Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Lotus Seed

The Lotus Seed
By Sherry Garland
Illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi
Harcourt Brace, 1993

I stumbled across this book when I was looking for picture books to make “Text-to-World” connections with my students. It was used in a lesson in Strategies that Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis (2nd edition).

The book is about a young girl from Vietnam who wanted to remember the emperor when he lost his throne. So, she took a seed from a lotus flower in the emperor’s gardens to remember him by. When the Vietnam War tore apart her country, she moved to America, but she took the lotus seed with her to remember her country. She kept in near her family’s alter, wrapped carefully.

Many years later her grandson found the seed, wondered what it was, and took it outside and planted it without telling anyone. The girl, now a grandmother, cried and cried over her lotus seed. Soon it bloomed into a lotus flower and they were able to share the seeds among the family members to remember their home country of Vietnam.

I loved this story. I didn’t use it for a text to world connection lesson though. I am putting it in my files for next year to use this book with Red Butterfly, which I recently reviewed here.

If you are interested in other text-to-text connection books I use together, see my list here.


Anonymous said...

Could you give some examples of connections for text to self, text to text, and text to world?

M.F. Atkins said...

For every reader, the connections will be different. Here are mine:

Text-to-self--Growing up in Thailand, I love lotus flowers more than any other kind. I like how the character in this book was able to bring seeds with her to remember the flowers.

Text-to-text--This book reminds me of The Red Butterfly which talks about a young girl who loves silk worms and takes silkworms with her along with a mulberry tree so that she can take the silkworms with her that remind her of where she came from.

Text-to-world--I can connect this to the world because right now I have students in my classes who are from different countries who have come to American, away from their home country. I wonder what little reminders of home they have brought with them.