The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner
By Deborah Ellis
Life for those living in Afghanastan is very different than the life we lead here in Pittsburgh, PA.  You are going to have to opportunity to read the book, The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis.  You will  be able to become more familiar with the life of a child in Afghanastan.  Before you do that - though - you are going to have the opportunity to participate in a webquest to learn more about the culture, clothing, language, and country.  Make sure to follow the directions and think about yourself, your life,a nd your own community, as you read about Afghanastan.

TASK             PROCESS             EVALUATION               CONCLUSION         

Before you read the book, THE BREADWINNER, you will gain some very interesting and vital information to help you to better  understand life in Afghanistan. You will complete the following tasks:
∗ Research and learn new important vocabulary words in the book using Internet sources;
∗ Record your findings and information on your SLEUTH FINDER”S LOG;
∗ View the alphabet of two major languages in Afghanistan;
∗ Learn to write letters in languages;
∗ Listen to someone peaking in a native language;
∗ Print out cutout dolls to dress in traditional Afghan clothing;

Let’s Begin!!

Remember – this is only a very small taste of the Aafghan culture.  Be sure to read the  directions thoroughly before you begin each section.



1.      Open up your Sleuth’s Finder’s Log.  This is a Word document you will use throughout your Webquest.  Print out your Log.  Write your answers on the log as you find the information.



2.    Now let’s find out some information about Afghanistan.  Click on the link and read the information about Afghanistan.  You may use this additional Afghanistan link to find more information. 



3.    Use an online dictionary to look up the meaning of these vocabulary words.

burqu      chador     shalwar kameez    Taliban    nan

4.     Click on these links to see more visuals about Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan for Kids

Growing up in Afghanistan

Food in Afghanistan



5.     Check out the two major klanguages spoken nd written in Afghanistan – Dari and Pashtu. 

Write at least three letters in each of the languages.  Select the same three in both languages and also write them in English.  You may write these on the back of the Log.  Now - listen to the Dari language using the link.



6.     Now that you have learned a lot about Afghanistan – let’s get a little closer to the author of THE BREADWINNER, Deborah Ellis.  Make sure you pay attention to question #11 on your Log prior to reading about Ms. Ellis.

Biography 1

Biography 2

Biography 3




7.     Now let’ s  use your artistic talents and the information you have gained to complete the following section of the webquest.  Choose a BOY or a GIRL.  Open the file and print out two copies of the doll.  Cut out the DOLL ONLY!  Then using another piece of white paper or the back of the one you have cut, draw and cut out clothing for you and also draw and cut out clothing for an Afghan child.  Then glue or tape the clothing to the dolls. 



8.     Now click on the COMPARE/CONTRAST link to take you to the Venn Diagram.  Print this document out and use the Log and the information you have learned throughout your research to complete the sheet.
















Completed the Sleuth Finder's Log using the Web


Fewer than 4 questions have been completed correctly.

Four to 7 questions have been completed correctly.

At least 8 out of 10 questions have been completed correctly. Complete sentences were used some of the time.

All information has been completed correctly for the 10 questions and complete sentences have been used most of the time.



Paper Doll cut-out printed, glued, and colored



Not much care was taken in coloring the paper dolls. They may not be finished or facts on the back may be incomplete.

Paper dolls have been colored. Some of the details are not clear or could have shown more care.

Facts on the back of the doll may be incomplete.

Paper dolls have been satisfactorily colored and Afghan clothing has been used on one doll.    The other doll looks like you. Three facts are listed on the back of each doll.

A paper doll is neatly colored using the information learned about the Afghan culture.   Another paper doll has been colored to look like you. At least 3 facts are listed on the back of each doll.



Compare/ Contrast Worksheet




The worksheet is incomplete and few facts are filled in.

The chart has been started but many of the facts are vague or missing.

Less than 3 items are missing or vague.

At least 3 items are correctly listed in each column.  The facts are relevant to the worksheet.



Oral Presentation of Dari or Pashtu Alphabet


Little attempt was made to learn to write or pronounce any letters.

Only 1 or 2 of the letters could be written, with or without minor errors in letter formation.   The name of the letter may or may not be pronounced.

At least 2 letters were written with some minor errors in letter formation.  The names of the letters may or may not be pronounced.

At least 3 letters were written neatly and the names of the letters were pronounced.



Total Score




You have done a great job!!
Now get a piece of white paper and create a Venn Diagram.
Use what you have found to compare and contrast you and a boy or girl from Afghanastan.