Multiculture Picture Book

Read Aloud and Vocabulary Presentation

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"Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match" by Monica Brown and Illustrated by Sara Palacios was published in 2011 by Lee & Lown Books, Inc.

This read aloud is planned for second graders. "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match" is a picture book about a Peruvian-Scottish-American little girl and her journey to acceptance of her multiracial identity.

About this Book:

  • Guided Reading: L

  • Lexile: AD580L

  • Interest Level: Grades K - 3

  • Reading Level: Grades 2 - 3

Relevant Themes: Identity, Self-esteem, Confidence, Cultural Diversity, Courage, Family, Pride, Similarities and Differences

  • Tejas Star Book Award
  • International Latino Book Award
  • Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration

About the Author

Monica Brown has written multiple award-winning bilingual children's books, including "Marisol McDonald and the Monster," "Waiting for the Biblioburro," "My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz," and "Maya's Blanket." Her books are inspired by her own Peruvian American heritage. She is a Professor of English at Norther Arizona University. Here she specializes in U.S. Latino Literature and Multicultural Literature.
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"I write from a place of deep passion, joy, and commitment to producing the highest possible quality of literature for children... I don't think it is ever too early to introduce children to the concepts of magical realism, social justice, and dreaming big!"

Instructional Sequence

Set Expectations/Transition to Lesson
  • Attention getting: Class, class? (Yes, Yes!)
  • Write out CHAMPS on white board: C- voice level 0 while teacher is reading, level 1-2 while working with partner/groups; H- raise your hand or use a hand signal; A- Reading; M- carpet, desks; P- Everyone!; S- Success for the first lesson!
  • First: pass out word chain worksheet to each student.
  • "I need everyone to quietly get their white board, a pencil, and their worksheet (pause). Stand up (pause), push in your chairs (pause), and have a seat in your carpet square."

Introduce Book and Vocabulary

  • "Did everyone have fun over Spring break? (pause for reaction) I did, too. I went to one of my favorite places in my town... the library! I found a very good book, and today I want to share it with you. It has an important message that I think you should hear."
  • "Before we read this story, there is a couple of important words we need to review together. HLT Q1: How would you define something that matches? Touch your nose when you think you have an idea (pause) Now turn to your shoulder partner and tell them what you think it means to match. (pause and listen to answers). That's right! When something matches, it means it goes together. I brought with me a word chain to put all our answers together. For the word matches, I have four more words that link together because they all mean about the same thing. The words that are like the word match are go with, compliment, coordinate, and alike."
  • "There is one more vocabulary word we need to review. That word is clash. Give me a thumbs up or thumbs down if you've heard this word before. Now turn to your shoulder partner and whisper to them what you think clash means."
  • Call on students for definition of clash. Clarify: Clash (for colors) means to conflict with, or appear ugly when placed close together."
  • Now it's your guys' turn! You and your shoulder partner are going to make a vocabulary word chain just like I did on this worksheet. You will need to think of three new words that mean about the same thing as clash."
  • Give students 3-5 minutes to complete, as needed. Bring back attention to new teacher's word chain example.
  • "Now I'll show you my word chain for our vocabulary word clash. The words I picked that go with clash are mismatch, discordant, incompatible, and does not go."

Read Aloud

  • Begin reading: Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match
  • Page 16: HLT Q2: What did you observe about the way Marisol looks and acts? What details does the story provide to show that she doesn't match?
  • Page 24: HLT Q3: According to Ms. Apple, what is the value of being unique? How do you think this letter made Marisol feel? How do you know?
  • Once finished reading, ask students after reading discussion questions:
  • HLT Q4: What reason do you think Mrs. Brown had for writing this story in two different languages?
  • HLT Q5: Can you predict the outcome of this story if Marisol had decided to always match, instead of being her mismatched self?

After Reading Vocabulary Activity

  • Transition: "Did you like my story? I think Marisol taught us a very good lesson. What do you think that lesson was? (call on student for reactions). Now I need everyone to quietly stand up (pause) and go back to your desks. Put away your whiteboards, but keep your pencil out!"
  • Pass out "I Am Me!" worksheet.
  • There was a very important word that Ms. Apple used to describe Marisol. That word was unique. Being unique means being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. Every single one of you is unique in your own special way! To prove this, you are going to fill out this little person that represents you and your unique qualities.
  • Using the document camera, use the teacher's key as the example. "Watch me, my turn! I'm going to start by filling in my name on my person's head. Your turn!" (pause while students fill in page). Next, put your finger on the "Family" box. Everyone has a family that is a little bit different! I have Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, 1 dog, 5 cats, and Me! Your turn, who is in your family?" (pause and let students fill in page). Now, watch me, my turn. (talk while filling out page) I like to read, I dislike storms, I'm good at following the rules, and I want to be a teacher when I grow up. These are all unique things that make me, Ms. Sills! Your turn: what things make you, you?" (pause and allow students to fill in the remainder of the sheet.
  • Once majority of students are finished call back students' attention. "Point to the bottom of the page, where the sentence says: One thing that makes me unique is ____ (hmm...). Write down one thing that makes you unique!" (write: One thing that makes me unique is I love to read!)
  • If time allows, students may color their person.

Transition out of lesson

  • Collect Word Chain pages and "I Am Me!" pages
  • Clean up desks

HLT Questions

Before Reading:
1. How would you define something that matches? (Remember)
During Reading:
2. What did you observe about the way Marisol looks and acts? What details does the story give you? (Understand)
3. According to Ms. Apple, what is the value of being unique? How do you think this letter made Marisol feel? How do you know? (Evaluate)
After Reading:
4. What reason do you think Mrs. Brown had for writing this story in two different languages? (Analyze)
5. Can you predict the outcome of the story if Marisol had decided to always match? Why do you think this would happen? (Create)


1. Why was this particular book selected? How did it "match" the funds of knowledge of this particular class/group of students?

This book was selected due to the wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the students in my 2nd grade class. These students come from a variety of journeys, ranging from a mixed family of step-family and extended family members, to refugee families from Middle Eastern countries. This particular class is very accepting of each other and holds an understanding that being different is not a bad thing. They lift each other up daily and celebrate their unique qualities both inside and outside the classroom.

2. What were the strengths of the read aloud/ the picture book/ vocabulary teaching presentation?

I was very nervous to present my read aloud, but my students were very accepting and excited that I was going to start their day with my lesson. This gave me confidence and hope that I would meet their joyful expectations. They loved my story selection and saw a little piece of themselves within the pages about Marisol. My questions were structured to allow them to think and respond to me and also to each other as we read our story. They had previously worked with word chains to work on vocabulary words so they had some prior knowledge of the activity we were working with. This helped me to keep them on track and attentive. I had no behavioral issues and had a captive audience through the entire 30 page story! I was able to keep my lesson at a steady pace and finished perfectly on time. The final activity I believe was my strongest point. The "I Am Me!" activity was not only fun but reflective of the student's personality. They were excited that there were no wrong answers to the prompts. When instructed that they were allowed to personalize their character, they were ecstatic.

3. What would I need to do differently next time?

Next time, I need to double check my students' vocabulary knowledge more in depth. One of my activities had to be revised as a whole group interaction rather than a partner/individual work due to their lack of prior knowledge for that particular vocabulary word. I had assumed that they had previously heard the word "clash" in some sort of context. When trying to activate the prior knowledge (that was non-existent) I had a crowd of crickets. I was taken aback, but was able to bounce back and bring in relevant examples that helped them come closer to my goal. If I could do it over, I would have switched my example and my activity words. They would have been much better off if I had done the word "clash" as my example then had them work on the word "match" due to their knowledge base. I also wish I would have thought through my ending/transition. I also wish I had better instructed them on coloring their characters. Some did a nice job at coloring lightly so that their answers could still be read. But some used dark colors and colored to the point that their answers cannot be read well. Once they finished the "I Am Me!" worksheet, I turned to my teacher, unsure of where to go next. She then had the students come up one by one to share their sentence and coloring to the class. This was a great way to let them share their unique thoughts as well as transition out of the lesson into their decoding time.

4. Respond to the following open-ended statement:

Implementing multicultural children's literature that is culturally and linguistically diverse relative to my elementary students has... opened my eyes to how unique each of my students are. After reading through each of their "I Am Me!" works, I realized how much their individuality can shine through if I allow it. Giving them the ability to reflect on themselves and celebrate their differences brought an overwhelming element of joy and excitement to my lesson that I was not expecting. The rest of the day the students came to me to tell me of something unique they had found or thought about themselves during lunch/recess/music and otherwise. This lesson gave me an opportunity to build a stronger personal connection with each student. I have an idea of the students' strengths, their future goals, and their level of comfort when talking and reflecting on themselves.

Lesson Pictures

The CT of this second grade class decided she wanted to use the "I Am Me" worksheets as a grade for the students' hard work. So I was not able to keep the worksheets. So I took a few pictures to show the connections the students made with the lesson. Pictured are the class sets of word chains and "I Am Me!" worksheets and the teacher examples used in the lesson.


Teacher's Guide to "Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match" :

About the Author:

Arrows GO: made in Microsoft Word

All About Me GO: