1 A RIF GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY COORDINATORS Book Brief: Two pen pals realize that their lives are more alike than they thought. Before reading: Are any of the children from a different country? Do any of them have relatives who live in a different country? Has anyone taken a trip to a different country? Ask for volunteers to share their experiences. How is life different in those countries? How is it the same? RELATED ACTIVITIES ELLIOT S MASK (AGES 4-12) Materials: paper plates, scissors, glue or tape, feathers or colored paper, string 1. Make a mask like Elliot s peacock mask! Cut a paper plate in half and cut two holes for eyes. (Younger children may need help cutting.) 2. Decorate the mask with markers. 3. Attach feathers to the top of the mask. If you don t have feathers, use colored paper cut to look like feathers. 4. Attach 2 pieces of string to the back of the mask so children can tie it on. PALLING AROUND (AGES 4-12) Have children send cards or letters to US troops around the world. Mark cards with children s first names and your organization s name and send them in one large envelope to: Operation Gratitude Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, CA For specific guidelines, visit: SECRET SENDER (AGES 7-12) Materials: paper bags, markers, stickers (optional) Have children decorate a paper bag to make a mailbox. Then, have each child write a pen pal letter with a few facts about themselves, their world and their family. Make sure they don t sign their names! While the kids are out of the room, put a letter in each mailbox. After the kids read their mail, let them guess who sent it to them. This activity can be repeated a number of times using different letter themes (Favorite Books, My Family, I like ). ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OTHER INTERNATIONAL BOOKS One World, One Day, Barbara Kerley (2009), Book Fiesta, Pat Mora (2009), Throw Your Tooth on the Roof, Salby Beeler (2001), Whoever You Are, Mem Fox (2006). TECHNOLOGY LINK FOR KIDS
2 A RIF GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS Book Brief: Two pen pals realize that their lives are more alike than they thought. Content Connections: Social Studies BEFORE WE READ, LET S LOOK AT... The Cover: Have students make predictions about the text based on the front cover illustration and title. Who are the two boys? How are the buildings behind them different? How can two things be the same but different? The Pictures: Take a brief picture walk through the book. Just based on the pictures, what can we tell about the two boys? How are their lives different? Ask students to guess where each boy lives. Kailash lives in India. Locate India on a map or globe before reading. Prior Knowledge: Have any of your students ever had a pen pal? Do any of them have relatives who live in a different country? Have any of them taken a trip to a different country? Ask for volunteers to share their experiences. How is life different in those countries? How is it the same? Vocabulary: peacocks, alphabet, yoga Purpose for Reading: Guide the story by setting the following purpose: As we read today, think about the title of the book. How are Elliot and Kailash s worlds the same but different? WHILE WE READ MONITORING COMPREHENSION What does the first boy, Elliot, draw in his picture of his world? What does the second boy, Kailash, draw? Why does Elliot send Kailash his drawing? Why does Kailash s family have so many animals? Are they different from Elliot s pets? Why is Kailash s alphabet different than Elliot s? Why is art Elliot s favorite class? Why is yoga Kailash s favorite? LET S THINK ABOUT Our Purpose: Revisit the purpose: How were Elliot and Kailash s worlds the same but different? Extending Our Thinking: Ask students to think about how different they all are. Even students who come from the same place and speak the same language can live very different lives and that s great! Ask students to think about how boring the world would be if everyone were exactly the same. How would the world be different if we all looked the same, acted the same way and liked the same things? Repeat the title. Why does the title use same twice? NOTE TO EDUCATORS Extension Activities for Educators also available. Vocabulary Scaffolding Sheet also available.
3 A RIF GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND FAMILIES Book Brief: Two pen pals realize that their lives are more alike than they thought. Before reading, build background: Has your child ever been to, or were they born in, another country? Another state? Talk about how people do things differently in different parts of the world. While reading, look at the pictures: The pictures tell us about the two boys lives. How is your child s life like each of the boys? How is it different? After reading, ask questions: How are Elliot and Kailash different? How are they the same? Why doesn t everybody live in the same kind of house or have the same kind of family? Do you think it would be boring if we were all the same? What about you and your family makes you special? RELATED ACTIVITIES DELICIOUS DIFFERENCES Ingredients: 2 or 3 kinds of apples, 2 or 3 kinds of cheese You can learn about differences just by eating! Give your child slices from 2 or 3 different kinds of apples and cubes of 2 or 3 kinds of cheese. While they eat, ask them to think about how the apples and cheese are alike and different...and how they re all delicious! OUT AND ABOUT How diverse is your city or town? The next time you go out, point out all the signs or symbols of different cultures you see. While you re out, ask your child to think about how boring the world be if we were all the same. WHAT S IN A NAME? Pen pals don t have to be strangers! Do you have any relatives or close friends in a different country or state? Help your child write them a letter, postcard or . If you write a letter, have your child draw a picture of their world, like Elliot and Kailash drew. You can also include actual photos. This could be a good chance to help your child learn about other places and get to know a relative or family friend. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OTHER INTERNATIONAL BOOKS One World, One Day, Barbara Kerley (2009), Book Fiesta, Pat Mora (2009), Throw Your Tooth on the Roof, Salby Beeler (2001), Whoever You Are, Mem Fox (2006).
4 A RIF VOCABULARY SCAFFOLD climb: to go up, like a tree or a ladder brick: a kind of hard clay block used to build things cousin: your aunt or uncle s kids nearly: almost, close peacock: a kind of bird with bright tail feathers umbrella: something that protects you from rain few: not many traffic: a lot of cars or people going somewhere spiral: a twist or curl that makes a circle) flows: moves along in a stream, like a river
5 RIF EXTENSION ACTIVITIES FOR EDUCATORS PALLING AROUND Find a pen pal for your whole class! Visit a free service that lets you design a project for your class and select an international classroom to collaborate with online. PLAYING FAVORITES Materials: paper, crayons or markers Elliot and Kailash draw pictures of their favorite classes. Have students draw their own pictures to show their favorite classes. For older students, have them accompany their drawings with a few sentences or a paragraph explaining their choices. AWESOME ANIMALS There are a lot of animals in Kailash s world. Have students pick one of the animals to research. Where does it live? What does it eat? How big is it? Let students share their findings creatively, through a poem, story, play or other fun medium. STAMPING GROUND Materials: index cards, crayons or markers Explain to students what kinds of things usually get put on stamps (famous people, landmarks, etc.) and show them the examples on the inside cover of the book. Let students pick a country. Have them research the country and create a stamp for it on an index card. They should be able to name and explain the significance of whatever or whomever they put on their stamp. Display the stamps on a bulletin board. If you have a world map, connect each stamp to its country using colored string. ART PAIR AND SHARE GYM Pair students up. Have them interview each other to find out the same things Elliot and Kailash find out about each other. Afterward, have students share what they learned about their classmates with the rest of the class.
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