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Drum, Chavi, Drum!

Last updated Monday, February 27, 2006

Author: Mayra L. Dole
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0892391863
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2006

Synopsis: Even though nobody in her Cuban-American neighborhood thinks girls should play the drums, Chavi knows she was born to play. She drums on paint cans, sofa arms, even on her mother?s cheeks. Her favorites are the tumbadoras, conga drums. So, when she?s not picked to play on the school float for Calle Ocho?Miami?s Eighth Street carnaval?she decides to do something about it! Mayra L. Dole?s plucky little musician will drum her way into the hearts of all young readers, who will add her to their list of favorite heroines. Tonel?s illustrations capture the flavor of Calle Ocho?s inhabitants and celebrations.

Note to readers:
•  Note: This book has both English and Spanish text. Read the English to the students first. If you have time when you finish, you can read parts of the Spanish to them, if you feel comfortable doing that.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What does it look like Chavi is celebrating on the cover?
•  Do you play any instruments? What kind?
•  What kinds of different stores do you see in the background of Chavi?
•  What are some festivals that you go to and what do you celebrate?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does Chavi want to play the drums?
•  Who tells her that she can't? Why?
•  How does Chavi manage to play the drums at the festival anyway?
•  Have you ever done or been told not to do something that someone said you couldn't because you were a girl/boy/child? How did it make you feel?
•  What does your family do for fun?
•  Read the information on the last page about the festival. Where is Cuba and Miami?

Craft ideas:
•  Make your own drums. Decorate them with construction paper and perform. Bring ahead option: empty Quaker Oat container (or other disposable containers)
•  Make maracas out of paper plates and dried beans. Decorate plates. Then fill paper plates with beans, fold in half, and staple close. Bring ahead option: paper plates and dried beans.
•  Draw flags or create your own festival flag. Cut out pieces of construction paper and paste onto a blank one to create the flag.

Special activities:
•  Have a parade around the room.

*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!