The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, a professional development workshop, includes eight one-hour video programs, a comprehensive Web site, and a print guide. The workshop features the literature of African American, Asian American, Native American and Latino writers examined through four pedagogical approaches -- reader response, inquiry, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy. In the video programs, teachers from across the country demonstrate innovative strategies for using these multicultural works with high school students. Integrated with the classroom footage is background information on featured authors and analysis of their works by leading scholars, educators, and the authors themselves. The Web site includes a wealth of resources about the authors, literature, pedagogical theories, and teaching strategies. The workshop guide includes discussion questions, activities for workshop participants, and short works of literature featured in the series. Use these components for professional development in two-hour weekly group sessions, or on your own.
Video Program Descriptions
Session 1. Reader Response: Pat Mora and James Welch
Part I: In Santa Fe, New Mexico, Alfredo Lujan and his students explore the poetry of Pat Mora. Inspired by Mora, the students create and present their own poetry. Part II: Greg Hirst's students on the Fort Peck Reservation in Wolf Point, Montana, respond to James Welch's literature about contemporary Native American realities through a series of reading and writing activities.
Session 2. Reader Response: Keith Gilyard and Mourning Dove
Part I: Alfredo Lujan's students explore the poetry of Keith Gilyard. Gilyard reads his poem "the hatmaker" and prompts students to write their own poems in response. Part II: Greg Hirst's students engage in Native American storytelling. In response to Mourning Dove's collection of Salish Coyote tales, the students create and present their own stories.
Session 3. Inquiry: Rudolfo Anaya and James Baldwin
Part I: In Houston, Texas, Jorge Arredondo's students explore Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima and make connections with a mural depicting the struggles of Mexican Americans. Part II: In New York City, the students in Bo Wu's classroom read three works by James Baldwin. Sparked by their personal interests, the students research topics related to James Baldwin's works and collaborate to produce group Web sites.
Session 4. Inquiry: Tomás Rivera and Esmeralda Santiago
Part I: Jorge Arredondo and his students begin a unit on Tomás Rivera's ...y no se lo tragó la tierra (...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him). They meet a translator of Rivera's work, conduct Internet research based on themes in the novel, and interview members of the school community who emigrated from Mexico. Part II: Bo Wu's students explore Esmeralda Santiago's memoir When I Was Puerto Rican. Inspired by Santiago's style and structure, the students begin creating their own memoirs.
Session 5. Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón
Part I: In San Francisco, California, Betty Tillman Samb and her students explore Ishmael Reed's poem "Railroad Bill, A Conjure Man." Students meet Reed, who answers questions about his work. Part II: In San Bernadino, California, Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens and her students explore Graciela Limón's novel Erased Faces, about the Zapatista uprising. The teacher introduces students to the culture of Chiapas, Mexico, through a bilingual folktale and a dialogue with Limón.
Session 6. Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong
Part I: Betty Tillman Samb's students study the mythological themes and historical shifts of Kiowa culture through N. Scott Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain. Part II: Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens and her students tour Los Angeles's Chinatown with poet Russell Leong and explore the relationship between poetry and Tai Chi. Leong shares his poem "Aerogrammes" and leads the class in creating Japanese renga poems.
Session 7. Critical Pedagogy: Octavia E. Butler and Ruthanne Lum McCunn
Part I: In Brooklyn, New York, Cathie Wright-Lewis and her students investigate political, social, technological, and environmental issues in Octavia E. Butler's novel Parable of the Sower. Part II: In Portland, Oregon, Sandra Childs and her students discuss cultural and political issues as they relate to Ruthanne Lum McCunn's novel Thousand Pieces of Gold. Lum McCunn reads from her novel and talks with the students.
Session 8. Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada
Part I: Cathie Wright-Lewis and her students explore the spoken word tradition and the works of poet Abiodun Oyewole. Part II: Sandra Childs and her students study the history of Japanese American internment through the poetry of Lawson Fusao Inada. The students meet Inada and other members of the Japanese American community who were interned.
© Annenberg Foundation 2013. All rights reserved. Legal Policy.