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Grandfather's Dream



Last updated Monday, April 4, 2005

Author: Holly Keller
Illustrator: Holly Keller
Date of Publication: 1994
ISBN: 0688123392
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2005

Synopsis: After the end of the war in Vietnam, a young boy's grandfather dreams of restoring the wetlands of the Mekong delta, hoping that the large cranes that once lived there will return.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Look at the cover of the book. What do you think that the book is about? Where do you think the story takes place?
•  Vocabulary: wetland, crane, dike, otter, monsoon, impatient, snatched, chuckled.
•  Why would animals leave their home? Why would they come back?
•  What kind of things do you like to do with your Grandparents? What kind of stories do they tell?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does Grandfather want the cranes to come back so much?
•  Some people want to use all of the land as a wetland where the cranes will live, and some want to use the land to grow rice to sell. Which side makes more sense to you?
•  Why did the cranes return? What can Nan do to make sure that they stay?
•  How do you think your neighborhood looked many years ago? How is it different today?

Craft ideas:
•  Make paper cranes (see attached instruction sheet).
•  Fold a piece of paper into three parts. On the one side draw what the village was like back when it was a flooded swampland with the cranes; on the second, draw the village and rice fields as some would like it to be; on the third, draw what your neighborhood is like.
•  Make a card for the cranes or for your grandparents. Tell them why they are special.

Special activities:
•  Grandfather wants the cranes to return. Play Red Rover, only use the different animals from the book (each of the children pretends to be a different animal).

*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!