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Making Matches!

Polka dots with stripes…peanut butter burritos…that’s just the beginning of “mismatches” for delightfully diverse Marisol McDonald! What unique matches—in two languages—can children record or invent?

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Celebrate human uniqueness and diversity by reading “Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match—Marisol McDonald no combina” by Monica Brown in English. Ask an older student, family member, or someone in the community to read the story at the same time in Spanish, so children hear it in both voices.
    2. While reading this bubbly story, ask children to notice details about which things about Marisol don’t match—her hair/skin, clothes, food combinations, and more.
    3. Revisit the book to study the captivating illustrations by Sara Palacios. Look for patterns, skin tones, hair textures, a fun mix of art techniques and media (collage, scratch art, pencil, crayon, crayon resist, and more), and indicators of Marisol’s unique heritage. Every page is a feast!
    4. Ask children to work in pairs to invent things that don’t match—the more original the better. Real or imaginative! What makes their ideas unique? They might come up with mismatches such as ranch dressing on hot dogs (ick!) or a blue and purple poodle with a green lion. Children write their lists with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils.
    5. Encourage these pairs of children to represent at least one of their combinations with scratch art (see the teacher’s hair on page 11). First, encourage children to sketch their ideas using Erasable Colored Pencils on light-colored construction paper.
    6. Children draw their mismatches with Crayola Construction Paper Crayons. Show them how to apply LOTS of light color first, and then cover it with a layer of dark, heavy color. With toothpicks, children scratch off some of the wax to reveal the lighter color underneath.
    7. Children may use Crayola Multicultural Markers to complete the illustrations of their mismatched pairs.
    8. Still in pairs, children write descriptions of their mismatched pairs in both English and another language. Younger children might label their pairs with a word or two. Older children write more: Why don’t the pairs seem to match? Why did the children choose that pair? What art techniques did they use to represent their pairs? Find students or family members to translate their rationale into a second language if necessary.
  • Standards

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

    LA: Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    MATH: Work with equal groups of objects to gain foundations for multiplication.

    SS: Give examples of how experiences may be interpreted differently by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one’s personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    SCI: Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

    VA: Collaboratively brainstorm multiple approaches to an art or design problem.

    VA: Make art or design with various materials and tools to explore personal interests, questions, and curiosity.

  • Adaptations

    Marisol McDonald is Peruvian-Scottish-American. What characteristics of each heritage can children identify in the book? Go on a visual scavenger hunt!

    Experiment with other art media and techniques used in the book’s illustrations.

    Children write and illustrate books about their lives. What is unique about them? What art media and techniques will best express their ideas?

    If children wear uniforms to school, discuss in what other ways they are able to express their personalities. Ask children to compare the pros and cons of wearing school uniforms.

    Find other bilingual books, such as “My Very Own Room/Mi propio cuartito” by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Make the most of these words and art, too!

    Celebrate diversity in the classroom! Mark maps showing where children’s families originated. Invite diverse people in the community to share music, art, clothing, food, and other cultural traditions.

    Ask small groups of children to invent and create a matching or domino game with unique designs.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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