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Incorporating Multicultural Literature into the Classroom

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Heather Lee

on 20 April 2011

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Transcript of Incorporating Multicultural Literature into the Classroom

Incorporating Multicultural Literature into the Classroom There are many ways students say "hello" around the world. Konnichiwa pronounced
Koh-NEE-cheewah Zdravstvuite pronounced
Zz-DRAST-vet-yah Ni hao pronounced
Nee HaOW Buon giorno pronounced
bwohn JOR-noh Hola pronounced
OH-la Many international families are making the
United States their home and because of
this, the cultural makeup of the classroom
has and continues to change. About 49.9 million students were enrolled in
U.S. public schools (pre-K to 12th grade) in
the 2007-2008 academic year, according to U.S. department of Education statistics. Of them, 10.7 percent or more than 5.3 million children were English language learners. National Policy Institute:National Center on Immigration Integregation Policy, 2011). (Lu,2003) Multicultural Literature is more important than ever in the classroom. So what is multicultural literature? Multicultural literature is defined as "literature that helps children identify with their own culture, exposes children to other cultures, and opens the dialogue on issues regarding diversity". (Coby & Lyon, 2004). There are many formats of multicultural literature which include: Picture Books Poetry NonFiction Folktales Fairytales Fantasy Biographies & Autobiographies Why is multicultural literature so important in the classroom? 1.Multicultural literature
builds bridges Students learn that differences make the classroom and community strong. 2. Multicultural literature
expands horizons Multicultural literature provides an opportunity for people of different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups to be represented in the classroom environment. 3. Multicultural literature
affirms identity Multicultural literature allows students from different cultures to see themselves represented on the pages of books. This video will provide more information on the importance of multiculturalism. Multicultural
literature can: Improve self-concept Develop critical thinking skills Provide positive images and role models Increase student awareness
Decrease negative stereotypes Quality multicultural literature reflects many aspects of a culture. Tips for selecting quality multicultural literature for the classroom Look
contain: 1.Historical accuracy

2.Reflections on
cultural values

3. Strong plots and well developed characters

4. Authentic illustrations

5. Positive portrayal of characters to avoid negative stereotyping For more information about children's multicultural literature and for book reviews and suggestions, visit these sites: Center for Children and Childhood Studies

Subject suggestions for incorporating multicultural literature into the classroom. Language Arts Introduce students to multicultral folktales and fairytales such as: Students could create their own digital stories based on the different multicultural folktales and fairytales presented in class. History/Social Studies Use historical fiction, autobiographies, or biographies to introduce the minority point of view in important events. Suggested titles: Grades 4-6 Allow students to do extra research online for images that pertain to significant points in history. Students can contribute to a class wiki with new information. Science
Use multicultural nonfiction books to introduce minorities who have made significant contributions to the field such as: Allow students to take a virtual tour of the scientist's birthplace for a greater understanding of their culture and background. Math For lower grades, use multicultural picture books to introduce counting. Some examples are: There is a strong connection between images and identity (Dietrich & Ralph. 1995) Teachers have the ability to promote: tolerance diversity respect inclusiveness What can you do to promote cultural awareness in your classroom? Resources:

Colby, S.A. & Lyon, A.F. (2004)Heightening awareness and the importance of using multicultural literature. Multicultural Education. 11(4), 24-28.

Dietrich, D. & Ralph, K.S. (1995). Crossing borders: multicultural literature in the classroom. The Journal of Educational Issue of Language Minority Students. 15.

Inglesia, Michele. (2008). Multicultural literature for children. IPL2. Retrieved from http://www.ipl.org/div/pf/entry/48493

Lu, M. (2003). Multicultural children’s literature in the elementary classroom. Lee and Low Books. Retrieved from http://www.leeandlow.com/p/administrators_meiarticle.mhtml

Migration Policy Institute, National Center on Immigration Integration Policy. (2010). ELL Information Center Fact Sheet Series. Retrieved from: http://www.migrationinformation.org/ellinfo/FactSheet_ELL1.pdf

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). The Condition of Education 2010.

Say Hello to the World. IPL2. Retrieved on April 14, 2011 from http://www.ipl.org/div/hello/

2009 World Map from vectorworldmap.com

All images are from flickr and have a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-No Derivs License:

Pseudo-Diversity by flickr user f2point8

National Exhibition Centre Flags by flickr user R~P~M

Books by flickr user prunus

Sitka Bridge by flickr user jomilo75

Swim into the Horizon by flickr user Anatara Journeys

The collage Machine by flickr user robayre

Sights of Gothenburg by flickr user adrian, acediscovery

A Horizon Mosaic by flickr user hc halkley

33/366 Many Colors by flickr user Mandy_Jensen

Question Mark by flickr user WingedWolf

Book by clker user OCAL retrieved from clkr.com (royalty free images)

IPL Special Collections: Multicultural Literature for Children

Scholastic for Teachers

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