Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries - The Day of the Dead/El Día de los Muertos

It's time for another installment of  Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries.  This time we are doing something a little different.  Since Halloween is fast approaching, we decided to focus on scary stories, and other related topics.  Being in Southern California, I decided to talk about Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead which is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. 

Don't forget to check out the other posts as part of this series, and see what everyone has for you

     * Louise Capizzo, children’s librarian & Cathy Potter, school librarian: The Nonfiction Detectives
     * Mary Ann Scheuer, school librarian: Great Kid Books
     * Travis Jonker, school librarian: 100 Scope Notes

Check out the following picture books and app for use with Pre-K to 2nd grade.

The Day of the Dead/El Día de los Muertos
Author/Illustrator: Bob Barner
Translated by: Teresa Mlawer
Publisher: Holiday House (2010)
ISBN: 978-0823423811
Read Aloud: Pre-K to 2nd grade
Independent Reading Level: High 1st grade to 3rd grade.
Language: English and Spanish
Source: Purchased

My thoughts on this book:
When I was working at a school site with a Dual Language Immersion Program/Spanish, we used this book as part of our learning about The Day of the Dead in our younger classes.   Text is written in both English and then also shown in Spanish.

This is one of my favorite picture books for explaining about the Day of the Dead for younger students.  It simply explains what the Day of the Dead is and how it is celebrated.  The author provides notes about the Day of the Dead at the end of the book.  The illustrations are bright, and reflect the culturally aspect of the story.

Clatter Bash!: A Day of the Dead Celebration
Author/Illustrator: Richard Keep
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (2004)
ISBN: 978-1561454617
Read Aloud: Pre-K to 2nd grade
Independent Reading Level: Kindergarten to First grade
Source: Purchased

My thoughts on this book:
Clatter Bash! is designed for younger readers.  The story is told through the use of very rhythmic sounding words with some Spanish words interspersed throughout the pages.  The perspective of the story seems to be more from the skeletons who are celebrating the holiday.  Children would need some explanation as to why the skeletons are having a party. 

Though the text of the book is simple, the endnotes provide readers with a nice explanation of the Day of the Dead and the various symbols related to the day.  The illustrations in the book are colorful and very festive.  The use of color and style fit well with the origins of this holiday.

Rosita y Conchita: A Peek 'n Play Story App
by Mobad
Released: October 25, 2012
Language: English and Spanish
Devices: Designed for both iPad and iPhone

My thoughts on this book app:
This book app tells the story of twin girls, Conchita and Rosita.  One of the twins has passed away.  As Conchita seeks to remember her sister Rosita, readers are led through the various preparations and activities that families go through as part of remembering and honoring the dead.  

Though some parents may be concerned about sharing a story with young children about the death of a sibling, this is sensitively done in a way that helps younger children understand what the Day of the Dead is all about.  Parents and teachers should review the app prior to sharing it with students in case there are any individual concerns that need to be considered.

The app allows readers to either hear the story being read or to read the story on their own.  The story can be read in either English or Spanish.  Children also learn about how to make sugar skulls, and learn how to draw Rosita at the end.   The illustrations are colorful and reflect the art of the holiday.

How to incorporate this into the Common Core State Standards:
There are multiple way these texts can be integrated into the Common Core Standards; however, one suggestion would be to look at how two different texts can be similar and different, and to discuss the relationship between text and illustrations (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas). 

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews...