The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland
Background Information/Youtube.com video/At home Activities
A story of hope and epiphany and the importance of family heritage.
When she is forced to leave Vietnam, a young girl brings a lotus seed from the Imperial Garden with her to America in remembrance of her homeland. Years later, her grandson plants it in his garden — where it blooms again.
Here is what we have done in class with The Lotus Seed!
Intro. vocab. using Rivet with predictions about the story
Do “Pick a page” split into 4 groups, assign each group 2 pages to read. The group needs to practice their fluency on those pages until everyone can read it with expression.
The group then generates 2 important questions that can be answered by reading their 2 pages. Have each child write the questions in their reading journal and the correct answer.
Explain that today they will read their 2 pages with a new group, who is made from yesterday’s groups so that they will get to hear the entire story. Remind them they will need to listen carefully because at the end of each pair of pages they will be asked the questions that were generated yesterday. Discuss answers as they go.
Review answers to Rivet from day 1
Do Rereading activity asking why Ba kept the Lotus seed at different times. Ask why she took the lotus seed the first time, why she took it when she left her country, why she kept it when she came to America and why her grandchildren kept it at the end of the story.
Here are some activities that you can do at home with your family!
The Lotus Seed Reinforcing Activity:
After reading The Lotus Seed to the class, use the flower graphic organizer to identify reasons the lotus seed was important to the grandmother and why. The teacher will break students into groups of two or three and explain how to use the flower graphic organizer -- in the center students will write "lotus seed" and on each petal they will give one reason the grandmother cherished the lotus seed. After this, the students will have time to discuss the story and write the reasons and their explanations for why the lotus seed was important to the grandmother on their graphic organizers. The class will come back together after the students have completed the activity and discuss what they recorded on their flowers.
Optional Homework Activity: The teacher passes out another graphic organizer and instructs the students to do the same activity with an artifact that is important to them, their culture and their family. The class takes the last few minute of class to brainstorm possible artifacts the students could write about. As this is to be done at home students can ask their parents/guardians for help in brainstorming items important to their family. This gives students the opportunity to relate the artifact from the story to something that is meaningful in their own lives.
About The Author
Sherry Garlands Biography