate how much of each ingredient they'd need to double or triple the batch? If possible,
allow your (children) to make a batch for a ... pancake party.
Then because it is Let's Go Fly a Kite Month and National Hamburger Month, go along with Make up Your
Own Holiday Day as of tomorrow and plan a day, "To celebrate Let's Go Fly a Kite Month, have each
(child) create a cartoon superhero who uses a kite to perform daring deeds, dangerous rescues, and
fabulous feats. The children can draw cartoon strips of the character's adventures. They can also make
a list of kite-flying safety rules--for example, Keep kites away from electric lines; Don't climb trees,
buildings, or poles to retrieve a kite: Never fly kites near roadways. Have them write each rule on a sheet
of paper and illustrate it, then bind their work into a book to keep." Then "do a taste and price survey of
the hamburger chains in their area. Have the kids design a questionnaire, then distribute it.... Encourage
your (children) to record their data on a computer, then graph the results." It is also Global Understanding
Day which I hope Russia understands that United States and other countries behind Urguaine mean
business when they are telling them they will not stand for what they are trying to do. It is also Greek
Independence Day. Well you have a good day. Grandma is going to move onto covering a couple of
books to read and do things for.
The first book to read is called Tuanby Eva Boholm-Olsson(RGS Books, 1988,24 pp.)
"Young readers will enjoy learning how Tuan, a Vietnamese boy, spends a typical day in his village. When
Tuan is bitten by a rabid dog, readers can begin to appreciate the difficulties that such village life poses
to the people who live there. And, when Tuan and his mother attend a children's festival, readers will easily
identify with the universal laughter and fun such a celebration generates.
Before reading Tuan
After Reading Tuan
Learning More About Vietnam
Locate Vietnam on a map. From the illustrations and text, can the class determine the climate of
Vietnam? Research the country in the encyclopedia to discover that the country is located in a very hot
and humid zone, and that much of the country is covered in jungle. How does the class believe such
terrain and climate affect the way people live, work and play? (Research about the Vietnam War and why
it was such a difficult War and why United States pulled out. Find out what kind of life they live there now.)
(Grandma has a cousin who served a Green Beret in that war. Research why they were so special.)
Places to Go, Things to Do
Have the children imagine that Tuan is coming to visit with them. ... Have each child make a list of places
and experiences he or she would share with Tuan if he came to visit. Next to each item, have each child
explain why he or she chose to include the item on his or her list. Have students repeat the exercise on
the lower half of the page, this time having children note places and experiences he or she would like to
share if visiting Tuan in Vietnam. Again, have each child explain why he or she chose the items on his or
her list. Use the activity to help children understand that experiences when difer from the familiar are
often the most enjoyable and educational.
Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat (Carnival Press, 1983, 35 pp.)
This is the tender story of Ut, a young Vietnamese girl who must adjust to her new American school
without the help of her mother (who could not afford yet to leave Vietnam). How Ut finally becomes friends
with her new classmates, and how these same children help reunite Ut with her mother, make for an
endearing story of human courage and love.
Before Reading Angel Child, Dragon Child
of the book. Explain to children that an artist's techniques and preferences can be influenced by the
culture in which he or she grew up. Visit the library to observe works by other Vietnamese artists.
Are the children able to find works that look similar to the book's illustrations?
After Reading Angel Child, Dragon Child
What does Ut notice about the American children that is different (e.g., their long noses, their round eyes,
etc.)? What do they notice about her (e.g., her clothing, her language, etc.)? Why do the American
children tease Ut about the way she dresses? Why doesn't she tease them back? Ask the (children) to
talk about how Ut felt on her first day in the American school. Describe how she might feel different if
she were attending school in Vietnam." (Ask if they felt it would be any different there. Ask the children if
they feel it is right for children or people to treat others this way and what difference people are trying to
do to change it. Ask them if they could do anything to make a difference.)
Pastel Water Colors
After observing the illustrations in Angel Child, Dragon Child, suggest that the children may approximate
the art featured in the book by painting with pastel water colors. For their paintings, You may either
provide children with paint boxes or purchase tubes of real water colors from art stores. Also, look
from Vietnam. Display finished pieces together with the title. "Vietnam Inspired Art."
Matchbox Photo Keepers
Find pictures of a family member each child confides in and trusts. Make sure it is from pictures that are ok
for them to keep. When they have the pictures they want. Have the children brainstorm a list of reasons why
people keep such. Talk about the importance of Ut's matchbox photo of her mother. Ask the children if they
ever wished they could talk to someone special to them they cannot be close to. (Ask the children how
they would feel if they were in the same spot as Ut. Let the children make their own matchbox photo keeper.
Help them to fit the picture in the box if necessary by placing the box on the picture and making lines they
can cut on to trim the picture. Put glue on the inside of the box to glue the picture on the bottom of the inside.
Sorting Out Feelings
"Have children research to discover the significance of dragons in Asian cultures. (unlike the fire-breathing
dragons of Europe, cloud-breathing dragons of Asian mythology were usually well-meaning creatures prone
to fits of rage. This may explain why, when angry, Ut labels herself a "Dragon Child.")" (Take a plain piece
of paper and fold it with three rows up or on it's side. Label one row with "Angel Child" Feelings; the second
row with "Dragon Child" Feelings; and the third with Other Feelings. Reviewing the book again place Ut's
feelings in the right categories. Angry feelings that Ut has she labels as her "Dragon Child". Feelings
difficult to categorize as angel/dragon criteria (e.g., sadness, confusion, fear, loneliness, etc.) can be put in
the row of Other feelings. Challenge the children to create new categories for these feelings; record both
the categories and the feelings on the activity sheet. Review the list to see how many of the children
have experienced the feelings listed, thus helping the children to understand that such feelings are
something we share in common.
Vo-Dinh Mai, illustrator of Angel Child, Dragon Child was born in Hue, Vietnam.