I was so excited to take the children to Brazil today! My younger readers listened to the story of Jabuti the Tortoise. I decided that I would break them up into groups of 5 and allow them to view the pictures in the book before reading the story. The illustrations were so vibrant I felt that the children needed to spend time really taking in the picture beauty of this book.
The story of Jabuti can easily be titled Why the Tortoise has a Cracked Shell! Jabuti the tortoise had a colourful smooth shell and played beautiful music on the flute. The birds of the forest loved to hear him play but some of the other animals were not quite as thrilled because the sound of him playing reminded them of all the times Jabuti had played a trick on them. In particular, the vulture did not like Jabuti for he could not sing and envied the beautiful music Jabuti played. The vulture longed for the day he could eat Jabuti.
One day, the King of Heaven decided to have a festival of song and invited all the birds of the air to sing. Jabuti was also invited to play his flute but there was one problem, Jabuti could not fly. The vulture took this opportunity to get close to Jabuti and offered him a ride, on his back, to the festival. Jabuti took the bait and jumped on clutching the vulture's feathers. As they got closer to the festival the vulture flipped over and Jabuti lost his grip. As he fell, Jabuti shouted for the tress and the bushes to make way for him but he forgot to call out to the rocks and so he fell on a rock and his shell broke into several pieces that scattered all over the forest floor.
Soon after, the King of Heaven sent the birds to look for Jabuti. They found him and pieced his shell back together. Each bird that helped Jabuti, retained a colour from Jabuti's shell but the vulture remained black and still could not sing.
The children all agreed that the lesson learned was to always be kind and it is not nice to trick people. The children made an entry in their passport by completing a few simple sentences related to Jabuti and of course, colouring Jabuti and the national flag of Brazil!
During the course of camp preparation I read this book several times and it evoked so much emotion. I truly felt the passion the main character, Paulo, had for football and the love he had for his sister.
My older readers were treated to the delightful story of Football Star. Before we began reading, I asked my readers to pay particular attention to the differences between themselves and the children in the story. A couple pages into the story one reader said " Miss I know what's different! All the boys in the story work and the girls go to school!" This was followed by "But why??" The answer was simple, the children in the story were poor and the boys worked to help support their families. Paulo helped Senhor da Silva catch fish, Jose did tricks for tourists and Givo decorated carnival floats.
After some discussion about the legality of not being sent to school (yes they asked if it was legal! LOL) another issue presented itself that made the girls in the room upset. Paulo's sister, Maria, had very good football skills yet every time she asked to join his football team he would say no because the rule was "no girls!"
" But why? Girls can play football! That's not fair!" I was loving how this story engaged my readers! They were now eager to hear the outcome. Are you?
The evening arrives and the two teams gather on the beach to play football! The game is full of excitement but as the goalie jumps to block a goal he falls and hurts his wrist. It's not broken but he must rest. Paulo's team is now one player short. Paulo asks his teammates if Maria could play. One says no, one says yes and the other doesn't care either way. Paulo lets Maria play and....yes! She scores! GOAL! One reader shouted "I KNEW IT!"
The ending of this book makes me tear up every time.
" I am Pauulo Marcelo Feliciano, the captain of this football team. No storm, no fall, or no useless old rule can keep us from a win. Our fans will one day call us stars. We will light up every home in Brazil!"
The passport entry for these readers consisted of answering a few questions about the story. They are usually resistant to writing but not today! :)
Oh Brazil! I must admit, of all the stories we have read thus far...both the children and myself seem to love yours the most!
Take a look at beautiful Brazil through art at Arty Pants Studio.
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