Grandfather’s Journey: Allen Say

Grandfather’s Journey

  • Author/Illustrator: Allen Say

  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

  • Publication Year: 1993

  • Brief Summary: Say tells about his grandfather’s journey to America from Japan and feeling homesick for both countries.

  • Awards, Honors and Prizes:
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

    • Discuss immigration…what is it?  What might it be like if you have to move to a foreign country?  What are some difficulties you might encounter?  What are some good things that might come out of leaving for a new country?

    • What does the grandfather in this story miss about the US?  About Japan?

    • Students research their families background/heritage.  Are there students whose families — parents, grandparents, or further back — have immigrated to the US?   Students can make a poster about their culture.

    • Students can interview their parents/grandparents about their feelings about leaving their homeland.  Make a chart of what they miss about their homeland, and what they love about their new country.

    • Have you travelled outside of the country before?  What was it like?  What did you see/learn/experience?  Have students make travel brochures about a place they have visited and would like to promote to their friends (does not have to be outside of the country!).

    • What are some different modes of transportation?  The author’s grandfather traveled from Japan to California via steamboat.  Years later, when the author himself made this journey, do you think it was by the same mode of transportation?

    • Read alongside Tea with Milk and Tree of Cranes in sequence (Journey, then Tea with Milk, then Tree of Cranes).  Discuss how Allen Say based these books on his family.  His grandfather’s experiences is based on Allen Say’s life; his mom is the child in the first book, the young woman in the second book, and the mom in the third book, in which she taught Say about American Christmases.
  • Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

    • Social studies connection — community, geography, immigration

    • text-to-world and text-to-self connections

  • Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.: Scholastic lesson plan

  • Accessed at: Personal Library



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