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Teaching Multicultural Literature : A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Workshop 1 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 Workshop 4 Workshop 5 Workshop 6 Workshop 7 Workshop 8
About
Overview
Teaching Mulitcultural Literature
About the Contributors
Production Credits
Registration and Materials
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.

Teaching Multicultural Literature

Multicultural Literature
In the broadest sense, "multicultural literature" can refer to works that deal with issues of race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and nationality. This workshop features literature by and about North American authors of color.

Pedagogy
Throughout the eight-part workshop, teachers draw on a range of pedagogical approaches and strategies. While these frequently overlap, workshops are organized in pairs, highlighting the featured approach.

Workshops 1 and 2: Engagement and Dialogue
In these workshops, students reflect on and share their personal responses to the literature. Teachers facilitate questions and conversations, challenging students to build on their initial reactions to develop a more complete understanding of the works, their social contexts, and the author's craft.

Workshops 3 and 4: Research and Discovery
These workshops highlight an inquiry-based approach to teaching. Students take the lead in determining the projects they will take on, how and what they will investigate, and how they will present what they've learned.

Workshops 5 and 6: Historical and Cultural Context
These workshops emphasize exploration of historical and cultural context as a way to promote deeper understanding of the literature. They feature activities with strong interdisciplinary connections.

Workshops 7 and 8: Social Justice and Action
In these workshops, teachers use the literature to prompt students to examine issues of social justice. Related activities help students recognize the power of their voices and their roles as active citizens who can effect change.

Standards
Each workshop reflects the Standards for the English Language Arts as outlined by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA).

Visiting Authors and Community Members
Many of the programs feature visiting authors, experts, and/or community members. Inviting guests into the classroom is important in any curriculum, but it is especially powerful when teaching multicultural literature. To facilitate this, teachers may want to check with department chairs, librarians, or curriculum coordinators to find out about local writers-in-residence. Teachers can also check with local bookstores, public libraries, and universities to find out about readings by visiting authors. Another option to consider is sharing a writer's travel costs with a nearby school. As an alternative, teachers might bring videos of author interviews -- from this series or other sources -- into the classroom.

The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School:
The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School is a workshop that highlights literature and teaching strategies that may be of interest to middle grade teachers. Although mature themes or challenging vocabulary may make some of the featured works inappropriate for students in grades five through eight, a number of them are suitable for skilled readers. Many of the pedagogical strategies can be effective with younger students as well.

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