RESOURCES

Snow Place Like Home by Christina Soontornvat

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK LESSON PLAN

GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES 2+

WELCOME

This lesson is a guided reading experience designed to accompany Snow Place Like Home (Diary of an Ice Princess Book #1) by Christina Soontornvat. We recommend that grownups read the focus book and the reading guide content BEFORE reading with young readers. This guide will help you prepare your own questions for your young readers and choose vocabulary, history, and other related topics to integrate into your learning and discussion.


Lesson content was written by Zapoura Newton-Calvert and was designed to start or deepen anti-racist and anti-bias conversations in families and other learning communities.


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OBJECTIVES & THEMES

This guided reading lesson is designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist teaching and learning for the student and the facilitator. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial equity in our communities. We hold the belief that being anti-racist is a process of learning (and unlearning) over time.


The Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards (focused on Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action) serve as guides for our work.


TEACHING TOLERANCE STANDARDS REFERENCED

The Teaching Tolerance Standards and Domains referenced in this lesson are for Grades 3-5. This book, however, can be used with a wide range of ages. Here are the domains we used to create our discussion questions.


Identity Domain #1: I know and like who I am and can talk about my family and myself and describe our various group identities.

Identity Domain #2: I know about my family history and culture and about current and past contributions of people in my main identity groups.

Identity Domain # 3: I know that all my group identities are part of who I am, but none of them fully describes me and this is true for other people too.

Diversity Domain #6: I like knowing people who are like me and different from me, and I treat each person with respect.


THEMES

  • Identity

  • Friendship

  • Family

  • Magic

  • STEM

  • 🌨✨😊

SECTION ONE: CH 1-14

SUMMARY

Lina’s mom is a Windtamer, and her dad is a Groundling. This means that her “normal” is a little bit different than the “normal” of some of her friends. It also means that Lina has her own magic, which she’s still learning to control. When she gets into Hilltop Science and Arts Academy (a Groundling school), her parents make her promise to spend weekends with Granddad North Wind so that she has time and space to embrace all of the parts of who she is. Can her Granddad help Lina to feel grounded in her magical ancestry so that she can find the balance she needs?


DISCUSS

  • Lina sets the scene for the story saying, “our family is definitely not normal” (2). Why does she say this? What do you think of the idea of a “normal family”? Can you describe your family? IDENTITY DOMAINS #1, 2, 3

  • At the beginning of the book, when does Lina feel most like herself? When do you feel most like yourself? IDENTITY DOMAIN #3

  • Lina’s parents allow her to attend the Groundling school but still want Lina to take lessons with her Granddad on the weekends. Why is this important? How does this relate to Lina’s mom wanting her to know all of the parts of her identity? IDENTITY DOMAIN #2

REFLECT & EXTEND

  • Granddad says to Lina, “There is a wind in your heart. If you listen to your heart, the wind will listen to your command.” What is the wind in your heart? How would you describe what you love, what makes you powerful, what motivates you? RADICAL IMAGINATION

  • Granddad takes Lina to the Hall of Ancestors to inspire her and to show her connectivity to her elders. Sometimes, our “ancestors” are actually family and sometimes they are our heroes, teachers, or friends. Draw your own ancestor wall with folx who inspire you to be your best and most whole and happy self. RADICAL IMAGINATION

SECTION TWO: CH 14-END

SUMMARY

It’s the day of the science fair and Lina’s powers ruin the science project that she and Claudia had been working so hard on. After the catastrophe at school and all of the other mishaps, Lina finally talks to her mom about what has been going on. What they finally realize is that Lina has an unexpected set powers. Once she knows this, will she be able to control them and mend things with Claudia?


DISCUSS

  • There are several times in the story when Lina just wants to be “just like everyone else at school.” Her mother tells her, “‘You are you, Lina. And that is a wonderful, magical thing’” (88). Have you ever felt like you wanted to be “just like everyone else”? What makes you YOU? Make a list of as many parts of your identity as you can name. IDENTITY #1

REFLECT

  • Once Lina sorts out her powers and her identity as a Winter Heart, she focuses on how to apologize to her friend Claudia. Have you ever had to apologize or wanted to apologize to a friend? How does Lina show Claudia she is sorry and that she values their friendship? How do you show your friends that you value their friendship? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #9

EXPERIMENT

  • Lina and her friend Claudia love science experiments. This book has several different recipes and instructions. Which one do you want to try first?

RESOURCES FOR GROWN UPS

From https://www.kqed.org/mindshift.


READ NEXT

  • Frost Friends Forever (Diary of an Ice Princess Book #2) by Christina Soontornvat

  • Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson (book #1 of the series)

  • Ruby and the Booker Boys by Derrick Barnes (book #1 of the series)

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