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CREATE Family Story Backpacks

The design, descriptions and examples of backpacks used in CREATE: María Acevedo & Kathy G. Short, 2015



CREATE: Family Story Backpacks

Forms used with the CREATE backpacks

Description of Family Story Backpacks

  • Transportable curriculum to facilitate the sharing of stories around themes significant to families. Children check out the backpacks on a rotating basis for one week to share with their families at home.
  • Each backpack contains 3 books (1 nonfiction and 2 fiction books), 1 related artifact, and a family journal.  The purpose of the artifact is to encourage the family to share oral stories around the theme.
  • The journal can take two forms. Each family can have their own journal that is moved from backpack to backpack so they can keep adding to the same journal, or each backpack can have a journal on the theme that stays with that backpack and each family adds an entry and reads past entries from other families.
  • Entries in journals can be a family story related to the theme, responses to the books, or descriptions of what the family did with the backpack. Any member of the family can add to the journal and the entries can be drawings, writing, photos, etc.  Families can make multiple entries related to each backpack.
  • Can also include a digital recorder to record the family’s stories.
  • Conduct a short interview with children as they return the backpacks about their family’s interactions around the backpack.

Examples of Family Story Backpacks

1) Time for Bed

-Artifact: Glo-worm lullabies
•Henderson, Kathy. Hush, Baby, Hush! Lullabies around the World - Global
•Fox, Mem. A Bedtime Story - Australia
•Braun, Sebastien. Back to Bed, Ed! - United Kingdom

2) Let’s Play

-Artifacts: Plastic ball/La Lotería, Go Fish! or Old Maid cards
•Stewart Konrad, Marla. I Like to Play - Global
•Colato Laínez, René. Playing Lotería/El juego de la Lotería – Bilingual, Mexican
•Tafolla, Carmen. What Can You Do with a Paleta? – Mexican American
•McLerran, Alice. Roxaboxen- American Southwest

3) Celebrating Birthdays

-Artifact: Birthday candles and party stuff
•Hutchins, Pat. Happy Birthday, Sam – United Kingdom
•Schuette, Sarah. Birthday Customs around the World – Global
•Gonzales Bertrand, Diane. The Party for Papá Luis/ La fiesta para Papá Luis – Bilingual, Mexican American

4) Grandparents are the Best

-Artifact: Photo album with photos of grandparents
•Stewart Konrad, Marla. Grand - Global
•Brammer, Ethriam. My Tata’s Guitar/La guitarra de mi tata – Bilingual, Mexican
•Smalls, Irene. My Nana and Me - African American

5) Families Have Many Cultures

-Artifact: Multicultural crayons and a mirror
•Ada, Alma Flor. I Love Saturdays y domingos – Mexican American
Mandelbaum, Pili. You Be Me, and I’ll Be You - Belgium
Rotner, Shelley. Shades of People. Global

6) Rainy Days

-Artifact: Small plastic play umbrella
•Keats, Ezra Jack. Clementina’s Cactus – Wordless, US
Cotton, Cynthia. Rain Play - US
•Germein, Katrina. Big Rain Coming - Australia

7) Together as a Family

-Artifacts: Family Finger Puppets
•Zamorano, Ana. Let’s Eat - Spain
•Gonzáles Bertrand, Diane. We Are Cousins/Somos primos – Bilingual, Latinos in US
•Kerley, B. You and Me Together - Global

8) The Story of My Name

-Artifact: ABC wooden blocks
•Dunklee, Annika. My Name is Elizabeth – Canada
•Colato-Laínez, René. René Has Two Names/René tiene dos apellidos – Bilingual, El Salvador
•Ogburn, Jacqueline. Little Treasures: Endearments Around the World - Global

9) School Days

-Artifact: Small white board and markers
•Jackson, Ellen. It’s Back to School We Go – global
•Adamson, Heather. School in Many Cultures - Global
•Forward, Toby, What Did You Do Today? - UK
•Ancona, George. Mi Escuela/My School – Bilingual, US

10) Wiggly-Wobbly Teeth

-Artifact: Tooth fairy pillow and a mirror
•Lester Laminack. Trevor’s Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth - US
René Colato-Laínez. The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez – Latinos in the US
Selby Beeler. Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World - Global

Backpack Checkout Form

Backpack Contents Form

Backpack Weekly Family Reminder

Backpack Family Journal Guidelines

Decisions about Family Story Backpacks

Decision Graphic

Interview Protocol for Family Backpacks

Sample Parent Letter for Family Backpacks

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Maria V. Acevedo & Kathy G. Short, 2012

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