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.
In this guest post, teacher-in-training Anna Nardelli, a junior at Mount Saint Mary College earning her certification in early and elementary childhood, shares her firsthand experience connecting students to “mirror” books.
I have a passion for teaching children and believe that all children deserve the opportunity to see themselves in mirror books as well as seeing others in window books. Mirror books give children the chance to see a representation of themselves in a book. For some children, this is not a common occurrence, but when it happens it lets them know that this world is full of people who are just like them. Window books give children another outlook on the world. They may not get the chance to see different cultures outside of their everyday life, but through window books, they can travel and see the world. Continue reading →
It’s not easy to create an inclusive book collection. Whether you’re a librarian creating a collection for an entire community, a teacher creating a collection for your classroom, or a parent creating a collection for your children, choosing books that reflect the diversity of human experience can be a challenging job.
That’s because creating a diverse book collection is about more than just making sure X, Y, and Z are represented. It’s not a matter of ticking off check boxes or making sure quotas are filled. For those committed to doing it right, building a diverse book collection requires contemplation, research, and awareness. But the rewards are great: a truly diverse collection of books can turn children into lifelong readers and promote empathy, understanding, and self-confidence.
To make things a little easier, we’ve created a checklist to help.
Today’s world is smaller than ever, and as technology continues to advance it will only get smaller. Raising students for success means teaching them how to be global citizens, emphasizing cultural literacy and geoliteracy, and exposing them to people whose lives differ from theirs.
For this, there’s no better author than Jan Reynolds. Reynolds is a writer, photographer, and adventurer who has written over fourteen nonfiction books for children about her travels. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including National Geographic, The New York Times, and Outside Magazine. Reynolds is an avid skier, mountain climber, and adventurer who holds the record for women’s high altitude skiing, was part of the first expedition to circumnavigate Mount Everest, and performed a solo crossing of the Himalayas.
Throughout April, we’ll be exploring how Jan’s books can be used in the classroom to teach about the environment, geoliteracy, global citizenship, and nonfiction. Today, we wanted to share Jan’s books and some of our favorite resources available to help teach them:
It’s been 59 years since Brown vs. Board of Education overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine in schools, but that doesn’t mean discrimination has disappeared from the classroom. Teaching children about race can be a tricky topic, but luckily, there are many great resources and books out there. Our new picture book, As Fast As Words Could Fly, takes a unique look at school desegregation, following an African American family in North Carolina in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. Based on the experiences of author Pamela Tuck’s father, it’s proof that just one young person could – and still can – make a big difference.