Teach the Bridge Home (GRA#19 GRABridge #ProjectLIT)

AUDIO RESOURCES (Pronounciation Guide and more): Listen to Padma Venkatraman pronounce Indian words and names in The Bridge Home: Listen to the first pages of The Bridge Home in the Author’s Own Voice. Listen to Carnatic Music (the classical music of South India).

EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL: Decorate your classroom or library with a poster that says “Build Bridges with Books…” or one that says “Read… because Books Bridge Homes and Hearts“. Check out this amazing hyperdoc created by teachers Jeen Breen Johnson, Jean O’Brien, Shannon O’Neill, Amy Celis, Gustav Lindqvist, Melissa Rae, Danielle Rankovich, Julie Jasinki and Danielle Grate. Download a pdf containing discussion questions and ideas for research activities: The Bridge Home Discussion Guide. Discover lesson plans etc. (some created by the author, some created by others and credited to them) on Padma Venkatraman’s padlet. Download a recipe for Padma Venkatraman’s favorite Indian dessert, along with suggestions for authentic cookbooks, activities to increase awareness of hunger, and discussion prompts relating to food: COOKING UP STORIES. Try  The Bridge Home BINGO (the pdf contains two separate bingo grids, filled with fun stuff, one for younger readers and one for older readers). Play this incredible vocabulary game created by Nurpur Sethi. Looking for tie-ins with other subjects? Here are suggestions for extension activities associated with Social Studies, Mathematics and Science Connections, and Additional Writing Prompts (Note that The Bridge Home Discussion Guide also lists writing prompts and research activities). If you are motivated to take action on an issue related to The Bridge Home, here are some ideas on ACTIVISM for Social Justice. Or encourage student participation as you read from this Reader’s Theater Style Play Script for 2 Scenes from THE BRIDGE HOME created by the author (weeks 2 and 3 of #GRA19 #GRABridge). Blog post on hunger by the author and a link to lesson plans on socioeconomic diversity. Try a blackout poem (idea: Megan Hall). Quiz packages, novels units etc., created by educators (most are not free).

VISUAL RESOURCES: Download this comprehensive pdf containing several annotated photographs: Photographic Resources for THE BRIDGE HOME, as well as these short videos for week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5 and week 6 of #GRA19). Listen to the author speak about the Inspiration Behind The Bridge Home. Watch a Trailer for The Bridge Home. Watch a message about the Author’s Hope. Watch excerpts from Reviews for THE BRIDGE HOME. Try this activity on Peace and The Bridge Home. Try writing the characters’ names in their mother tongue, Tamil. Map out where they live. A great idea about taking a video tour of India from Erica Morrill.

RELEVANT ARTICLES: Links to articles that provide background information that may be of interest to readers of THE BRIDGE HOME: a discussion of the caste system, Hinduism through the Western Lens, Hindu philosophy through the Vedanta Lens, Indian history, Indian Saints, Female Indian Saints, an inspiring story about a person who was homeless, a home for children with disabilities, an organization that helps children in India, an organization referenced in the Author’s note.Resources on the importance of discussing books on tough topics with children.

AUTHOR INTERVIEWS: Learn the story behind the story from these interviews in which Padma Venkatraman speaks about THE BRIDGE HOME (after you complete reading the novel, as there may be some spoilers): Into the Words Podcast by Alison Green Myers; The Children’s Books Podcast by Matthew C Winner; Meet the Author podcast (and blog entry on the author’s experience of reading aloud the audiobook).

FURTHER READING: Thirsting for more? This personal statement by the author about Understanding and Respecting Disability contains some recommendations, as does this list.

ORDERS AND RECORDING: You may order via the normal channels or order directly from Penguin; for help with international orders please reach out to Penguin Random House International. If you’re considering recording parts of the book, please follow these guidelines.

Global Read Aloud and Project Lit plans:

Padma Venkatraman plans to be actively engaged with the #GRA19 #GRABridge and #ProjectLIT communities, in the following ways:

  • She will answer questions posted on her blog with regular video casts during the six weeks of the Global Read Aloud project. Video schedule and other details will be announced soon. If you would like to get updates, please sign up to follow this site (by filling out your email in the box on the lower right and then clicking follow). 
  • She will post regularly this fall via the blog post feature on the home page of this site (click Padma, Author & Speaker – top left – and scroll down to see her blog posts). If you would like to get updates, please sign up to follow this site (by filling out your email in the box on the lower right and then clicking follow).
  • In consultation and in conjunction with Pernille Ripp (who created the Global Read Aloud) and Jarred Amato (who created ProjectLIT), Padma Venkatraman  will be scheduling additional events, such as Skype Visit giveaways and contests related to the social justice themes in THE BRIDGE HOME, such as hunger, reading, homelessness, environmental protection and recycling.