Allen Say

Bridge Between Two Continents

Lesson Plans

The purpose is to introduce Allen Say to the children in our school.

Lesson Plan: Tea with Milk

by Allen Say
Reading Level: Grade 5
Read Aloud Level: Grade 4

Written by Anne Thayer
For LS: 521

To explore the themes in Allen Say's books to help us understand and appreciate the similarities and differences between two cultures. To realize that all peoples on the earth are the same--we all love our families--in spite of superficial differences.

Tea with Milk is the story of May, Allen Say's mother and then of his parents. May is born in California and lives there until she is eighteen, when her parents decide to move back to Japan. May is very unhappy since everything is so foreign. Finally, she moves to Osaka where a young man, Joseph, notices her speaking English in the department store where she works.

Tea with Milk shows the similarities and differences between America and Japan. What are the similarities? What are the differences? Have a class discussion on this. Make a chart showing similarities and differences between the two cultures.

Learn more about Japanese food, houses, customs, folktales, art, culture, and history. Explore the following links:

Kids Web Japan
World Surfari:Japan!
Have each student or group of students pick a topic about Japan and act out their topic. Some suggestions would be: a traditional tea ceremony, how to eat with chopsticks, trying traditional foods, reading folktales, displaying items from Japan, and inviting a native of Japan in to speak to the class.

Physical and emotional journeys take place in Tea with Milk. Discuss the statement: "Home isn't a place or a building that's ready-made and waiting for you, in America or anywhere else," in a short essay. What does this statement mean? How does it relate to the theme of journeys? How would you feel if you were May? How would you react if you were May?

Learn more about Allen Say at the following Web sites:
Author Spotlight: Allen Say
Look at more links to Japan on the "Allen Say Author Links!" page.
Allen Say

Some ideas for this lesson were taken from the following Web Sites:
classroom connections
Teacher View: Grandfather's Journey

Lesson Plan: Emma's Rug

by Allen Say
Reading Level: Grade 5
Read Aloud Level: Grade 4

Written by Anne Thayer
For LS 521

Objective :
To understand the origin of creativity. How is Emma able to draw and paint so well at such ayoung age?

Emma receives a fluffy white rug when she is born. She loves the rug; she lays on it and sits on it and carries it around when she is little. When she approaches school age, she stares at it for long periods of time. Emma starts to draw and paint and becomes very good at it. She says that she copies her ideas! Emma looks to the rug for her inspiration. Emma's mother washes her rug, and she is devastated. How will she draw and paint, now?

Discuss the source of creativity. Where does Emma's come from? Ask each student how he or she is creative. Where does your creativity come from? How many ways can we be creative? Ask each student to bring in an example of his or her creativity.

Set up a watercolor activity center: watercolors, watercolor paper, brushes, drawing pencils. Students will become acquainted with the meduim of watercolor by looking at the art in Emma's Rug and going to Web sites that show examples of watercolor art. Check out these Web sites:
Comments: This link gives background material about watercolor.

Barbara Florence's Watercolors

Mark Vinsel's Gallery

Gloria Warren's Watercolor World

Discuss the feelings which you noticed in the paintings in Emma's Rug. How can art express a feeling or a mood? Discuss watercolor painting. Students will each paint a picture using watercolors.

Discover more about Allen Say at:
About Allen Say

Some ideas for this lesson were taken from the following Web site:
Teacher CyberGuide by Sandra Bradley: Grandfather's Journey

Visit the following Web sites for Grandfather's Journey:
Teacher CyberGuide by Sandra Bradley: Grandfather's Journey

TeacherView : Grandfather's Journey

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last updated 07/29/00