Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Share a Story, Shape a Future 2012 - Day 2, Reading as a Passport to other Cultures

Logo provided by Elizabeth Dulemba
Share-a-Story, Shape-a-Future is in its second day and continues through Friday, March 9th.  This event is an online, collaborative effort to share ideas and celebrate everything reading has to offer our kids.  This year's theme is The Culture of Reading.

Today's focus was Reading as a Passport to Other Worlds/Cultures hosted by Carol Rasco from Reading is Fundamental.  She offers two posts The Book as a Passport and Blogs to Explore. (At the time of my post the links provided were not working for me. Hopefully, they will be working soon.)

I also enjoyed reading a post from Amy Broadmoore at Delightful Children's Books. She presents a list of 17 books to help add "diversity to your reading repertoire". 

You may also want to check out the post from Beth Stilborn of By Word of Beth. She shares information about the "Reading the World Challenge" that she has joined which focuses on multi-cultural literature.

There are even more posts at the Share-a-Story website about reading as a passport.

Every day of the week there is also a chance for bloggers to participate in the event by reflecting upon reading with the Writing @ Reading challenge.  I have participated in this way the past two years and found it very beneficial in developing my ideas and thoughts about reading.

The writing prompt I chose to reflect upon today is:

Are there cultural traditions from other parts of the world that you learned about through reading that you've incorporated into your own family traditions?

My most memorable attempt to incorporate cultural traditions from other parts of the world into our own family traditions was when we celebrated Jane Kurtz's birthday last year.  We read her books Fire on the Mountain, an Ethiopian folk tale that Jane Kurtz remembered hearing during her childhood and  Trouble, a traditional tale about a boy from Ethiopia's northern neighbor, Eritrea.

I was so excited to read books about a different culture to my children that I came up with two activities -- making a gebeta board to play Mancala and cooking Ethiopian food.  My kids had a blast making and playing with their gebeta boards. The Ethiopian food did not go over so well.

We made injera, a large, spongey pancake used as bread at most meals in Ethiopia and Kik Pea Alecha.  Please note my daughter's body language as I am cooking!
 The rest of the photos really speak for themselves.

We have not eaten Ethiopian food since last April 17, but we will never forget our experience learning about this culture. Thank you Jane Kurtz! If you are interested, she did share a birthday memory from her childhood in Ethiopia for the birthday post.

Have you had a more successful experience introducing a different culture to your children? Or did your experience flop like mine?


  1. I love the photos! My kids were really game for trying a lot of new food last year when we were reading around the world and when they helped cook the food. However, when I offer these foods a second time around, my kids are frustratingly picky. They love naan but pretty much no other Indian food. They like washing their hands at the table (as described in our Kids' Multicultural Cookbooks) but they wouldn't touch the Ghanain peanut soup a second time around. I should take out my camera and photograph them at the table next time.

    1. Amy -- thanks for sharing your experiences. I think cooking and reading books is so much fun. I think you definitely should pull out your camera. I would love to hear about your family's cooking adventures on your blog.


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