por Amalia Hoffman
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The Worst Sin
- Joshua Salik
How do we judge what is right and wrong? Are there some actions that are better or worse that others? These are just a few of the questions raised in this parable about the Jewish judgment day, Yom Kippur, by Joshua Salik.Pair “The Worst Sin” with “Queen Esther and Me” and ask students to consider values in Judaism and Jewish culture based on their readings. What do Jewish people value, according to each text? What do students think about the ideas and values behind the lessons in “The Worst Sin” and “Queen Esther and Me”?
The Rescue of the Tin Woodman
- L. Frank Baum
In L. Frank Baum’s “The Rescue of the Tin Woodman,” Dorothy and the Scarecrow help the Tin Woodman.Pair “The Rescue of the Tin Woodman” with “Queen Esther and Me” and ask students to discuss the acts of kindness in each text. Is one more meaningful than the other? Can people only make a difference by saving a whole group of people like Queen Esther? Can Dorothy’s act of kindness be considered just as meaningful as Queen Esther’s act of bravery? Why or why not?
The Keys of Destiny
- Neil Philip
“The Keys of Destiny” is the 1001 story from the classic collection One Thousand and One Nights. In this story, a woman tells a king a story about how a man came to be imprisoned due to the greed of others.Pair “The Keys of Destiny” with “Queen Esther and Me” and ask students to discuss how Queen Esther and Scheherazade exhibit bravery in each text. How do both texts explore the power of stories? How is the king changed by Scheherazade’s story in “The Keys of Destiny”? Is this similar to how Jewish people are influenced by Queen Esther’s story? Why or why not?
All Saints’ Day at Night
- Linda Rae Apolzon
In Linda Rae Apolzon’s short story “All Saints’ Day at Night,” a boy is afraid to go to the cemetery at night for All Saints Day.Pair “Queen Esther and Me” with “All Saints’ Day at Night” to provide students with another text that explores a special holiday. Ask students to discuss how the celebration of Purim compares to the celebration of All Saints’ Day. Why is spending time with family is an important part of both of these holidays?
Giving Thanks for Hanukkah
- Debra Hess
In the informational text “Giving Thanks for Hanukkah,” Debra Hess explains why Hanukkah doesn’t appear to fall on the same day every year.Pair “Queen Esther and Me” with “Giving Thanks for Hanukkah” to provide students with another example of a Jewish holiday. How do the Jewish holidays discussed in the two texts compare? Do students think that Purim falls on the same day every year? Why or why not?
Art on an Egg
- Mariam C. Orme
In the informational text “Art on an Egg,” Marian C. Orme discusses a family’s practice of painting eggs for Easter in Ukraine.Pair “Queen Esther and Me” with “Art on an Egg” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore traditions associated with holidays. How does Amalia Hoffman’s celebration of Purim compare to Viktor’s celebration of Easter?
Stop the Atlantic Express!
- Kate Sharp and Sarvinder Naberhaus
In the informational text “Stop the Atlantic Express!” Kate Sharp and Sarvinder Naberhaus tell the story of how Kate Shelley risked her own safety to help others during a dangerous storm.Pair “Queen Esther and Me” with “Stop the Atlantic Express!” and ask students to discuss the different types of heroes in the two texts. Do students consider Amalia Hoffman’s kind actions during Purim heroic? Why or why not? How does Hoffman’s kindness compare to Kate Shelley’s heroics?
The White Nights of Ramadan
- Maha Addasi
In Maha Addasi’s short story “The White Nights of Ramadan,” a Muslim family celebrates Girgian, a festival that takes place in the middle of the month of Ramadan.Pair “Queen Esther and Me” with “The White Nights of Ramadan” and ask students to discuss the two holidays described in the texts. How does the family in “Queen Esther and Me” celebrate Purim? How does Noor and her family celebrate Girgian? How do both holidays encourage people to be generous?
All of Spain Celebrates Three Kings' Day
- Natacha Sanz-Caballero
In the informational text “All of Spain Celebrates Three Kings’ Day,” Natacha Sanz-Caballero discusses the celebration in Spain that commemorates a biblical story.Pair “Queen Esther and Me” with “All of Spain Celebrates Three Kings’ Day” and ask student to compare the holidays discussed in the two texts. How are both holidays inspired by stories from the Bible? How do Purim and Three Kings’ Day bring families together? What about communities?