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How We Do It and a Mouth Full of Chocolate


This Is How We Do It, by Matt Lamothe, documents one day in the lives of 7 real kids from around the world; (Japan, Peru, Iran, Russia, India, Italy and Uganda).



It starts with a topic. The first is “This is me.” Each child introduces their name and how old they are, accompanied with a drawn portrait of each child.

The next topic is “This is where I live.” There is a drawing of the outside of each child’s home, labeled with their country, and a one-sentence description.



This continues with a variety of normal everyday topics that children will relate to: family, school clothes, breakfast, transport to school, teacher, school, how their name is written, lunch, play, chores, dinner, evening free time, and sleep. There are pictorial double-page spreads on most topics, and 4 pages on a few. This is a wonderfully packed and positive book for any classes interested in international awareness and education. At the end there are photos of the actual children with their families.


I have used this successfully in upper elementary classes, for reading, and also as a model for their own writing and presentations on similar topics. Great art is a bonus. In adult classes we read, discussed, and compared to the students’ own lives, especially reflecting on their childhood. There are quite a few food terms likely to be new to most people, which are compuiled in a glossary at the end of the book.


This Is How I Do It was the author’s follow-up two years later and is an extension and activity book to that 2017 bestseller. While the former is about 7 kids from around the world, this book shares details from the lives of 59 kids. Some of the topics overlap, but new topics include; This is how I write “Hello”, my pet, what I see out my window, what I wear, what food grows near me, how I play, how we cook, where I sleep, as well as many of the best topics from the first book. Plus stickers, postcards and a map.



The book is meant for kids to personalize and write and draw in, though I am more likely to make copies of pertinent pages. I really love both of these books as efforts to show kids (and adults) about real lives across the world. Being interested in real people in other countries with different ways of living has tremendous ramifications.


Whenever we approach the period of time of the Olympics, or The World Cup, I catch students using the names of countries that have players or teams they are interested in. This is a good time to push ahead in exposure to details about other countries. A fun way to present country awareness is by collecting the stickers found in Meiji Marble Choco.



Each tube of chocolates contains one random sticker. It did take a few years to complete the set, but was well worth it. Children know they exist but have never seen a full set, so it really gets their attention. The sticker is kind of small. I initially doubled the size on the copy machine, laminated and made durable cards. Eventually I made larger size classroom presentation versions. Making materials into sets of cards gives you many options for playing games and activities to use in the classroom.



Your comments and questions are always welcome.  🙂



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