Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Engagement and Dialogue: Judith Ortiz Cofer and Nikki Grimes Student Work
This section features sample work from Workshop video 2, in which Akiko Morimoto’s students explored works by Judith Ortiz Cofer and Nikki Grimes. The samples include:
- An illustration drawn as a visual representation of the short story, “An Hour with Abuelo,” by Judith Ortiz Cofer. (See Teaching Strategies: Creating Visual Representations and Symbols.)
- A poem written by a student after exploring Nikki Grimes’s Bronx Masquerade, and performed in an afterschool open microphone session. (See Teaching Strategies: Open Microphone.)
As you review the student’s work, consider the following questions:
- What do you notice that this student did well?
- What questions might you ask this student about his or her work?
Workshop 6 Historical and Cultural Context: Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore
Stanlee Brimberg and his students in New York City study the important contributions of African Americans to the United States and the recent discovery of the African Burial Ground in Manhattan through factual texts, video, art, photography, and poetry. The students interview writer, historian, and documentary filmmaker Christopher Moore to learn more about the everyday experiences of African slaves in early New York. They examine the works of Langston Hughes, and then — drawing on all of the texts — they write their own poetry and engage in peer review. As a culminating activity, the students take a field trip to the African Burial Ground Memorial, and then design their own postage stamps to commemorate the site.