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The Lotus Seed

Last updated Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Author: Sherri Garland
Illustrator: Tatsuro Kiuchi
Date of Publication: 1993
ISBN: 0152494650
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2005

Synopsis: (from the publisher) A story of hope and epiphany and the importance of family heritage. A young Vietnamese girl takes a lotus seed from the Imperial Garden. Years later, her grandson plants it in his garden--where it blooms again. Full color.

Note to readers:
•  This is a book that is told both by the words and the pictures - one way to read is to focus on both - Ask active questions about the pictures - What do you think is happening here? What is this person thinking? What is this person doing? Why? Etc.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where is your family from? Do they all live together or nearby?
•  Does your family have any traditions? What is an "heirloom?"
•  Have you ever seen a lotus flower? (There is a lotus flower festival in July of each year in Echo park)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you have a belonging that reminds you of someone special?
•  Why was the lotus seed important?
•  What must it be like to be in a strange place where you don?t know anyone?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of your family?s heritage or of a family heirloom.
•  What do you have that you would want to share with your children? Write a letter to them explaining.
•  Make a lotus flower bookmark.

Special activities:
•  Share what?s unique about your family.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!