How to Teach This Book
What you see in the mirror doesn’t always reflect who you are. In Leila in Saffron, Leila is on the lookout for things to like about herself and finds what she’s looking for while spending time with her family. Work with your art teacher or local artist to help students reflect on who they are and create self-portraits. Read aloud Leila in Saffron and then invite students to take a look at themselves in a mirror. Have them write down all of the things that they like about themselves—inside and out. Let students experiment with a variety of mediums and create their self-portrait in one that feels most comfortable to them. Encourage students to embellish their portraits with images and phrases that express self-identity and their identities as readers. Celebrate their work with:
- a gallery of student self-portraits at your school
- an art reception featuring students talking about their portraits
- a student read-aloud of books they feel reflect their identity.
Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing
- How would you describe Leila? Who and what are important to her? Why?
- Does where you come from make you who you are?
- How can you be proud of who you are?
- How does Leila learn about herself? How can you learn about yourself?
- How do you learn about people? How can you share yourself with others?
Additional Resources for Teaching About the Importance of Celebrating Our Heritages
- Discovering My Identity Lesson Plan from Teaching Tolerance
- Fostering Identity Safety in Your Classroom from Edutopia
- Me, Myself, and I: An Identity-Themed Common Core ELA Unit from Scholastic
- Our Selves, Our Classroom, Our Families from the TeachingChannel