Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources 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 4: Research and Discovery - An Na, Edwidge Danticat, Laurence Yep, and more
Authors and Literary Works
Video Summary
Teaching Strategies
Student Work
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.


In Clayton, Missouri, Kathryn Mitchell Pierce's sixth-grade students read works that explore issues of historical and contemporary immigration. Pierce uses "text sets" of multicultural picture books, poetry, and nonfiction to introduce the students to a wide range of perspectives and to set the stage for their novel study. The Students choose, and then discuss in literature groups, novels by An Na, Edwidge Danticat, Walter Dean Myers, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Laurence Yep. In culminating presentations, they synthesize themes and pose thought-provoking questions that invite others to examine these novels in new ways. This program features author profiles of Laurence Yep and Edwidge Danticat.

Pierce's goal is to have students come away from the unit thinking about injustice and inspired to do something about it. Teacher educator Jerome Harste comments, "Often curriculum stays at an intellectual level, not at a social practice level. And what we need to do is open up space in our classrooms so that kids can position themselves differently. [So they can ask], 'What kind of new social action should we be taking? How should we be talking about this?' Then they have the kind of agency that education should be about."

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