Martin the Martian Storybook Multi Ethnic Diversity in America
Martin is an alien from Mars who comes to Earth on a mission to find a typical American to bring back to his planet. He is given a picture which we don't see until the end. Of course he thinks that this perfect American specimen will be white with blond hair and blue eyes.
When he lands on Earth, he befriends a little Vietnamese girl who accompanies him on a journey where he meets people from the many different ethnic groups that live in America. He is as befuddled by their diversity as they are by him. They all inform a confused Martin that they are indeed Americans and proceed to proudly give him a lesson about the history of their individual ethnic groups. He finally finds his blond hair, blue eyed American who surprisingly turns out to be a Russian refugee driving a bus.
Martin the Martian is an ESL and elementary school storybook which focuses on American History and the richness of multi-ethnic diversity in the United States.
It is written at about a third or fourth grade level. It was originally written by myself and two colleagues at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center, Bataan, Philippines and intended for Southeast Asian refugees headed to the United States. It has since been used with native speaking elementary students with great success.
I think that you and your class will really enjoy this valuable American history resource. It will also give your students a great introduction to the history of immigration or just a better insight into the many different people who live in their neighborhoods.