Skills Building: Freedom Soup (PK-5)

Written by Tami Charles and illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara

Pre Reading Questions

  1. What are some ways that you collaborate or work together with others? 
  2. Why is it important to collaborate and work together? Is it easier to do things as a group or by yourself? 
  3. There are some things that we can do by ourselves and some that we need to do as a group. What are some things in your life that you could only do with the collaboration and help of others?
  4. Have you ever worked together with your family to make a meal?

Post Reading Questions

  1. Ti Gran wanted to teach Bella how to make Freedom Soup. Why is it important for Bella to learn and work with Ti Gran to make it? 
  2. Bella’s family makes Freedom Soup every year to celebrate Haitian freedom and the New Year. Does your family ever cook traditional meals for the holidays? Do you ever help make that meal?
  3. What did you learn in the book about how the people of Haiti collaborated and worked together? 
  4. What examples of collaboration did you see in the book? What are some ways that we can collaborate and work together?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Collaborative Freedom Soup (Pre-K-5)

Overview: In Freedom Soup, Bella and Ti Gran work together to create Freedom Soup to celebrate the New Year and freedom in Haiti. In this activity, you will work together to create our own version of Freedom Soup made out of paper! As you are working with your groups, think about how Bella and Ti Gran worked together harmoniously to create the soup together, each doing their parts together until the soup was ready to be served.  


● Construction paper
Color pencils
Color pieces of felt (optional)
Color print outs of the food templates (may need multiple copies depending on group size). Download templates.
A large piece of brown or white butcher paper
Freedom Soup recipe (in the back of the book)

Duration: 35 – 40 minutes (for staff: 5-minute pre-activity set up and 10-15 minute prep)

5 minutes – Introduce the activity and relate the activity to the book. Put students into small groups (no more than 4 students per group), and let students pick their ingredient
15 – 20 minutes – Students work with their groups to create their ingredient based on the template
5 minutes – Clean up activity
5 minutes – Student groups glue or tape their ingredient to the butcher paper
5 minutes – Reflect


  1. Before the activity, create multiple color copies of the food templates. Multiple sets may be needed depending on the size of the group. 
  2. Staff will make a large soup pot out of butcher paper. Be sure that the pot is big enough for all the ingredients. The pot can be as intricate or simple as you want; butcher paper cut into a large circle is the simplest. 
  3. Set all the food templates on one table before students start. 
  4. Introduce the activity and relate it back to the book, showing the book illustrations and the craft examples.
  5. Divide students into small groups with no more than four students per group. 
  6. Let each group pick one ingredient that they want to create. Call groups up to the table with the ingredient printouts one at a time. 
  7. Students work together to create their chosen ingredient out of the materials provided (e.g., color construction paper, markers, crayons, felt). Groups can create their ingredient any way that they choose but they may not cut up the template
  8. Once students are finished creating their ingredient, they should clean up their table space and throw away all paper scraps. 
  9. Gather all students into a group and read out the recipe from the back of the book. When each group hears their ingredient, they will bring their ingredient up to the “soup pot” and glue or tape it on. 
  10. When all the ingredients have been added to the pot, students and staff will reflect on the activity.

Reflection Questions

  • How did it feel to work together with your group? What went well? (What were your “glows”?) What could have gone better? (What were your “grows”?)
  • When is working together and collaborating easy? When is it difficult?
  • Looking at the final product, how does it feel to have artwork that everyone cooperated to make? What might it have been like if you had each made your own?