The book: One Green Apple by Eve Bunting Illustrated by Ted Lewin
The main character, Farah, is a young Muslim immigrant who is the new kid in school who does not know the English language. She was welcomed by her classmates despite their language barrier.
I chose this book to read to a fifth grade class because back in the late 1970's, before there were English as a second language instructors, I provided English language instruction for an Iranian first grader who spoke Farsi. I was the school Speech and Language Therapist. I became friends with his mother. She also learned English and we spent time together talking. My first grade student's father was the Iranian liaison officer in charge of Iranian students who attended Norwich University. At that time, the United States and Iran were allies and the students were learning at Northfield's military university. When the Islamic Revolution occurred in Iran in 1979, Reza Shah Pahlavi was deposed. He was known as "The Shah of Iran." Subsequently the Iranian students and the liaison officer's family left the United States. I have stayed in contact with my Iranian friend over the years. She calls me "her sister."
Following the story and some discussion, the fifth grade students were asked to use the "My Multicultural Self" Teaching Tolerance handout that has 5 "conversation bubbles." They were asked to generate ideas about how they can help end prejudice and racism. They were instructed to write down words that explain their feelings about discrimination, bias or preconceived notions about other cultures, prejudices and bullying. Many students shared their multicultural experiences with the group. Students had time to share just one issue at a time with the group. Students were encouraged to take this "My Multicultural Self" activity home with them to share with others.
I also read two sections from the book entitled: Who Belongs Here? An American Story. These two sections referenced people immigrating to the United States.