YOON AND THE JADE BRACELET

Author: Helen Recorvits

Summary: Yoon is celebrating her birthday and wishes for a skipping rope. Instead, however, she receives a jade bracelet that once belonged to her grandmother. The next day at school, a girl offers to teach Yoon how to jump rope but in return, she wants to borrow Yoon’s jade bracelet. When Yoon tries to get her bracelet back, the girl swears it belongs to her. Yoon learns to “Seek help” when she cannot get the girl to return her bracelet.

 WITS Connection: Seek help

WITS Lesson Plan (PDF)


Learning Outcomes

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Questions and Activities

PRE-READING ACTIVITIES

  • Show a photograph of a jade stone to the students. Discuss its value among cultures in the world. Jade jewelry is an important tradition in Asian culture. It is thought to have properties that can improve health, fortune and general well-being and even ward off evil spirits. Jade in Korea is also believed to signify the Korean personality of politeness and determination. The Korean royal family uses jade as a symbol of authority and fortune.
  • Discuss the importance of a child’s first birthday party in Korea. A key part of the celebration is the Toljabee ceremony where the child is seated before a table on which various foods (rice, rice cakes, jujube, etc.) and objects (calligraphy set, pencil, knife, book, money, thread, needle, scissors, ruler, bow and arrow) have been placed. He/she is then encouraged to pick one or two of these. According to tradition, the first or second choice foretells the infant’s future.

PRE-READING QUESTIONS

  1. There are many images on the cover of the book. What are they?
  2. The eyes of the young girl are watching one image. Why do you suppose she is watching this image?
  3. Can you think of an important item you lent to someone that was not returned? What did this experience feel like?

POST-READING QUESTIONS

  1. Why does Yoon want a skipping rope? So that she can play with the other girls at school
  2. Was Yoon having fun with her new older friend? Why not? No. She was not allowing Yoon to skip.
  3. Should friends demand that you give them something in exchange for friendship?
  4. When Yoon’s mother asked about the bracelet why didn’t Yoon tell the truth? Yoon was worried and afraid. What do you think she should have said to her mother?
  5. What happened when Yoon explained the incident about the bracelet to her teacher? The teacher asked questions about the bracelet and was able to find its rightful owner.
  6. How was Yoon able to prove the bracelet was hers? The older girl was unable to describe the significance of the bracelet or interpret the symbols inscribed on the inside. Yoon described the meaning of the bracelet and interpreted the inscription.
  7. What did Yoon learn about true friendship? Friendship should not demand your belongings and should be fun for everyone.

POST-READING ACTIVITIES

  • The jade bracelet was an important cultural artifact of this family and helped Yoon appreciate her background and ancestry. Ask students to bring to class an artifact that tells a story about their cultural background. Make sure to explain the difference between personally significant and culturally significant. This artifact should speak to their family, their town, their beliefs, traditions, etc. Some examples might be a doll from the country their parents came from, a postcard from a grandparent, a baby shoe, a book, a recipe or a food item.
  • Make a friendship wreath. Discuss the qualities of friendship with the class. Ask the students to finish the sentence,”I like friends who…” and record their answers for everyone to see. Ask children to pair up and trace each other‘s hand on a piece of construction paper. Cut out the handprints. Ask students to print their name on the handprint and draw a picture or print a sentence about friendship. Glue the handprints together in a circle to make a wreath.
  • Make a collage. Have children look for examples of friendship behaviours in magazines or draw their own images. Use the pictures to create a classroom collage that explains “How to Be a Good Friend.” Students could also contribute slogans or mottos about friendships.
  • Distribute the Bracelet handout and have students re-tell the story’s lesson by illustrating a scene from the story on the handout. They may write a caption for their picture on the lines provided.