Multicultural Picture Book

"Me, Frida" by Amy Novesky

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"Me, Frida" was illustrated by David Diaz and was published in 2010 by Abrams Books for Young Readers.

This read aloud is intended for third grade. This biography discusses the artist Frida Kahlo and how her move from Mexico to San Francisco, helped her to become a world renown artist. Her reason for moving at first was her husband Diego Rivera, but she finds peace and strength as she learns from the city. This book has received the following awards:



*ALA Notable Book

*FOCAL Award, Los Angeles Public Library, 2011

*Pura Belpre Honor Book, Illustration

*Best Picture Book, International Latino Book Award, 2011

*Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2011

*SCIBA Book Award Finalist, Children’s Picture Book

Narrative

Amy Novesky is the author of Elephant Prince, Georgia In Hawaii, Imogen, The Mother of Modernism, Three Boys, Mister and Lady Day and of course Me, Frida. She has won awards for her children's books. David Diaz has illustrated over 45 books including Smokey Night by Eve Bunting which won him the Caldwell Medal in 1995. Me, Frida shows a blend of Mexican and American cultures. Frida shows Mexican culture by the way she dresses towards the end of the book. The Mexican culture is also exposed by the few Spanish words incorporated into the book. Surprisingly, Chinese culture is also shown in the book because that is Frida's favorite part of San Francisco.
Amy Novesky Author Trailer * Micro-Documentary

Evaluation

"Me, Frida" celebrates and honors diversity by revealing how Frida came to be an artist in a place that was foreign to her. She grew into her skin and "She felt like she could fly" (pg. 8). It also leads into the beginning of her famous time in America on page 1, "When people saw her, they stopped and stared at her wonder". This book also includes characters with a cultural group who interact substantively and authentically. Frida is new to The United States, thus she has to interact with the new people from a different culture. "She thought the Americans' faces resembled dough. She missed Mexico." (pg.10). Frida is very authentic in the fact that she doesn't adjust well at first to the different people and the city as a whole, in the same fact that they Americans don't adjust to her well at first. I believe that because Frida has a transformation into a more free and expressive self, this book invites reflection, critical analysis and response. I reflected on when I have felt like an "alien" and also when I have had a vision for myself. Everyone can see a bit of themselves in Frida.
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Talking Notes

1. "This book is called Me, Frida and is written by Amy Novesky. I want you to look at the cover and tell me something that you think could be important. What is something interesting about this cover?"- raise hands for responses.

2. "Think about what women in the United States dress like. Compare that to what the lady on the cover is wearing. Have students respond in color partners and then have them raise their hand to share with the class. How are they different?"

3. "Perhaps she is from another country. If she is, we can also say she is foreign." Pull out vocabulary card, explain to the class that we will be looking at two vocabulary words and show the class the word while asking them to repeat it. "Foreign means to be involved in a country other than your own or where you are from.”

4. "So what we know so far is that this woman is from a different country than she lives in. Raise your hand if you can tell me who this woman is.” If response is Frida Kahlo then elaborate. If response is just Frida because they read the title, then explain that “This woman is Frida Kahlo and she was a very famous artist in the 1900s.”

5. “She had a vision to be recognized." Pull out second vocabulary card and present to students. "What do you think vision means?"-Raise hands for response, expecting answers such as eyesight or how you see.

6. "Another way to think of vision is the vision for ourselves in the future. Such as our goals and hopes for our lives. While I am reading, I want you to remember that she is not from The United States so she is…foreign) and she has some kind of vision for herself. Think about how that is important in the story."

7. Teacher then reads story. Stop on page 1 to ask students "Where is Frida from?"- They need to bubble their answer and then share as a class: Mexico. Read until Page 4 then ask students to touch their head to answer "How does Frida feel towards San Francisco so far?"-Response: something similar to, she doesn't enjoy it there.

8. Page 6 contains our first vocabulary word, foreign. "Here is our word foreign. Does the fact that Frida is foreign change the way she feels?-Responses. How?"-Color partners and then respond to class. Responses: something similar to yes, she doesn't feel at home or comfortable.

9. On page 8 ask, "How is Frida changing?"- Touch your head to respond: something like she is feeling bolder or more comfortable.

10. Page 9 is when you will bring up the second word vision. Raise your hand, "How is Frida finding her vision?"-Response: she is painting.

11. On the final page, ask "Stand up if you think Frida accomplished her vision. How did she do it?"-Touch your head to respond: similar to yes, the American people began to notice her and her artwork.

12. After reading, ask the students "Thumbs up or thumbs down, have you ever felt the same as Frida?"-give time for responses. “Color partners- share when you have felt the same as Frida” Ask the students to raise their hands to share with the class.

13. "What you are going to do next is create a word poster of our two vocabulary words. I will split you into groups and assign you a word." Bring out teacher made example. "You need to write the word at the top, use it in a sentence and then draw a picture that helps you remember it. I want everyone participating, this is a group effort. Have posters already at desks with markers that are labeled with their group #. “When you get to your seats, I will tell you your word”.

14. Then split group by 1, 2, 3, and 4. “Walking to your seats needs to be at a level 1”. Give them time to move to correct spots. "Group 1 and 3 you have the word foreign, group 2 and 4 you have vision. Any questions before you begin?" When you have done the poster, put your hands on your head so I know you are ready to move on."

15. "After students have completed the poster, instruct them to "Now we are going to hand up, stand up, pair up. I will put your posters on the walls for reference but I want you to share your word, sentence and picture with a person in a group that had a different word than you. After you have shared your vocabulary word, you may go back to your seat. Any questions? Go".

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My name is McKenzie Strother and I am a junior at Wichita State University. I am majoring in Elementary Education and plan on graduating in Spring 2015! I am a proud member of Delta Delta Delta. Being from a large family, I have been surrounded by children all of my life and is a part of the reason why I want to be a teacher! I gain experience through my field experience and my COOP job.

Reflection

I picked this book because it addresses art, multiculturalism and history all at the same time. I feel like many students today and even people my age, don't know much about Frida Kahlo and I could change that by doing this lesson. The 3rd graders in my class know about the ideas of moving, different cultures and adjusting. Frida had to deal with all of those problems in this book so it matched what the students already know. Some strengths of the read aloud were that the students engaged during the reading and could some what relate to Frida. Another strength is that the vocabulary words I chose were well developed during the word poster activity and I believe will help the students remembering their meanings. Something that I would do differently is have more details or ideas about transitions, such as when too many students raise their hand and I have to stop the sharing. Another thing I want to do differently is walk around the room while they are sharing with their color partners that way I ensure that all students are discussing. Implementing multicultural children's literature that is culturally and linguistically diverse relative to my elementary students has helped me plan for future lessons. I can see now that students need to be able to see themselves in the stories I read and this is a great way to do that. It has also helped me because I am more enlightened and sensitive to students' feelings about being in a multicultural world.The last thing it has helped me see is that students are interested in subjects that they see as realistic and they are more willing to learn when you relate a topic to them.