We hear over and over again from teachers across the country how they want to infuse more culturally responsive and relevant texts into their district or school-mandated curriculum.
It’s challenging to do, but what if we had some resources to share to help you out?
First, read: If you haven’t read this article from Reading Teacher, here’s your chance. Authors Fenice Boyd, Lauren Causey, and Lee Glada offer teachers great suggestions for culturally diverse literature that addresses Common Core standards in this Reading Teacher article (PDF).
What is “culturally relevant teaching?” Heather Coffey at LEARN NC, a program of the UNC School of Education, shares the history and theory.
Here are some places teachers are finding culturally relevant / responsive texts and (just as vital) ready-to-go lesson plans. Check out:
- The Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project (TCICP) offers concrete examples for teachers to make their classrooms more inclusive, such as the Culturally Relevant Curriculum practice and inquiry. These were created by (NYC) teachers for teachers
- Utah public school teachers created these multicultural lesson plans during their Center for Documentary Expression and Art course, “Multiculturalism and Storytelling,” available through the Utah Education Network (UEN) lesson library
- The Lewis Library at the Loyola University Chicago Libraries has created this amazing visual resource for teachers at its School of Education to find multicultural books right for their students and instructional strategies
- POV at PBS provides lessons exploring multiculturalism to pair with its films for grades 6 and up
- TeachPeaceNow has literature-based lesson plans covering social justice topics to include in your curriculum
- ArtsEdge, an education program of The Kennedy Center, has written detailed ready-to-implement lessons on American culture and comparing cultural holidays (just to highlight a few)
- TeachableMoment from Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility offers inquiry-oriented lessons on current issues and social and emotional learning
- Teaching Tolerance has created a literacy-based curriculum that infuses anti-bias social justice content with the rigor of the Common Core State Standards called Perspectives for a Diverse America
For even more ideas for discovering diverse literature that’s will pair with your curriculum, check out A More Diverse Reading List: Resources to Expand CCSS-aligned Texts compiled by Lee & Low Books.
Where do you recommend teachers find lessons plans that align with their curriculum and incorporate diverse literature? Share with us!
Jill Eisenberg, our Senior Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her weekly column at The Open Book, she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators.