Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Craft Lesson #3: Comparing and Contrasting

Resources and other Materials: I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada

It is important for students to be able to compare and contrast different things. Through writing a compare/contrast paper students are able to see the similarities and differences between different things. Then it is possible for them to come to a conclusion about possibly making a decision.
In the book I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada a bilingual girl compares the different activities and personal qualities that she enjoys with each of her two sets of grandparents. Though she does different activities with each set of grandparents, she loves them each the same.

How to Teach It:
I am going to read a book titled I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada. It is about a bilingual girl who has two sets of grandparents that are very different, but she loves them each the same. Listen for the similarities and differences that her two sets of grandparents have. In the story she calls one set of grandparents “Grandma and Grandpa” and her other set of grandparents “Abuelita and Abuelito”. Abuelita is the Spanish word for grandma and Abuelito is the Spanish word for grandpa.

I’m going to have a list of the similarities and another list of the differences between the girl’s grandparents. Can anyone name any similarities between the girl’s grandparents?
Ex: Both grandfathers like to tell stories about when they were growing up. Both grandmothers like to tell stories about their families when they were young.
(I would write the similarities as a list on the board)

Can you name any differences?
Ex: Her Grandma has a cat, and her Abuelita has a dog. She watches movies about the circus with her Grandma and Grandpa. She goes to the circus with her Abuelita and Abuelito.
(I would write the differences as a separate list on the board)

Now that we know what a story is like that compares and contrasts different things or people, I want you to try and write your own comparing and contrasting story. You can compare/contrast anything you want. You can compare and contrast the activities and personal traits of your own grandparents like the girl in the book did, or you can pick two totally different things or people to compare and contrast. You might even try comparing two different options for a decision you are trying to make. To start off you might want to make a list of the similarities and then a list of differences so you can have a starting point for your story.


Alma Flor Ada said...

Dear Carmen:
I was just delighted to read your suggestions for the presentation of my book I Love Saturdays y domingos.
This book is very dear to me for the great reception it has received from readers. Many times during autographing sessions people tell me they want it for a special child with dual heritage, and it not only for those that share Hispanic heritage, but many other also.
Since you like the book I'd tell you a little about its origin:
While many people think I must have been inspired by my own family --two of my sons are married to women of Anglo descent, one to a Brazilian, the idea for the book came to me, a long time ago, before any of my children had married. While in Hawaii, a Sunday afternoon in Lahaina I watched many families strolled by. It was apparent that they had very mixed heritage --Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Anglo-- and yet they felt so comfortable among each other.
It took a long time for the book to be published and by them I did have grandchildren with dual heritage.
Again, thanks for sharing your ideas for this book and for being so enthusiastic about the work you do. With all best wishes, cordially, Alma Flor Ada

Alma Flor Ada said...

Dear Carmen:
I forgot to let you know that this book exists also in a Spanish version
Me encantan los Saturdays y domingos published by Alfaguara.

Rene Saldana, Jr. said...

Carmen: I hope you get a chance to read all that Alma Flor Ada just wrote here. It is awesome that she found your entry. This is certainly something to share. With your own studnets, with your peers. And if you get a chance and a means, get back in touch with Alma by way of email.