Learning About India: Family and Clothing

My preschooler fell in love with the book My Dadima Wears a Sari by Kashmira Sheth after checking it out from the library. The story tells two granddaughters who wonder why their grandmother – or Dadima (pronounced DAH-dee-mah) – only wears saris even though her children and grandchildren wear western clothing now that they live in a western country.

Dadima explains the many things she can do with a sari, the traditional clothing for women of India, and then shows her granddaughters her most precious saris. The girls try some on and feel a connection to their grandma and their family’s culture.

The illustrations are beautiful and the relationship between Dadima and the two children is heartwarming. My Dadima Wears a Sari is a delightful read-aloud and provides insight to another culture.

Best Ages: kindergarten – 2nd grade

For Parents:

  • Ask your child what types of clothing he/she likes to wear every day and if there is a particular outfit he/she prefers for a special occasion.
  • Print and color this free page of a woman wearing a sari. (This educational site has lots of other free coloring pages of traditional clothing from countries around the world.)
  • Watch the beginning of this dance at an Indian wedding, featuring children wearing saris and dancing to Indian music. Discuss the video with your child, including the style of clothing, music and dance. How is this similar or different to how your culture celebrates a wedding?

For Teachers:

  • Discuss the importance of clothing in our everyday life. Review appropriate clothing based on weather and setting (school, home, church, party, etc.).
  • Show the first 1-2 minutes of this dance at an Indian wedding, featuring children wearing saris and dancing to Indian music. Discuss the video as a class, touching on the style of clothing, music and dance. How is this similar or different to how your students’ culture celebrates a wedding?
  • Use this free Hot and Cold Weather Clothing Sort with your students. Compare that clothing to the clothes you saw the characters wear in the book.
  • Find India on a map and review some basic information about India from National Geographic kids.

All Kinds of Hats

My preschooler is in LOVE with the book Hat by Paul Hoppe. We brought it home from the library on Monday and have read it a million times already. (Okay, that may be a hyperbole.)

I think what she likes about the book is the way Henry, the main character, uses his imagination to think of all the ways he could use a stray hat found on a park bench. As for me, I am always cheering on books that inspire creativity and imagination!

So before we read this book for the hundredth time today, let me ask you a question : What amazing and fun uses can you think of for a hat?

Best Age: prek – kindergarten

For Parents:

  • With your child, pull out hats that your family has in the closet. What do you use them for? Do you like to wear hats or not really?
  • Look at some of the free printable of hats here. Ask your child which hat he/she likes best and why. Print off a couple of pages and color together and jam to this fun, upbeat song!

For Teachers:

  • As a pre-reading activity, show your students a large hat. What could they imagine using that hat for?
  • Read Hat by Paul Hoppe. Discuss all the uses Henry imagined for a hat – which ones were similar to the ideas your class had? Which were different?
  • Play this fun, upbeat song about hats. Allow students to dance, clap and spin around with the animated characters in the video!