Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Back to School Adventures to Share With Children Who Will be Returning to School
First Day Back to School Is Challenging for All Children
Phung Nguyen Quang's beautiful picture book My First Day is a delightful book to share with children who are returning to school after attending school virtually for most of this past year. Returning to school can be challenging for every young child, but one little Vietnamese boy has a particularly difficult trip to make when he is ready for his first day back.
It is the rainy season in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. It is also time for children to return to school. His mom decides that he is now big enough to make the trip to his school alone. He loads his book with things needed for the first day at school and begins his journey across the river. The waves are huge and can be trecherous at times. He arrives at the mangrove forest and hears all kinds of animals as they talk with each other in the forest. He can feel the eyes of hidden animals looking at him as he makes his way through the forest. The dark forest is frightening. He encounters water buffalo along his journey. There are all kinds of adventures on this trip to school. He finally sees his friends and they all make their way to the school just in time for their first day.
Huynh Kim Lien contributed to the beautifully colored illustrations that tell the adventures of the little boy who is returning to school. Lien and Quang teamed together to write and illustrate this delightful story that children can relate to as they return to school for their first day. The author-illustrators also include a page of small maps of Vietnam and the Mekong Delta, along with some interesting facts about the Mekong River.
My First Day was published by Random House Children's Books and is recommended for ages 4-8. It has an ISBN of 978-0-593-30626-0.
Gorgeous Illustrations Tell the Story of Adventures on the Mekong River
Bring My First Day Into Your Classroom for Fun Activties
Children all over the world will be returning to school after attending virtually for the past year. First days can be both exciting and scary. My First Day is a delighful book to welcome children back to the classroom for what will be a very different environment as they return to school.
Picture books were always my go-to tool for teaching a variety of concepts and lessons when I was in the classroom as an early childhood educator. I also enjoyed having picture books that portrayed multicultural children and the countries they lived in. Vietnam is featured in this multicultural book.
*Read My First Day in a story time session. Call attention to the country that the little boy lives in. Have a globe available for the students to locate Vietnam and the Mekong River.
*Engage the children in a discussion of the kinds of things that are scary about returning to school and having a first day back.
*Engage the children in a separate discussion of the things they like about having a first day back at school.
*Engage the children in a discussion of how they think that the little boy feels as he travels the Mekong River on his journey back to his school for the first day. Use this discussion to write the ideas as the children dictate them. Have Emotion Stickers available to place by the statements.
*Call attention to the interesting facts about the Mekong River at the end of the book. What creatures live in the river?
*Engage the students in a discussion about pollution of waterways and how they can protect our waterways. The authors included a reminder in the facts about this river in Vietnam that the Mekong river must be protected from pollution.
*My First Day is a fun choice for introducing a new country to young children while sharing the common experience of a first day back to school.
© 2021 Cindy Hewitt