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Family Lessons Storybooks: A Classroom or Family Activity

The Smithsonian has joined with book artist Sushmita Mazumdar to create a series of easy-to-do book projects designed to get families talking and creating together.

In this activity, a 1st grade teacher from a bilingual school in Washington, D.C., used the "Connections" book design to have her students share important family lessons. She described how she did the activity: "I loved the book project and found that it was a way to get parents involved in making a book with their child at home. I pre-made the books since I thought the instructions were a little tricky. The instructions were to discuss and write about a Life Lesson that their families taught them. Our students created bilingual Spanish/English books. The format was perfect for this because it could be English on one side and Spanish on the other. Students enjoyed hanging their books up outside of the class for others to read and then sharing them with the class. It really helped them to understand what important life lessons families teach them and it helped to bring students' home knowledge into the classroom. We connected the books to our Life Lessons unit and plan to do the same thing this year."

Included here are examples of student work (images and video of students reading their books), as well as images from classroom displays.