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Blue Monday and Friends: Traditional Jewish Holidays Come Alive through the Art of Story-Telling, by Geraldine M. Martin


Guide Entry to 97.02.07:

In my paper, I have explored ways in which puppetry and the art of story-telling, via childrenís literature, can be integrated into a unit for helping young children gather information for appreciating and approaching literature in a more critical manner.

Books such as Isaac Bashevis Singerís Zlateh The Goat and Other Stories, Malka Druckerís Grandmaís Latkes and Janice Cohnís The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate have been used for developing strategies and classroom activities for assimilating and analyzing childrenís literature.

Blue Monday is a puppet who assists in bringing information and activities pertaining to the historical significance of Jewish holidays to the classroom. Our books and activities will integrate with the seasons, somewhat following the Jewish calendar; for example, the children will learn about Hanukkah during the month of December and Passover during the spring. Since January does not have celebrations that we will be actively involved with, Isaac Bashevis Singerís stories will be used during story time in the classroom.

My unit is part of a team effort including teachers from L. W. Beecher school, whereby we will help students and the community at large to better understand cultural diversity on a more global level through the use of literature.

(Recommended for Reading and Language Arts, grade 1)

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