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Early Elementary (Kindergarten - 2nd Grade)

Jump to: Resources | Books | Multimedia

 

Resources:

Click here for lesson plans: https://cmes.arizona.edu/outreach/lessons

Country Themed Culture Kits
Each kit comes with artifacts and activities for teaching about a specific country.

Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year
By Najmieh Batmanglij
This cookbook/cultural description has beautiful color photographs, ideas for cooking projects with children, even a cookie cutter. It’s a great resource for teaching about the Persian New Year holiday (Mar. 21), which is celebrated in several countries of western and central Asia.

At the Court of The Great King
By Sara Otto-Diniz, Jacqueline Pinsker McCaffrey and Denise Schmandt-Besserat
Illustrated by Ellen Rogers Simmons
Courtesy of The Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
An elementary level story about the art of ancient Persia. This was originally for an art exhibit at The Blanton Museum of Art in 1978. Therefore, it has some references to the exhibit but has a lot of valuable information regarding Persian history, art and culture.

"Open Sesame"The Story of Persian Locks
By Sara Otto-Diniz and Denise Schmandt-Besserat
Illustrated by Bonnie Jewel-Froman
Courtesy of The Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
An elementary level story about the origin of Persian locks. This was originally for an art exhibit at The Blanton Museum of Art in 1976. Therefore, it has some references to the exhibit but has a lot of valuable information regarding Persian history, art and culture.

 

Books:

Nadia The Willful
By Sue Alexander
A story of an Arab sheikh and his daughter learning to cope with the death of a family member.

The Girl Who Lost Her Smile
By Karim Alrawi
An Arab tale of a girl who lost her smile and the people of Baghdad who help her find it.

The Blind Man and the Elephant
By Karen Backstein
A Hello Reader Level 3 adaptation of the popular story (starting in South Asia but popular in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries too).  Teacher and UA graduate student Laura Provencher developed a lesson on perspective to go with this book.

Mirror
By Jeannie Baker
This lovely picture book compares life in two cities: one in Morocco, one in Australia.

Mystery Bottle
By Kristen Balouch
Award-winning tale of a little boy in New York who is magically transported to Iran, where his father is from.

Amina and Muhammad's Special Visitor
By Diane Turnage Burgoyne and Penny Williams Yaqub
This children's book describes family life in Saudi Arabia.  It also includes background information for teachers.

Tales Told in Tents
By Sally Pomme Clayton and Sophie Herxheimer
This is a collection of short stories from Central Asia.

Snow in Jerusalem
By Deborah Da Costa
An Israeli and a Palestinian boy must work together to save a stray cat that both have befriended.

The Legend of the Persian Carpet
By Tomie Da Paola and Claire Stewart
This is a Persian folktale retold by the author of Strega Nona.

Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile
By Tomie Da Paola
On a class field trip to Egypt, Bill and Pete not only learn a lot about ancient Egypt, but they also confront the Bad Guy.

The Hungry Coat: A Tale from Turkey
By Demi
A story about a man judged by his appearance.

Neve Shalom Wahat Al-Salam: Oasis of Peace
By Laurie and Ben Dolphin
Despite its ponderous title, it is a good book with vivid photographs. It describes the lives of two ten-year-old boys living in a community in Israel in which Jews and Palestinians live together.

Babak and Friends: A First Norooz
By Dustin Ellis and Rodd Miller
Excellent if you are doing a study of different holiday traditions, this is a 75-minute animated movie about an Iranian-American boy, Babak, learning about the Iranian holiday of Norooz (Persian New Year – which takes place in mid-March). The movie also explores the theme of growing up as an American with roots in another culture and even the issue of having a newborn sibling. The video comes with a short booklet that gives a summary.

Ramadan
By Suhaib Ghazi and Omar Rayyan
The book describes the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

The Seagull of Galata Tower ZEYNEP
By Julia Townsend
This book offers a birds-eye view (LITERALLY) of Istanbul.

How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale
By  Margaret Read MacDonald and Nadia Jameel Taibah
This book is a humorous folk tale, which gets children thinking about numbers and learning them in Arabic too.

Count Your Way Through The Arab World
By Jim Haskins
A beautifully illustrated counting book to help children learn numers in Arabic.

Count Your Way Through Iran
By Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson
Illustrated by Farida Zaman
A beautifully illustrated counting book to help children learn numers in Persian.

The Day of Ahmed's Secret
By Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland
A nicely written and beautifully illustrated story of a young boy in Cairo.

Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr with Praying Fasting, and
Charity
(National Geographic, “Holidays Around the World” series).
By Deborah Heiligman
Although it is at a low reading level, this book is even interesting to adults due to its great pictures and clear explanations. (It is National Geographic book, so the photography is amazing!)

Celebrating Norouz (Persian New Year)
By Yassaman Jalali
Description of the most popular Iranian holiday, Persian New Year, celebrated March 21st, the first day of Spring.

 The Most Magnificent Mosque
By Ann Jungman and Shelley Fowles
A beautifully illustrated book about medieval Spain and its Muslim heritage.

One Night: A Story from the Desert
By Cristina Kessler
About a Tuareg boy in the Sahara desert waiting for a goat to give birth.

 Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story
By Hena Khan and Julie Paschkis
A seven-year-old Pakistani-American girl celebrates Ramadan.

Sound the Shofar!: A Story for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
By Leslie Kimmelman and John Himmelman
This book focuses on the high holy days of Judaism and how one family celebrates those together and by helping out the less fortunate. Nicely illustrated storybook.

How the Camel Got its Hump
By Rudyard Kipling and Lisbeth Zwerger
This is one of a Little Golden Book’s “Tales from Around the World.”

What's the Matter, Habibi?
By Betsy Lewin
A warm and funny story of a boy and his pet camel.

The Storytellers
By Ted Lewin
A story of Abdul and his grandfather, a storyteller, set in Morocco.

Passover
By David F. Marx
This book gives religious and historical information about the Jewish Passover holiday.

Magid Fasts for Ramadan
By Mary Mathews and E.B. Lewis
An 8-year-old Egyptian boy wants to fast like the grown-ups during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Caravan
By Lawrence McKay Jr.
A story of a 10-year-old Uzbek boy’s first caravan trip through the mountains of Afghanistan.

The Best Eid Ever
By Asma Mobin-Uddin
It's Eid, and Aneesa should be happy. But her parents are thousands of miles away in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. To cheer her up, her grandmother gives her a gift of beautiful clothes from Pakistan, one outfit for each of the three days of Eid. She even prepares lamb korma, Aneesa's favourite dinner, which they will enjoy when they return from prayers. At the prayer hall, Aneesa meets two sisters who are not dressed in new clothes for the holiday.Aneesa discovers that the girls are refugees. With their father, they have fled from their war-torn country. Aneesa can't stop thinking about the girls and what Eid must be like for them. That's when Aneesa comes up with a plan to help the girls celebrate Eid and make it the best Eid holiday ever.

The Rich Man and the Parrot
Retold By Suzan Nadimi
Illustrated by Ande Cook
A folktale once told by the famous thirteenth-century poet Rumi is retold again in this attractive picture book. A story about a man and his parrot who longs to be free.

Sitti's Secrets
By Naomi Shihab Nye
About a girl raised in the US who goes to visit her grandmother in a Palestinian village.

The Hundredth Name
By Shulamith Levey Oppenheim
A story of friendship and Muslim faith set in a village in Egypt. Nicely illustrated.

Judaism ( World Beliefs and Culture)
By Sue Penney
Discover the rich cultural background behind this major world religion. Find out where Judaism originated, trace its history, and explore the meanings.

Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad
By James Rumford
When bombs begam to fall, Ali drowns out the sould of war with a pen. Like other children living in Baghdad, Ali loves soccer, music and dancing, but most of all, he loves the ancient art of calligraphy. When bombs begin to fall on his city, Ali turns to his pen, writing sweeping and gliding words to the silent music that drowns out the war all around him. Gorgeously illustrated with collage, pencil and charcoal drawings and, of course, exquisite calligraphy, this timely and yet universal story celebrates art and history but also offers young children a way to understand all they see and hear.

Aleph-Bet Telethon
By Sesame Street
Sesame Street is fun in Hebrew and English!

Kids Sing Israel (Grouches Don't)
By Sesame Street
This is Sesame Street in Hebrew and English.

Nesma Buys the Beans
By Andy Smart and Walid Taher
A little girl in Egypt struggles to buy beans for breakfast.

One City, Two Brothers
By Chris Smith
Illustarted by Aurelia Fronty
A tale of two brothers whose secret sharing of grain with one another results in a mystery. A good story to illustrate caring.

Four Feet, Two Sandals
By Karen Lynn Williams
A beautiful story (also beautifully illustrated) about two Afghani girls living in a refugee camp, who each claim one sandal of a pair given out during a clothing distribution. The two decide to share the sandals and become close friends in the process.

The Librarian of Basra
By Jeanette Winter
The same story as Alia's Mission(about the woman who saves the books in the Basra Library), but this version is written for children ages 4-8. It's short, simply written, and beautifully illustrated.

Multimedia:

Babak and Friends: A First Norooz
Excellent if you are doing a study of different holiday traditions. This is a 75-minute movie about an Iranian-American boy, Babak, learning about the Iranian holiday of Norooz (Persian New Year - which takes place on the first day of Spring). The movie also explores the theme of growing up as an American with roots in another culture and even the issue of having a newborn sibling. The video comes with a short booklet that gives a summary of the entire plot.
DVD format. 75 minutes.

Fables of Bah ya Bah (2001)
Animated retelling of six different short fables from the Middle East.
VHS format. 60 minutes.

Just say Hic
Turkish folktale with discussion questions.
VHS format. 9 minutes.

Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman (1993)
Animated version of a Turkish folktale. A bit scary (along the lines of Hansel and Gretel.)
VHS. 14 minutes.

Kids Sing Israel (Grouches Don't) (1991)
Sesame Street in Hebrew and English.
VHS format. 38 minutes.

 

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