Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Las Posadas: A Hispanic Christmas Celebration"

Las Posadas: A Hispanic Christmas Celebration
Written by: Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
Photographs by: Lawrence Migdale
Published by: Holiday House in NY in 1999
ISBN: 0-8234-1449-3
Genre(s): Picture Book, Informational Text (Multicultural Work)
Reading Level: Grade 4
Activity Level: Grade 1

Summary: This book is about the Spanish holiday of Las Posadas. It tells the story of a young girl and her family and they ways in which they celebrate the holiday and the ways it is traditionally celebrated. This book also intertwines the history into its story, which helps readers learn all the more about this special celebration. It talks about the traditional church services held surrounding the holiday and about the foods traditionally made for the celebration. It also includes the music and lyrics for the song of Las Posadas and a glossary of important terms to know.

Response: One thing that I especially like about this book is that it deals with the holiday is two ways: by showing readers about one family’s celebration and by expanding that view to the totality of Hispanics who celebrate Las Posadas. In this way the book is both general and specific and it makes the story of Las Posadas seem more real.

The photographs in this book are of difference aspects of the celebration—the food, the family decorating, the family’s church, etc. This also makes the holiday seem more real to readers.

Teaching Connections: A teacher could use this book with her first grade class on a unit about Christmas celebrations of those of all faiths around the world. She could read this book to her class and maybe make the cookies with the class as well, so everyone could have that experience. To conclude the lesson on Las Posadas, she could use this scholastic lesson plan and extend the activity with another book about the topic and a creative representation of poinsettias.

What Students Learn: From this book and the activity, students learn all about the Hispanic holiday of Las Posadas and tap into their creativity in creating their poinsettias.

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