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Daughter Dear You’ll Always Be

June Gold

Contents of Curriculum Unit 97.03.03:

To Guide Entry

I first began this unit with the intention of taking a good, thorough look at Mother-Daughter relationships. I planned to become completely energized by the titles we were reading in our seminar, and would subsequently transfer this energy to readings that I carefully selected for use in my third grade classroom. As often happens with self-directed research of this genre, the great plan of study becomes a road map; with roadblocks and junctures veering wildly off in the most surprising directions.

It would be easy, even convenient, for me to say that this is what happened when I began my search. But not entirely true, because even as I was selecting my personal readings and mentally creating an outline I became increasingly overwhelmed with a sense of unfinished business. Yes I continued to look at mother-daughter relationships, but my journey sidelined to another junction: It became imperative for me to think about my own mother’s death, and the profound effect it had on much of who I am today.

I am sincerely indebted to Hope Edelman, the author of Motherless Daughters, a work I owned no less than three years before I found the courage to finally read beyond the heart-raking journey, into a place few writers have gone. In this era where nearly every issue, need, or desire has its plethora of corresponding “How-To” solutions via television, print media, and the internet, discussions surrounding being motherless at any age seemed an unspoken, lonely, taboo.

A large part of coming to terms with maternal death is coming to grips with maternal life. If you are a women, this means you were once a daughter,. and this seminal relationship, in whatever way it existed, needs to be investigated and understood.

Mothers are generally elevated, even lauded to goddess-like status both in history and contemporary literature. Not always, but for the most part this is true. In everyday life, a similar thing occurs. Compare the number and quality of cards, gifts, and other paraphernalia available during the weeks preceding Mother’s Day, compared to the corresponding time before Father’s Day.

Certainly much of the praise is deserved. What I suggest, however, is that it is time for a thorough look at mother-daughter relationships to examine more closely the issues, the patterns, and the subtle complexities that are often less pleasant and endearing.

We would like to think that all mothers are always as even-tempered and patient as Ramona Quimby’s. Ramona is the hyperactive seven and a half year old girl who is constantly bored and continuously influences her peers and gets them to join in the most adventurous, and often messy, escapades. Mrs. Quimby is never frazzled by these episodes, and she never loses her composure.

Or maybe we like to think of our mothers as the kindhearted and always available with time on her hands just for us “Momma” in Patricia MacLachlan’s Baby. She was so perfect that when a young mother needed to leave her young daughter for a year with strangers, she chose the heroine of this story from observations of the family at the beach.

But literature, both adult and juvenile, holds other images of motherhood. The “American Girl” Addy escapes from slavery with her mother, leaving their one year old baby behind. Young readers can contrast their bravery with the decision to seek freedom at such a high cost.

And “Marmee” March, From Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, leaves us to wonder why, if she is so seemingly gentle and perfect, she refuses to give up her volunteer work and seek employment, providing her four girls with a much needed income. Indeed, two of her four “Little Women” have paying positions outside the household. Meg takes care of the young children of a wealthy family, and Jo looks after the well-off, however, ailing, aunt March. I always wondered how their mother could allow the girls to go off and earn an income for the family, while she continued volunteering. It seemed to me that things should be the other way around in the March household.

There is a “legacy” that surrounds motherhood within each culture. Sometimes it is a compilation of pleasantries, often it is not. When the patterns of maternal care are not healthy, so often daughters respond by creating fantasies to fill in the emotional gaps. Some mothers in history and fiction find excuses for their behavior and refuse to break their demeaning patterns. Being caught up in their own anger, these women see their plight as a price of womanhood, and are determined to pass this painful heritage on through their daughters.

Whichever pattern emerges and continues, its effect outlasts the messenger, and a daughter carries forever with her the lasting impression of “motherhood.”

As children grow up they are presented with a variety of mostly unhealthy and almost always unrealistic images of mother-child relationships by way of television sitcoms, magazines, newspapers, movies, and highly publicized, negative “newsworthy” events. Currently we seem to be reading and hearing about a number of “Prom-mom” type events. While all these events are very noteworthy and sad, they are not representative of our culture as a whole.

In literature, readers are introduced to another set of ideas and mothering. Again, a middle of the road approach would not provide readers the emotional outlet required by fiction, or the “book-selling” status of a non-fiction bestseller.

After reading varied accounts of mother-daughter pairings, I find myself truly thankful to have been born when, where, and to whom; that being, a middle class family in the United States, during the twentieth century, and to a fairly loving, and certainly non-abusive set of parents. This seems to be a time when many women are telling their story, delivering a saga of growing up in a horribly dysfunctional environment and them making the transformation to a healthy, successful adult (after much therapy), in late twentieth century american culture.

My own parents were not perfect, and my personal childhood reflected this. But I did not suffer the traumatic emotional and physical abuse of the women whose tales and gracing current bestsellers lists, their tales etched indelibly like nightmares to be relived over and over. Because these tragic stories are paraded across the eyes of our young students, it behooves us teachers to present mother-daughter relationships in a more realistic light. The literature selections I have chosen show imperfect mothering, but mothering which is sensitive, caring, and sends a more positive and more importantly, more realistic message about parenting.

While reading and reflecting on the selections, students should be given the opportunity to reflect on and discuss their own relationships with their mothers. Also, children will now have a venue in which to discuss the different kinds of families represented in their classroom. As these discussions progress, the group can begin to look at how mother-daughter relationships are different from mother-son, father-daughter, or father-son relationships. Do feminine pairs spend the same amount of time together as masculine pairs? Do mothers and sons spend the same amount of time together as mothers and daughters? What things do mothers and daughters do together, as compared to mothers and their sons?

Perhaps you can begin to look at the differences between mothers and fathers, although this is likely to bring up some very sensitive issues among your children which might be difficult to handle.

Finally, what role does emotion play in marketing of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? How do the retailing industries support, or exploit, Mothers-Day and Father’s Day? Why is Mother’s Day a marketing circus that begins in March and goes on for two months? Certainly we as consumers are not “prodded to purchase” nearly as much for dear old dad in the following month of june.

We can speculate that mother-child relationships are less deep, less intense, and not as emotionally charged as the father-child bond. Perhaps american offspring feel some sort of guilt for not appreciating their mothers, and Mother’s Day provides a vehicle for payment, a sense of “mom-due” for a year of service and pain.

Maybe it’s the mothers who have a sense of entitlement which they unconsciously, yet effectively, convey to their children. We can wonder why this sense of guilt, payment, or entitlement does not seem to apply as fervently to our fathers.

On a personal level, my own experiences mirror these, both as a daughter, and as mom to both a son and daughter. The daughter bond although never, is already much stronger and far more complex. My mother has been deceased for seventeen years now, and her death never ceases feeling like it happened yesterday. My thoughts of her and our relationship could fill volumes, so I have selected one vignette to illustrate her impact, even still. Following this brief picture are unit lessons plans and activities that you should find useful while exploring mother-daughter relationships with young learners.

Daughter Dear you’ll always be,
Just the same little girl to me.
My thoughts go out to you each day,
In just the same old loving way.
May all your thoughts and dreams come true,
and gladness fill each day for you.
Love, Mother I have sometimes wondered why it is that whenever my three sisters and I get together this poem often pops up in our discussion. This is especially true when we are honoring or celebrating a life-transitioning event, such as birth or graduation.

Perhaps this poem is one thing that binds us both to each other and to our mother. Even though the four of us shared the same mother, our individual relationships with her were vastly diverse, and within that diversity dwelled a constantly changing dynamic.

Now, in her absence almost seventeen years later, this brief rhythmic ode stands as a painless and easily recalled item from our individual “mother-memory” libraries. We all knew the same mother, but we each knew her differently. Our ages span a period of sixteen years, so that at the time of my mother’s death we all had a vastly different “adult” relationship with her, some for much longer than others.

And yes, there are stages to our adult development, not entirely unique from those of children, none of which have the simplicity of emerging from a state of “Tabula Rasa.” These “stages,” as I call them, are the result of a variety of complex factors; a complicated sum of where we have been and where we are. But in and of itself, that is not the issue here. The issue is this: That the age and stage at which we were when we lost our mothers comprises as crucial an element to the impact the event had on our lives as does our particular relationship to her at that same time.

In other words, our mourning, acceptance, and healing process was, and is, very much dependent on the quality of the relationship we had with our mother, including those themes involving emotional and physical distance. But equally, and sometimes even more important, are the age and stage in which we were at the time of her death.

So when my three sisters and I get together and reminisce about our mother, even though we had different needs, led different lives, and enjoyed different relationships, we find comfort, solace, and security when we recount that poem together. We might say the poem together and cry as we barely make it through the last line. It was first penned by my mother probably in about 1955, and was last entered in my high school yearbook in June of 1972, to celebrate my graduation.

I knew it would be forthcoming, this “passing of the poem” tradition, which stood for me like a fine piece of china, a fragment of delicate lace, or an expensive family heirloom (in reality, our rigorous religious upbringing allowed no room for things such as these). As the youngest daughter, the poem became for me a precious chalice; I acquired it last and felt responsible to hold on to it until the next generation of feminine recipients. I felt privileged, like the steward of a priceless and treasured commodity; the task was to hold on to this baton of maternal emotion and let it go only when things were done perfectly and in order, this being the passing of the poem to granddaughters. Was this sentiment, this passion, a demonstration of my own state of “adult development” at the time of my mother’s death?

We all need validation of one sort or another. We need to know that our opinions, our essence, our whole being is worthwhile. When a mother dies, the voids is immeasurable, the questions endless. They reoccur at every level and event of life, along the constant continuum of time as we motherless daughters pass through the ages and stages that our mothers lived, until finally, we reach the most difficult passage of all-reaching the age that our mothers were when they passed away.

Finding my personal validation came in part by reading about and exploring mother-daughter relationships, and then writing this unit. Both the adult and juvenile literature were equally helpful, and sometimes painful, as the exploration proceeded. My hope is that the product of this journey is somehow meaningful to teachers and students, boys and girls alike. Certainly, we can all profit from discovering and trying to understand the glorious complexities of mother-daughter relationships.

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Unit Overview

This is strictly a literature and language arts unit designed for third, and perhaps fourth, grade. Using the following book list, each of the selections is accompanied by a spelling list, chapter questions, and writing prompts. These writing prompts are specifically designed to help prepare the third grade student with practice in the narrative writing format that is required by the fourth grade mastery test which students take in September.

Along with these plans, I strongly suggest making use of daily oral language lessons, which allow for regular teaching and steady reinforcement of the standard conventions of grammar.

At the end of the body of lessons plans are suggested unit culmination activities which reinforce the concepts explored throughout the theme. These cross-selection activities provide learners with the opportunity to demonstrate higher level thinking skills, requiring analysis and comparison between the plots, settings, and characters in each of the stories.

In addition, the student bibliography lists additional titles which relate to the theme of mother-daughter relationships. These are appropriate for those students who choose to further explore the theme, or for supplemental reading activities such as “read-a-loud” time or “reading buddies.”

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Patricia MacLachlan

This story combines wisdom, gentle humor, and the practical concerns of prairie life with an appealing rhythmic writing style that is sure to capture the interest of third grade students. It is a tale told by Anna, whose mother died the day her younger brother Caleb was born. The house on the prairie is now quiet; noticeably absent is the singing that papa once did with mama. Then papa puts an ad in the paper, asking for a wife, and he receives a letter from Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton, of Maine.

Sarah then decides to come and stay for a month. Anna wonders, will she sing? Will she be nice? Will she stay?

Spelling List

Bonnet Pictures
Envelope Pitchfork
Gleamed Prairie
Gopher Received
Hearthstones Rough
Hundredth Shoulders
Laughing Smiling
Maine Suspenders
Meadowlark Twentieth
Pesky Whispered

Main Characters

Anna Whitting-Young prairie girl who tells the story
Caleb Whitting-Her brother, whom she refers to as “troublesome”
Papa-Jacob Whitting, who advertises for a wife
Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton-Who answers his letter and visits from Maine
Occasional appearances are made by Papa’s horse, Old Bess, and the two dogs, Lottie and Nick
Matthew and Maggie-Neighbors from the nearby farm

Chapter Questions

Chapter 1-Who are the main characters of the story? Describe everyone using as many details as you can! Why was it hard for Anna to love Caleb?
Chapter 2-Describe Maine, as Sarah had in her letters. What questions did Caleb have for Sarah?
Chapter 3-What did Sarah bring Caleb and Celeb? Why were these things important?
Chapter 4-What did Sarah do for Papa and Celeb? What was the first song she sang with the family?
Chapter 5-What things about Maine does Sarah miss? Describe them as she would have.
Chapter 6-What did Sarah and the children do together? What does Sarah teach them how to do?
Chapter 7-What did Maggie bring Sarah? Why was it important that they meet and talk together?
Chapter 8-What were Sarah and Papa arguing about? Why do you think Sarah wanted to save the chickens and the roses?
Chapter 9-Why do Caleb and Anna become suddenly sad when Sarah learns to ride a horse?

Writing Prompts for Sarah, plain and tall

The author described many of the jobs that are performed in a home on the prairie. Do you help out at home? Are your chores like those performed in the prairie home? How are they different?
Write an advertisement asking for “The best friend in the world.” What qualities do you think are important? How would you like your new friend to be the same as, or different from, yourself?
Pretend you are Anna or Caleb and you are about to meet Sarah for the first time. What are you feeling? Will you like each other? What are the first things you will do together?
Pretend that you are faraway from your hometown. Describe your neighborhood and town as you would to a person who has never seen where you live.
Maggie told Sarah that she must have a garden. If you were faraway from home, what important activity would keep you from getting homesick?

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott, Adapted by Monica Kulling

This is the story of four very different sisters growing up in mid-nineteenth America. The story is based on Alcott’s own life. Like the March family, her family was very poor. Alcott worked as a seamstress, a servant, and a teacher to help out. All these occupations are reflected in the live of the four sisters. Remember, there are many versions of this wonderful classic. You may want to use a more accessible version as a classroom modification for reluctant readers, or a more advanced version for experienced readers.

Main Characters

Marmee, (mother) -mother worked as a volunteer for the Soldier’s Aid Society, and was always kindhearted, sensitive to the differences in the girls’ personalities
Meg March-the oldest sister who loved beautiful things but could sometimes be vain and self-centered
Jo March-modeled after Alcott, a writer who is quick-tempered and high-spirited, often in trouble, loved to read, and even saw herself as the man in the family
Beth March-shy and thoughtful, loved music, and always looked on the bright side of events
Amy March-the youngest sister, couldn’t wait to grow up, loved art and drawing

Spelling Lists

Fireplace Through
Christmas Splendid
Awful gossip
Sighing daughters
Suddenly admired
Silent beauty
Practicing parcel
Volunteer delivering
Boxes patiently
Eager arrived
Hardships croquet
Journey brilliantly
Pilgrims carriage
Guidebook musician
Sweetness furniture
Gathered continue
Delighted piano
Handkerchief scribbled
Rescue exclaimed
Audience roundabout

Chapter Questions

Chapter 1-What were the March family christmas traditions? Why was father away this year?
Chapter 2-How did Jo and Meg differ while making their plans for attending the New Year’s Eve party? What was their secret plan for controlling Jo’s behavior?
Chapter 3-What were Jo’s and Meg’s Jobs? How did Beth and Amy keep busy during the day?
Chapter 4-Hod did Jo make friends with the Lawrence family? How did Beth get a new piano?
Chapter 5-What was Amy’s problem at school? Why was Jo so angry at Amy?
Chapter 6-What does Meg mean when sh e says, “Home is a nice place, even though it isn’t splendid?” Why does she say this?
Chapter 7-Why was it difficult for Jo to play croquet? Why were she and Laurie so happy when Jo won?
Chapter 8-What were Laurie and Jo’s secrets?
Chapter 9-Why did mother go to Washington? How did Jo earn $25?
Chapter 10-What was Beth’s sickness, and why did Amy go stay with aunt March?
Chapter 11-What trick did Laurie play on the girls?
Chapter 12-What changes did father see in each of the girls?
Chapter 13-How did aunt March, Jo, and the other family members feel about John Brooke?

Writing Prompts for little women

Pretend you are Meg. How do you feel about John Brooke, and how do you handle Jo’s anger toward him? What will you do to help Jo feel better about Mr.Brooke?
Which of the sisters is most like yourself? Tell why!
Which of the girls would be a good best friend for you? Which one would be a good sister?
Pretend that you are the fifth “little Women.” Where do you fit into the family? Tell about your experiences as one of the March girls!
Become either Mr. or Mrs. March for a day. How do you handle your busy household full of girls? What adventures and activities might be part of your life?

Ramona And Her Mother

Beverly Cleary

Ramona’s mother finally gets her turn to star in one of these very funny classics. In this selection, Ramona is trying to act grown up, but no one seems to notice her, especially with big sister Beezus getting in the way.

Main Characters

Ramona-A feisty, adventurous seven and a half year old, trying desperately to grow up/

Beezus-Beatrice, the twelve year old sister with whom Ramona is often at odds, as she struggles for the constant attention of her parents mother and father-in a constant balancing act, trying to better their struggling financial situation while at the same time raising two active young girls

Spelling Lists

Brunch forehead
Squeezed upward
Squirted tickle
Smooth preferred
Economy wailing
Satisfying finally
Coiled repairman
Swirled announced
Trouble amusement
Moment guilty
Washbasin fascinated
Enough annoyed
Disbelief spattering
Scowled pajamas
Apparently sensible
Plastic interesting
Difficult muttered
Impossible determined
Pleasure learning
Unscrewed reasonable

Chapter Questions

Chapter 1-Who is Willa-Jean, and how does she behave at Ramona’s house?
Chapter 2-Why was Ramona angry? How did she handle her anger?
Chapter 3-Why was this such a bad day for Ramona? What does “cross” mean?
Chapter 4-How did Ramona and Beezus feel when their parents had a quarrel?”
Chapter 5-How did Beezus want her hair cut? How much money did Ramona have saved in her Q-tip box?
Chapter 6-What was the secret that Ramona and Mrs. Rudge shared?
Chapter 7-How did Mr. and Mrs. Quimby react when Ramona announced that she wanted to run away? Why did Mrs. Rudge call Mrs. Quimby on the telephone?

Writing Prompts For Ramona And Her Mother

Pretend that you live next door to Ramona and her family. Would she come to your house after school? Do you think you could keep her out of trouble, or would you end up getting involved with her adventures?
Would you want to sit next to Ramona in school? Why or why not?
Think of someone you know who is like Ramona. Convince them that they should read about Ramona and her adventures!
Make a list of ten ways to keep Willa-Jean busy so she will not bother you!

Meet Addy

Connie Porter

Addy is a nine year old girl living during the Civil War era. She and her mother escape from slavery after their owner, Master Stevens, sells her father and brother.

Main Characters

Addy-courageous girl, smart and strong with many chores to do on the plantation.
Addy’s Momma-A woman whose love helps the family survive
Poppa-Addy’s father, whose dream of freedom gives the family strength
Sam-Addy’s older brother, strong-willed and determined to be free

Spelling Lists

Tobacco streak
Wearing magic
Freedom baggy
Breath disguise
Voices believe
Crickets gourd
Heavy swampy
Stumbling sweaty
Attention courage
Pallet leather
Worming strength
Struggled silence
Bucket brave
Finished churning
Shift disappear
Early scream
Medicine current
Building dangerous
Toward finally
Hurried plantation

Chapter Questions

Chapter 1-What were Addy’s parents discussing in the darkness while she slept?
Chapter 2-What were Addy’s chores on the plantation? What happened to Sam and Poppa?
Chapter 3-What was Momma’s plan for Addy and Ester?
Chapter 4-What special gift did Addy receive from her mother?
Chapter 5-What did Miss Caroline mean by, “I don’t cotton to those rebels?”
How did Miss Caroline help Addy and her mother?

Writing Prompts

Do you agree with Momma’s choice to leave Esther behind? Would you have made the same decision?
If you were auntie Lula or uncle Solomon, what would you tell Esther about Addy and her Momma as she gets older?
Pretend you are the nine year old son or daughter of Master Stevens. Will you play with Addy? How would you help her out, do you think you could make her life better?
Addy has made it to freedom, and now she is in your classroom. What is she like? Will she share her adventures and secrets with you? Will you become friends?

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Daily Oral Language

In addition to the above activities, you might want to reinforce basic grammar skills. One way to do this is to have students correct a set of sentences every morning, as a warm up for the daily language lesson. Daily oral language sentences can also be used at the end of a lesson to reinforce the grammar concepts that were taught.

To do this, choose two sentences from the chapter that is being read, or from the previously read chapter. Write them on the blackboard or on chart paper, omitting all capitalization and punctuation. You might also want to substitute incorrect spellings, usages, or homonyms for some worlds. Lessons such as these help to introduce and reinforce the mechanics of language, within the meaningful context of the selection.

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Thematic Projects For The Unit

Write a play that includes or combines characters from the selections. The play might be a one skit, or a full-length production put on by the entire class.

Put yourself into the plot of one of the stories. Meet the characters and provide a way to become a part of the plot.

Interview the characters from the books. What questions will you ask? What do you want to know about these people that the selections do not reveal?

Change one of the characters in the story to have new opinions and ideas. How does doing this change the rest of the plot? Extend the story to include how the story characters live in and respond to new situations.

Write a prequel to one of the stories, revealing what one of the characters might have been like in her younger years. What are the important events that affected how the characters behave in the story?

Choose a favorite character from one of the stories. Place that character in another time setting, or another place. Try not to change the personality of your character but allow that person to react to a new and different situation.

Pretend that some of the mothers and daughters from the stories live in your neighborhood. Who do you play with? How are these families alike and different?

Pretend that the girls from the stories are all in the same classroom. What are they like together? What activities do they enjoy? How do they get along?

Choosing from among all the book characters, who is most like you? Who would be your best friend?

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Student Bibliography

Alcott, Louisa May, adapted by Monica Kulling: Little Women, New York: Random House.

This adapted version of the classic is appropriate for younger readers and provides a way to motivate early readers to become interested in the classroom version. Little Women is a wonderful tool to use in the context of this overall unit, as it touches on the respective relationships of four very different sisters with their mother.

Clearly, Beverly: Ramona and Her Mother, New York: Avon Books, 1979

The “Ramona” Series has captured young readers for many years. This enchanting series of over twenty selections finally takes a look at Ramona’s relationship with her mother. In doing so, the reader gains a greater understanding of Ramona.

MacLachlan, Patricia: Baby, New York: Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1993.

This selection provides a look at the “temporary” mother-child relationship. Twelve-year-old Larkin returns home one day to discover a baby sitting in a basket in the driveway of her family’s house. The only clue to the baby’s appearance is a note from the child’s mother. “This is Sophie,” the note reads. “She is almost a year old and she is good . . . I will come back for her one day. I love her.” The story tells of the love and bond which quickly forms between Sophie and her family.

Ibid: Sarah, Plain and Tall, New York: Harper Trophy, 1985.

This touching tale is set in the context of the early American prairie. The father of two young children advertises for a wife, and receives a response from Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton, of Maine. The children demonstrate a cautious and careful attachment as they get to know Sarah.

Porter, Connie: Addy’s Surprise, Middletown, WI.: Pleasant Company, 1993.

Addy Walker and her mother know that christmas will be hard without Poppa, Sam, and Esther. When Addy spots a beautiful red scarf in a secondhand shop, she determines to get it for Momma to brighten her holiday. To save the money, Addy decides to keep half the tips she earns by making deliveries for Mrs. Ford’s dress shop. But when Addy sees the plight of newly freed slaves, she feels torn. Can she help them and still get the scarf for Momma? Addy’s christmas surprise for Momma ends up being different than she planned. And a surprise awaiting Addy is better than she even dared to hope for.

Ibid: Meet Addy, Middletown, WI.: Pleasant Company, 1993.

This is the introduction of Addy Walker, who on one night during the summer of 1864, overhears her parents talk about an exciting yet terrifying idea-escaping slavery. But before Addy’s family can make the escape, the worst happens to them. The family is separated when Master Stevens decides to sell some of his slaves. Addy and her mother take the terrible risk of escaping by themselves because they want to be free, and because they hope the family eventually will be free together again in Philadelphia. Set during the Civil War, Addy’s story is one of courage and love.

Sharkin-Langer, Ferne: When Mommy is Sick, Morton Grove, Ill: Albert Whitman and Co., 1996.

This short story tells of the changing relationship of a young girl as her mother enters one of many hospital stays. This mother-daughter relationship is somewhat of a cyclical nature, as the reader infers the presence of a long-term illness and its impact on the family unit.

Spelman, Cornelia: After Charlotte’s Mom Died, Morton Grove, Ill: Albert Whitman and Co., 1996.

Written from the point of view of a young girl who has experienced the death of her mother, this short story deals with the anger, hurt, and desolation that follows such a loss. Eventually the girl and her father enter therapy, where mourning takes its necessary course and the healing process begins.

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Professional Bibliography

Edelman, Hope: Motherless Daughters, New York: Dell Publishing, 1994.

Based on interviews with hundreds of mother-loss survivors, and chronicling the author’s own brave search for healing, this life-affirming book reveals the various stages of mother-loss at every age, and tells what the unmothered woman can do to reclaim her autonomy and restore her connections to the family motherline.

Estes, Clarissa, Pinkola: Women Who Run With The Wolves, New York: Ballantine Books, 1995.

The author believes that within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Although she represents the instinctual nature of women, she is endangered by society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles.

Herrenstein, Richard, et. al.: The Bell Curve, New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1994.

This work describes the state of scientific knowledge about questions that have been on people’s minds for years; Issues which have been considered too sensitive to talk about openly. Some of the trends discussed are pertinent to this unit in that they address women’s issues with relation to IQ, crime and fertility.

L’Engle, Madeleine: Mothers and Daughters, Wheaton, Ill. Harold Shaw Publishers, 1997.

A Mother-Daughter collaboration, this book is more poetry than prose. It is a bit of a coffee-table book, yet by their inclusion the brief histories therein tell a tale of what some mother-daughter teams wish to be remembered by.

Wexler, Jane and Lauren Cowen: Daughters And Mothers, Philadelphia: Running Press, 1997.

The special relationship between mothers and daughters is celebrated with original essays the striking photographs of generations of women of all ages and backgrounds.

Wesllesly College Center For Research on Women: How Schools Shortchange Girls, New York: Marlowe and Company, 1995.

No unit of this genre would be complete without including this work. It stands as a wake-up call to parents, teachers, and policymakers to the problem of pervasive gender bias in America’s schools. As the greatest single influence in their daughters lives mothers need to call upon themselves to advocate for school equity for their girls. This work provides a helpful direction for change.

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