“My Name is Maria Isabel”: Share several possible themes in this story. What other elements of fiction help to establish one of those themes? (point of view, character, symbol, plot structure, setting)
Some of the major themes of this story, “My Name is Maria Isabel,” are identity, being true to oneself, and childhood fears of entering a new school (having friends, being involved, getting along with the teacher, and being known and liked.) This story is also told from an omnipotent and all knowing voice, however we are told more about Maria Isabel’s thoughts and feelings, rather than several of the characters emotions, like in “The Hundred Dresses,” where we learned Wanda’s and Maggie’s hidden thoughts and emotions. For example, we are told Maria’s teacher seems annoyed or frustrated, but we are not told her actual thoughts.
Why is it important that children be introduced to multicultural literature? How do you determine if a piece of multicultural literature authentically represents a different culture? In other words, how does a teacher go about choosing multicultural literature for his/her students?
It is important for children to be introduced to multicultural literature so that they are well rounded and not ignorant. It’s important for children to know there are other people with other lifestyles and upbringings, so they can understand other people better. To determine if a piece of multicultural literature is authentic I would research on the internet or at bookstores about the culture and country of origin. You could also talk to families or people you know who have a different lifestyle and who come from a different culture. A teacher could choose the right authentic books based on reading the book herself, reading reviews and comments about the book itself, and doing his/ her own research of the particular culture.