Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Dadima Wears a Sari

Product Details
Author - Kashmira Sheth
Illustrator - Yoshiko Jaeggi
Grade Level - K-3 grade

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For additional information about the author Kashmira Sheth click here. 

Summary A young girl and her sister spend time with their Indian grandmother and find out why she likes wearing traditional Indian saris. The young girls interact with their Dadima as she shares with them all the wonderful and imaginative things a sari can be used for. The sisters get to learn about their cultural heritage and end up getting to try wearing a sari themselves.

Element 1  Self-love and Knowledge -  In My Dadima Wears a Sari the two young sisters gain a better understanding of their cultural heritage as well as a deeper insight into who their grandmother is. Dadima’s sari plays a central role in the story and the sisters start to relate to their grandmother as they learn about the traditional Indian clothes she wears. Trough the story the sisters gain knowledge about where their family comes from and get excited about having a sari of their own and in doing so show and feel appreciation for their culture and their family.  

Activity – An appropriate activity to go along with the reading of this book could be to engage students in a discussion about things from their own home that they feel represents their family and/or culture. Emphasis should not only be put on things that can be linked to a specific culture but can also be things that might be part of their family’s religion, geographical area or simply directly connected to the students family. After allowing sufficient time for a discussion, making sure that every child gets time to think and share with the rest of the class the teacher can suggest to the class that they make a “Share and Learn” date. A “Share and Learn” session can function as a multicultural form of “Show and Tell” and can help motivate students to share with each other things from their background and culture. This can function as a “hands on experience” where students are given an opportunity to learn more about each other while at the same creating a space where students can gain a sense of pride and acknowledgement for their own family’s culture.       

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