Bilingual Children’s Book Fostering Reflection on Identity and Emotions
Behind My Mask / Detras de me cubrebocasis a pedagogical tool to engage bilingual youth in conversations around identity and emotions amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. Written in English and Spanish, the book includes reflective activities about emotions and promotes the use of masks. Martha Samaniego Calderón, a University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design graduate student, realized the pandemic’s impact on children when her seven-year-old daughter expressed she was a little fearful and apprehensive of seeing people with masks. Along with her husband, Dan Heiman, a professor in University of North Texas College of Education, Samaniego Calderón created this bilingual education book, which addresses how people disguise their emotions and identities, and helps children navigate how they and others express their own identities while promoting the use of masks. The book includes unfinished pages children can use to draw their facemasks and the identities and emotions they conceal. The book has the potential to go in any direction; if they read the book on different days, children can express different emotions.
Plus: The couple also created a blog with additional educational resources, such as guiding questions for class or family discussions and printable coloring sheets for children to draw their masks and their expressions underneath the masks.
The TESOL Teacher of the Year Award was created by TESOL and NationalGeographic Learning to recognize and pay tribute to exceptional English language teachers at all levels. Applicants will be evaluated on their ability to create a supportive and encouraging learning environment by providing quality language instruction based on well-articulated theory, philosophy, educational research, and best practices.
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