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All Around Us book cover

All Around Us

Finding circles everywhere, a mestizo grandfather and his granddaughter contemplate the cycles of life and nature. (Also available in Spanish as Por todo nuestro alrededor).
All Around Us book cover

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  1. Circles and connections are everywhere. All Around Us is a great title to help get your students to take a look for them! Have students create a shape, or concrete, poem to share what they observe.
  2. After reading, ask students where they notice circles. Talk about circles they can see inside or outside, but also about how natural cycles—like the seasons—are circular. Ask students what other cycles or things that are connected they can identify.
  3. A shape or concrete poem is a poem that is written in the shape of the subject of the poem. Share an example of a shape poem and then write a sample shape poem together as a class before having students write one independently.
  4. Start by having students brainstorm words and phrases that describe circles or cycles in their lives or things or people they feel connected to and their feelings about them.
  5. Have them organize their thinking and draft their poem before drawing an outline of a circle. Depending on what their poem is about, they may want to write their poem around the outside of their circle or completely fill in their circle with words.
  6. Display student poems so everyone can see all the connections!

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. What are some of the circles that you notice around you? What circles and cycles are you a part of? Why is it helpful or important to understand cycles?
  2. What do all living things have in common in the life cycle? Where you are in the human life cycle, where you have been, and where you are headed?
  3. How is death an essential part of life?
  4. The girl and her grandfather water the apple tree that the grandfather planted when the girl was born. Some cultures have a tradition of planting a tree when a child is born. What other family customs and traditions are shared in All Around Us? How are they similar or different to your own customs and traditions?

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