Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Beautiful Story of the Navajo Nation for Young Readers
A Real-Life Story of a Heroine for the Navajo Nation
Real-life stories are an important part of children's reading choices. Multicultural stories are also important for children's reading choices. Alice B. McGinty's The Water Lady fills both of these categories for children to add to their bookshelf. The Water Lady is a true story of an important heroine for the Navajo Nation in her area. She drives her truck over many miles every day to provide water to her community.
Cody wakes up in the morning and he is thirsty. His glass by his bedside table is empty. His mother has already used all of the water in the family's bucket for the morning breakfast for oatmeal. Cody lives on the reservation where the Navajo people live. Water is scarce. Cody goes in serach of water for the day and finds that all of the barrels are empty. He thinks about everybody that will go without water and even the animals will go without water. He rushes home and his grandmother tells him not to worry because there is a secret that she knows. Cody's grandmother has told him a story about the Navajo God of Water that collects water in a jar and sprinkles it in all directions to make rain.
In the meanwhile, Darlene is getting her big yellow truck ready to bring water to her Navajo community. Darlene Arviso is the Water Lady. She serves over two hundred Navajo familes with her deliveries of water to them every month.
Alice B. McGinty includes a glossary of words from the Navajo Nation. She also includes a description of the Navajo Nation that covers the states of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. She describes a water project that people are working on to bring wells to the reservations so that someday the Water Lady will have no need to drive her big truck around with water for the Navajo tribes.
The Water Lady was published by Schwartz & Wade Books, a division of Random House Children's Books. It is recommended for ages 5-11 and has an ISBN of 978-0-525-64500-9.
Beautifully Illustrated Story of A Real-Life Heroine for the Navajo Nation
Bring The Water Lady Into Your Classroom Library
I always enjoyed using multicultural stories in my classroom when I was teaching. Multicultural stories about a variety of cultures offer a wealth of opportunities for learning about other cultures. Many teachers teach about Native American culture during Thanksgiving, but books such as The Water Lady offer an opportunity to teach about Native American culture throughout the year. The Navajo Nation is just one tribe of Native Americans that children can learn about.
*Read The Water Lady in a story time session. Call attention to the lack of water problem for Cody's reservation. Engage students in a discussion about what would happen if their family did not have enough water. What does their family use water for? Create a list of uses for water. Where does their family's water come from? Call attention to the containers in Cody's home that his family keeps water in.
*Call attention to who the Water Lady is. Why is she considered to be a heroine for the Navajo people?
*Call attention to the glossary of Navajo words that is included in the book. Introduce a word throughout reading the story.
*Have a globe available for students to locate the three states where the Navajo Nation lives on their reservations.
*Read the Note from the Water Lady at the end of the book and call attention to the real-life Water Lady. Read the Note to your students.
*Research a food item that the Navajo people consider special. It is always fun when you are introducing a different culture to students to include a food item for students to sample.
© 2021 Cindy Hewitt