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Tea with Milk By Allen Say Cyberlesson by Meaghan Carroll. The book Tea with Milk written by Allen Say My travel journal A pencil. What do I need?. Introduction.

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Tea with Milk

By Allen Say

Cyberlesson by Meaghan Carroll


Today you will travel to Japan with Masako. Masako is a young, Japanese girl who was born in California. When her parents decide to move back to Japan her life changes completely. Join Masako on her trip to this new country.

before reading
Before Reading

In this book Masako travels from San Francisco, California to Japan. Click on the links below to find pictures and information about these two places.

San Francisco, California


In your travel journal, write an entry describing how you would feel if your parents told you that you would be moving to Japan. What would you be excited about? What would you be scared of? What do you think you would miss about living in the United States?

Be sure to include a prediction in your entry: How do you predict Masako will feel after moving to Japan? Share your prediction with your partner.

during reading
During Reading

As you read, share with your partner whether your predictions were correct. Also think about how Masako could have prepared herself for the changes she faced once she reached Japan.

In your travel journal, make a list of items Masako could have packed in her suitcase to make her move easier. These items may be things that help remind her of home. They could also be items that would help her feel like she fits in with the culture of her new country. Be sure to include the reason why you think each item would be useful.

after reading
After Reading

Over the past few weeks, we have compared American and Japanese culture. Think about the similarities and differences Masako noticed when she moved to Japan.

In your travel journal use your Venn Diagram to show the similarities and differences between Masako’s life in San Francisco and her new life in Japan. On the next slide there is an example given to help you set up your own Venn Diagram. There are also some pictures to help get you started with ideas.


Title for your Venn Diagram

Life in San Francisco Life in Japan

beyond reading
Beyond Reading

In the book, Tea with Milk, the students at Masako’s school would not be friends with her. They called her names like, “gaijin”. Sometimes it’s hard to become friends with someone when you think that they are different from you, but you often have more in common than you think!

Click on the picture below to meet Kentaro, a Japanese student. He will lead you through a typical school day in Japan.

beyond reading9
Beyond Reading

Imagine that we have a new student in our classroom! Our new student is from Japan. Do you remember how hard it was for Masako when she moved from an American school to a Japanese school? How can you help this student feel comfortable in our classroom? Think about the similarities and differences between our school and a school in Japan.In your travel journal, write about how you would help this student feel welcome here at Braeburn.

where can i learn more about japan
Where can I learn more about Japan?

Click on the links below to learn more about Japan and Japanese culture:

Time for Kids - Japan

Japanese characters - Kanji

Google map

Once you enter this website, type “Japan” into the search bar and click on “search maps”. Click on “Explore this area” to see pictures of the area.

  • Tea with Milk by Allen Say
teacher notes
Teacher Notes
  • The image of the travel journal is linked to the journal page that the student will be using. Although the students will be completing their work on a hard copy of this page, the image can help students to stay organized, especially if they are working on the cyber lesson independently.
  • This lesson is designed to take place in Literacy Stations and/or Guided Reading groups. The expectations for each activity (before, during, after and beyond reading) will be introduced over a two week period on Mondays and Wednesdays using the Smart Board. Throughout the week, students will complete the given activities in either the technology station or in a Guided Reading group (depending on the student’s level of independence and reading ability).
  • This lesson will take place over a period of 2 weeks. Students would benefit from having some background knowledge on Japan before beginning this lesson. It would be appropriate to use this lesson in the middle or towards the end of the Japan unit.
  • This book allows for great text to text connections with another book written by Allen Say, Grandfather’s Journey. The main character in Grandfather’s Journey is Allen Say’s grandfather and Tea with Milk is the story of Allen Say’s mother.
  • Students who need help with the structure of their writing may benefit from sentence starters or paragraph frames written into their travel journals.