Category Archives: Educator Resources

Lesson plans, activity guides, and helpful tips from our literacy specialist and guest educators.

Teaching the Diverse Narratives of US History

In this guest post, educator and writer Tami Charles presents text- dependent questions and inquiry-based activities for students to practice close reading and critical thinking with the book Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh. Continue reading

Classroom Library Assessment: How Culturally Responsive is Your Library?

Teachers, let’s talk about a popular topic across education blogs and Pinterest: the classroom library. A quick search on the Internet results in numerous tips, tricks, and ideas for different ways to configure and organize your classroom library. It’s an intensive and thoughtful process that involves thinking about genre, reading levels, interest levels, grade-level content, categories, and themes.

Unfortunately, we often see classroom libraries that group diverse books into categories that isolate or limit their use. Simply having a book bin labeled “cultures from around the world” or “black history month books” does not mean your library is culturally responsive. We need to think critically about how these books reflect the diversity of our students, their backgrounds, and the communities in which we live while exposing them to new ideas and concepts. Does your classroom library contain books that include main characters of color or with disabilities? Do your books featuring people of color only focus on issues of race, prejudice, or discrimination? Do they go beyond ethnic heritage months? Do they only focus on cultural traditions and foods? Continue reading

“The People Shall Continue” by Simon J. Ortiz Returns to Print

Lee & Low Books is thrilled to share that we will be bringing back to print The People Shall Continue, Simon J. Ortiz’s beloved children’s book tracing the history of Native and Indigenous people in North America. The book will be released in paperback in October 2017 in a new 40th Anniversary Special Edition, with updated illustrations and a new afterword by the author. It will also be available in a Spanish translation, simultaneously published.

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Interview: Uma Krishnaswami on Citizenship, Culture, and Community

Today is the release day of Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, a middle grade historical novel about nine-year-old Maria Singh who longs to play softball. To celebrate, we interviewed author Uma Krishnaswami to find out more about her writing process and her inspiration behind Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh.

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“Where’s My Story?”: Ideas for Teaching About Diversity in Books

In this guest post, originally posted at EdWeek and reposted here with permission, Philadelphia-based teacher Kathleen Melville shares the “Where’s My Story” project she developed to teach her ninth-grade students about diversity—or the lack thereof—in children’s books.  Continue reading

Meet LEE & LOW BOOKS at the Educational Thought Leaders’ Conference!

Next week we’ll be attending the Educational Thought Leaders’ Conference at Kean University in New Jersey. Will you be there? If so, please stop by to say hello! Continue reading

Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Preschool

Reading books with preschool-age children not only helps them be better prepared for school, but it also opens their minds to new cultures and experiences. Exposing children early to both “mirror” and “window” books – that is, books in which they can see themselves, and books in which they can learn about others- is the best way to create engaged readers and support social and emotional growth.

Lee & Low Books offers hundreds of great books for preschoolers. Our books include English, Spanish, and bilingual titles; books about many different cultures; books that span a wide range of subjects and themes; and both fiction and nonfiction. Browse our preschool collections to see what we offer.

While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for preschoolers!  Continue reading

Martí’s Song for Freedom Activity Guide

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Emma Otheguy, the author of the forthcoming title Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad created an amazing activity guide for readers. Modeled after a poem by José Martí, readers can create their own poem after reading his inspirational story as well as excerpts from his seminal Versos sencillos.

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10 Children’s Books that Celebrate Earth Day

Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day, an internationally recognized day that celebrates the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. To honor Earth Day and celebrate National Poetry Month, we gathered ten poetry books that are inspired by the joy and wonder of being outdoors and that bring the sight and sounds of nature to life.

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Celebrate International Jazz Day with Viola Davis

For your next read aloud, how about adding in some lively rhythms of New Orleans jazz and an award-winning storyteller?

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