Category Archives: Educator Resources

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

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown

We’re so excited to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown and illustrated by Sara Palacios. Over the years, the iconic, titular character, Marisol, has touched the hearts of young readers everywhere through play, imagination, and just being her amazing self!

Renowned author Monica Brown wrote this title as well as others in this lively series—Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash/Marisol McDonald y la fiesta sin igual and Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo—to bring her own experience of being multiracial to life. Fans of the award-winning Marisol McDonald series will be encouraged to embrace their own uniqueness like Marisol who takes pride in her individuality.

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Watch the Webinar: Children’s Books About Joy

Thank you to all who joined us for our most recent webinar, “Children’s Books About Joy,” with authors Kelly J. Baptist (The Electric Slide and Kai), Samara Cole Doyon (Magic Like That), and David Anthony Durham (The Shadow Prince). If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), you can watch the webinar below, or here on YouTube. Keep reading for links to resources and booklists shared during the webinar.

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Diversifying Classic Literature in the Classroom: A Student’s Perspective

Diversifying Classic Literature in the Classroom

In this blog post by Kiana Low, our Lee & Low summer intern, she shares the need for educators to create space for more diverse, contemporary books and voices to balance the “classics.”

The classics. If you attended high school in the United States, your mind may immediately go to Shakespeare, Jane Eyre, or maybe even Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose The Scarlet Letter has been a Puritan warning against female sexuality for nearly two centuries. These are the old guard of high school English classics—literature included in reading lists for generations. There are also  “modern classics”—you may think of J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee, and John Steinbeck.

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Teaching about United States Reconstruction with Black Was the Ink

Next month is the release of Black Was the Ink by New Visions Award winner Michelle Coles and illustrated by Justin Johnson. Motivated by Coles’ frustration with the pace of racial progress in America, she wrote this book for readers to discover the critical work of Black congressmen during Reconstruction, an often overlooked time period, and make critical connections to present day.

Black Was the Ink, an extraordinary work fueled by rigorous research and impactful history, is a critical text for high school students and educators looking for authentic, honest history about the United States.

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Dual Language Learners Deserve Research-Backed Resources

With more districts and states requiring equity in quality of materials and many are making more funding available, educators serving Dual Language Learners and English Language Learners have incredible opportunities this school year to get students back on track or help students build on the progress they have made.

For a school year like no other, educators, librarians, and caregivers are looking to research findings to find the best strategies in meeting the needs of their incoming Dual Language Learners.

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Books About Joy: A Diverse Reading List

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our much-anticipated Books About Joy: A Diverse Reading List, a list inspired by our blog post, “10 Picture Books That Are Not About Oppression,” which continues to be one of our most-read and shared articles to this day.

This updated and more in-depth list of diverse books reflects the daily lives of children and the joy of play, family and friends, and being themselves.

A disproportionate number of books about BIPOC protagonists focus on their marginalization. Though it is important for children to understand the history and complexity of oppression, racism, and discrimination, children—especially children of color—also deserve to see themselves thrive and to experience the joy of being
part of a loving community.

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Upcoming Webinar: Children’s Books about Joy

How fun is your bookroom? Where does joy intersect with culturally responsive and diverse books?

 A disproportionate number of books about BIPOC protagonists focus on their marginalization. Though it is important for children to understand the history and complexity of oppression, racism, and discrimination, children—especially Indigenous children, Black children and children of color—also deserve to see themselves thrive and to experience the joy of being part of a loving community.

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Teaching Immigration and Migration in the Classroom: An Interview with Abeer Shinnawi of Re-Imagining Migration

In this blog post, we interviewed Abeer Shinnawi, Program Lead at Re-Imagining Migration, about exploring the topics of migration and immigration in the classroom, how children’s books can be used to guide these discussions, and how this new infographic offers guidance on curating text sets aligned to the Re-Imagining Migration Learning Arc framework. Let’s jump right in!

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Free Upcoming Webinar: AIR’s New Language and Literacy Program for Preschoolers (COLLTS)

Join the Center for English Learners at the American Institutes for Research® for a webinar on Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talent in Students (COLLTS), an evidence-based, research-backed, and classroom-tested language and literacy program for preschoolers. The event will be held on Thursday, September 16th at 4:00 PM ET.

Cultivating Oral Language and Literacy Talent in Students (COLLTS) is designed to help teachers support language and literacy development for young dual language learners. An intervention study found that children who participated in COLLTS showed significantly larger gains in oral language than children who did not participate in the program.

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STEM Diverse Books for Grades 6 – 8+

School is back in session, so it’s time to rouse those hungry minds with our STEM diverse reading list and collection! There’s something for every student within these vibrant stacks of books. Animals, architects, engineers, surgeons, economists, environmentalists, and more fill the pages of these engaging, diverse reads.

In this blog post, we’ve rounded up STEM books for grades 6-8+. You can find more of our STEM titles in our STEM Diverse Reading List and the corresponding book collection.

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