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Slice of Life 2021: Day 3, Mentor Text

One of my goals for this SOL challenge is to create my own set of mentor text examples for our Units of Study. This afternoon, I felt that new unit excitement after our district’s Literary Essay PD for the TCRWP UoS. So, I thought it would be a perfect time to write my own literary essay. I am still working on sounding like a fifth grader, but realize that anything I create on my own will be much more authentic and impactful for teaching and learning. #workinprogress #tcrwp

Question: In The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad, how do Faizah’s feelings about wearing a hijab change over the course of the story?

In the text, The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad, Faizah’s feelings about wearing a hijab change throughout the story. Specifically, in the beginning, Faizah feels proud to wear a hijab, in the middle she begins to feel timid about wearing a hijab, and in the end she regains her pride for wearing the hijab. 

In the beginning, Faizah feels proud about wearing a hijab. This is evident when she says, “I feel like I am walking with a princess.” This shows that Faizah looks up to her older sister, Asiya, and is in admiration of her sister’s first-day hijab. Another example is when she also explains how she wants her first-day hijab to be blue, too. This demonstrates that Faizah is proud and excited about this tradition. 

However, in the middle of the story, Faizah begins to worry about wearing a hijab. One of her classmates asks her, “What is that thing on your sister’s head?” Faizah responds, “A scarf,”  in a whisper, as if she is worried. She has lost her confidence and excitement about the hijab  because people are acting like it is strange. Another example of Faizah feeling timid about the hijab is when a boy yells at her sister at recess. “I’m going to pull that tablecloth off your head!” After that, at the end of the school day, Faizah is looking around for “whispers, laughs, and shouts.” This shows that Faizah is worried about people teasing her sister about wearing a hijab, and how her feeling of excitement from the beginning of the story has changed to worry. 

Then, in the end of the story, Faizah seems to feel proud, again, for wearing the hijab. Her change in feelings seems to be caused by the drawing that she made in class. In the text, she draws a picture of a girl wearing a hijab and notes that “the girl who whispered in line seems to like it. She says it so loud that the teacher comes over to see it.” Faizah’s facial expressions and the way she says this show that she feels excited about this reaction from her classmate. Faizah might also realize that others feelings about wearing the hijab are also starting to change, or that not everyone shares the same opinion. After her drawing, she feels proud all the way home and is so excited to share the drawing with her mom. This drawing seems to represent the true pride that she has for her family, her connection with her sister, and the hijab.

In conclusion, Faizah feelings change about wearing the hijab in the story. She feels proud but then in the middle, the way others act towards her causes her to feel doubts. Then, she feels pride again and realizes how it is a symbol of connection to her family. This highlights how it is important to feel confident in yourself and not let the reaction of others influence your own feelings. 


3 thoughts on “Slice of Life 2021: Day 3, Mentor Text

  1. Yes! This is such a wonderful goal to have, and I love that you are choosing to do it with text that’s meaningful and engaging to your kids to begin with! Mentor text feels like a NEVER-ENDING search. It’s like there can never be too much of it. Well done!


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