Islandborn by Junot Díaz

Recommended Grades: 3-5

When Lola is asked to draw a picture of where her family emigrated from, she becomes worried because she can’t remember the Island.  But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories, Lola is able to go on an imaginary journey back to the Island.  

Lesson Idea: 

Mentor Text; Six Traits of Writing – Idea Development:  Islandborn is a fantastic mentor text to help students develop idea seeds in their writer’s notebook.  After reading it aloud to students, have them brainstorm memories that are important to them about family and friends.

This is also a mentor text in The Storyteller’s Project.  Click on the link to find out more!

©2019 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say

Recommended Grades: 3-5

Using his grandfather’s story as a backdrop, Say bridges the gap between two cultures, Japanese and American.  He tells the story of his grandfather who learned to love both cultures and invariably miss one when he was living in the other country. 

Lesson Idea:  


Content Connections/Immigration/Multiple perspectives: Read aloud Grandfather’s Journey and discuss how the author and his grandfather’s perspective are both evident.  Use this as a model text to determine how one might feel when immigrating to a new country.

©2012 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.