Listen to the Wind

Presented by Kristen Burton EDEL 411 Secton B

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Mortenson, G., & Roth, S. (2009). Listen to the wind: The story of dr. greg & three cups of tea. New York, NY: Dial Books for Young Readers.

Information About the Book

Author: Greg Mortenson
Illustrator: Susan L. Roth
Genre: Non-Fiction
Topic/Theme: Generosity and helping those in need can change the world.
  • Children's Choice Book Award, 2010
  • Indies Choice Book Award, 2010

About the Author

Greg Mortenson was born in Minnesota in 1957, but grew up on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania where his father founded a medical center and his mother founded the International School Moshi. When his sister died in 1992 from a seizure, Greg decided to climb Pakistan's K2 (the world's 2nd highest mountain in the Karakoram range) in her honor. During his recovery after the climb in a village called Korphe, he met a group of children who were writing with sticks in the dirt. He promised them he would build them a school. After keeping his promise, he created a humanitarian campaign focused on building schools in isolated areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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About the Illustrator

Susan L. Roth was born in New York City, but grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. She received her Bachelors degree in Art from Mills College in 1965. Three years later she completed her Masters also from Mills College in Printmaking and Art History. She has illustrated 40 books thus far and prefers collage as her medium of choice.

Criteria For High Quality Multicultural Books

1. Themes should be consistent with the values, beliefs, customs, traditions, and conflicts of the specific cultural group. Throughout this book the author paints an authentic picture of the Korphe village. The entire story is focused on education. While the students of the Korphe village are only taught three days of the week, they spend their extra time making their own toys and writing with sticks in the dirt. While education seems important to the village, they lack a school. Dr. Greg helps the people of the Korphe village build a school for the children. Important people in typical Pakistani tradition are also noted in the book including the village's Imam (spiritual leader) and wise man. These details give readers insight into the typical values and traditions of Korphe culture.

2. Setting should be representative of and consistent with historical or contemporary time, place, or situation of a particular culture. The book is set in the Korphe village in Pakistan. The story is based on the author's actual travels to the Korphe village and the time he spent there. To fulfill his promise to the people of Korphe, Dr. Greg must deliver supplies from a large town nearby the village. This proves to be an issue when the materials must be delivered from one mountain to another with a river dividing the two. The people of the village build a bridge to retrieve the materials. This is an authentic problem that the Korphe village had to address due to their location. Along with the authentic description and conflicts of the Korphe village in Pakistan, the book provides actual pictures of the Korphe people and village at the end of the book.

3. Physical characteristics of a people of a diverse culture should replicate natural appearance and avoid stereotypes. The illustrations of the people of the Korphe village are very much in line with how they actually look. Susan L. Roth, the illustrator communicated with a Korphe woman to identify the typical dress of the Korphe people. Many of the children and people of the village wear bright patterned clothes with cloth also covering the tops of their heads. Roth beautifully illustrates these people using acutal cloth in her collages.

Listen to the Wind Lesson Idea

Grade Level 2

CCSS RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print of digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

The students will use information and illustrations from the text to identify characteristics of the Korphe people (characters) and their village (setting).

Lesson Beginning:

  • The teacher will begin the lesson by asking the class to describe the setting of a typical birthday party. After the students give a few ideas the teacher will ask the class to describe the characteristics of the people they might see at a birthday party (dress, attitude, etc.).

Lesson Middle:

  • After the students discuss, the teacher will review the words setting, character, and characteristic. The teacher will explain to students that every setting and character has specific characteristics. Then the teacher will explain that they are going to read Listen to the Wind about the people of the Korphe village in Pakistan. As a class they will find the Korphe village on a map. The teacher will then explain that they are to pay attention to details in the pictures and the story itself to describe the characters and setting of the Korphe village.
  • The teacher will explain that they are to raise their hand when they see or hear something that describes the characters or setting. The students will share their observations with the class. The teacher will then begin reading Listen to the Wind to the class. She/he will stop periodically to listen to student ideas. The teacher will ask, "What details tell you that about the character or setting?" or "How did you come to that conclusion?" or "What evidence from the story gave you that idea?" as students share their thoughts.

Lesson End:

  • The students will return to their desks. The teacher will explain to the students that they are to pick the characters or setting to write about. They will write 3-5 sentences explaining the characteristics of the characters or setting in Listen to the Wind. They are to use examples from the text and illustrations to explain their reasoning.

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Listen to the Wind by kristen burton 1