Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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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
Workshop 1: Engagement and Dialogue
Overview
Authors and Literary Works
Julia Alverez
Biography
Work
Gish Jen
Biography
Work
Tina Lee
Biography
Work
Khot T. Luu
Biography
Work
James McBride
Biography
Work
Lensey Namioka
Biography
Work
Lensey Namioka
Biography
Work
Key References
Video Summary
Teaching Strategies
Commentary
Student Work
Resources
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.



Photo by: Mike Bennett, Liberty Studios
Authors and Literary Works
Biography

Lensey Namioka is a prolific writer of books for young adults and children. She is best known for the Zenta and Matsuzo Samurai series, tales of adventure and terror that chronicle the exploits of two 16th-century samurai warriors.

Namioka was born in Beijing, China, and came to America when she was nine years old. She attended Radcliffe College and the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied mathematics. Her husband, a college math professor, was born in Japan. The Namiokas live in Seattle, but Ms. Namioka has lived and traveled all over the world.

Half and Half is about Fiona Cheng, a girl whose mother is Scottish and father Chinese. Fiona is forever trying to figure out her identity, and to sort out the situations that come with her mixed heritage. Can a Chinese girl dance the Highland Reel with her Scottish grandfather?

In An Ocean Apart, a World Away, 16-year-old Yanyan dreams of becoming a doctor, a rare possibility for a woman in China in 1921. The solution is to go to school in America. When her Chinese boyfriend visits and wants to marry her, Yanyan must make another life-changing decision. "The gentle romance, the unusual historical setting, and the strong female character each contribute to the book's appeal, but its special strength is the voice of the narrator," observes School Library Journal.

Namioka has won many awards for her work. For instance, Ties That Bind, Ties That Break was named one of the American Library Association's 10 Best Books for Young People, and also won the California Young Reader Medal and the Washington State Governor's Writers Award. Namioka has also written travel books about Japan and China.

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