Today, we read another text set in Vietnam, The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland. Once again, we read with our minds focused on our central idea:
Sometimes species are faced with circumstances that force them to struggle or stretch and strengthen causing them to either succomb or succeed (survive).
Sparked by curiosity about the pictures and content, students posed questions, which prompted a particularly powerful discussion that allowed us to ponder BIG ideas related to power. This discussion crossed countries and continents and connected texts we have been reading and on which we have been reflecting.
Our literary focus was on the significance of symbols. Authors often embed simple symbols in their stories to convey significance. By repeating the symbol, authors promote deeper meaning, create a mood or feeling, or support a theme or message. After our initial reading today, we took time to identify the key events in the story, each connected to the lotus seed. Tomorrow, will we evaluate the emotions related to each event and the role of the lotus seed at each stage.
Check out this episode of Reading Rainbow, which features the reading of The Lotus Seed. The video also highlights the experience of several young people who emigrated from:
- South Africa
They compare and contrast their home countries to their new country. They also share some of the things with which they have struggled as they adjusted and how they are not only surviving but thriving in their new homes.
As you watch, think about what learner profile traits are exhibited by each person. Also, pay attention to what “symbols” they mention that allow them to stay connected to their homes.
For some of us, the story of the lotus seed also connected to our research in our nonfiction science readers. Using Cornell notes, we continued our research and our diary entries.
- How can we connect the story set in Vietnam to the topic of plant reproduction.
- How are the struggles to survive between people and plants similar and different?
In addition to reading The Lotus Seed, some of us also read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle during buddies today. We then used seeds to help our buddies count and create a collage of beans.
Despite being a short day, our Wednesday was full and finished off fabulously with… cupcakes, marshmallows, and chocolate sauce in honor of Livia’s birthday. We are grateful for the gift of Livia who lights up our lives each and every day!