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 Menu
Introduction

TEACHING MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE: A Workshop for the Middle Grades explores a wide range of works, instructional strategies, and resources. Learn more at About This Workshop.
Meet the Authors


Previous Author Next Author
Interactive Workbook Channel-Talk

Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.

Share your views on the discussion board. Go.

The Workshops
Engagement and Dialogue

Workshop 1: Julia Alvarez, James McBride, Lensey Namioka, and more

Workshop 2: Judith Ortiz Cofer and Nikki Grimes

Research and Discovery

Workshop 3: Shirley Sterling and Laura Tohe

Workshop 4: Edwidge Danticat, An Na, Laurence Yep, and more

Historical and Cultural Context

Workshop 5: Christopher Paul Curtis

Workshop 6: Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore

Social Justice and Action

Workshop 7: Alma Flor Ada, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Paul Yee

Workshop 8: Joseph Bruchac and Francisco Jiménez


Thirteen/WNET
Purchase This Program About Graduate Credit About This Workshop Support Materials Site Map

Alma Flor Ada
"There is always a border to cross... There is a border: a border of language, a border of culture, a border of traditions, a border of the way of being that we need to negotiate and cross inside."
Go to workshop 7 to learn more

Julia Alvarez
"We have a tradition in Latin America of el testimonio, the testimony, bearing witness. The first step in the awakening of a people's fight for freedom is bearing witness, telling the story of where we have been in order to know where we are going."
Go to workshop 1 to learn more

An Na
"Read to familiarize yourself with other authors, read to understand craft, and read to inspire yourself to write. Write stories, write characters, write plays, write in your journal. It doesn't really matter, just as long as you are keeping that creative side of you full."
Go to workshop 4 to learn more

Joseph Bruchac
"I consider myself a person who has learned from and continues to learn from tradition. The best part of my writing is the storytelling, which means I can't take much credit for it because stories always know more than the storyteller does."
Go to workshop 8 to learn more

Photo: Horst

Barbara Chase-Riboud
"In this one monument I can pull in all the strings of my life and make one monument to the idea that there is an interaction between literature and poetry and sculpture."
Go to workshop 6 to learn more

Christopher Paul Curtis
"Our story has been defined by other people for so long... If everything were equal, it would be fine, but everything is not equal, and authentic stories by African American writers, by Native American writers, by Hispanic writers need to be told by those groups."
Go to workshop 5 to learn more

Edwidge Danticat
"I come from a very rich, strong, proud, and varied culture. There are so many aspects to Haitian culture that one person could not ever represent them all, and humbly and respectfully, I don't believe that this task is mine. I'm a weaver of tales. I tell stories."
Go to workshop 4 to learn more

Nikki Grimes
"I wanted to bring into the story characters you don't often see, because I'm always looking for opportunities to give voice to some segment of our culture that you don't often -- or maybe never -- hear from."
Go to workshop 2 to learn more

Joyce Hansen
"I have also been inspired by my students' creativity -- the way they twist, bend, enliven, deconstruct, and sometimes even destroy language. Their loves, hates, fears, feelings, and needs filter into my writing."
Go to workshop 6 to learn more

Langston Hughes
"A poet is a human being. Each human being must live within his time, with and for his people, and within the boundaries of his country."
Go to workshop 6 to learn more

Photo by: J.D. Sloan

Gish Jen
"I wanted to challenge ideas of what a 'typical American' looks like, to put forward the idea that the Changs are not any less American than anyone else... They ask themselves who they are, who they're becoming. And therefore, they are American."
Go to workshop 1 to learn more

Francisco Jiménez
"Though the migrant experience may not be everyone's experience, it is definitely part of the American experience... For the most part, these individuals have been invisible, and so I wanted to make sure that their voices would be heard."
Go to workshop 8 to learn more

Tina Lee
"Most folks stick to what and whom they know, and reading is one way to go to places and people we don't normally hang out with. Literature, like any art, has the potential to impact our behavior and how we treat each other."
Go to workshop 1 to learn more

Khoi Luu
"All of us, whether we are conscious of it or not, have come to embrace a heterogeneous cultural identity, and this hybridization distances us from the strict polarities of 'Vietnamese' and 'American' culture."
Go to workshop 1 to learn more

James McBride
"Essentially, I'm a storyteller, and I make my living by telling stories, be they music or nonfiction or fiction."
Go to workshop 1 to learn more

Christopher Moore
"Now it is an important statistic that from 1492 to 1776 there were 6.5 million non-native American people who came to the Americas. Of that 6.5 million, 5.5 million were Africans... That's a big part of the story to be left out."
Go to workshop 6 to learn more

Pam Muñoz Ryan
"I spend a lot of time thinking, remembering, daydreaming, imagining, pretending, and saying, 'What if?' ... I pursue the ideas that keep coming back to me; I ask myself, if I had only a few weeks to live, what would I write next? Then I write about that."
Go to workshop 4 to learn more

Photo by: Constance Myers

Walter Dean Myers
"The books come. They pour from me at a great rate. I can't see how any writer can ever stop. There is always one more story to tell, one more person whose life needs to be held up to the sun."
Go to workshop 4 to learn more

Photo by: Mike Bennett, Liberty Studios

Lensey Namioka
"While my books contain messages -- the need for understanding and tolerance -- I also try to make them as entertaining as possible."
Go to workshop 1 to learn more

Naomi Shihab Nye
"Those people unlike us: how to have empathy with them, for them? Those lives seemingly unlike our own: how are we connected, ultimately? We all sleep, eat, have dreams and loves and hopes and sorrows. I want writing to be connected to all of this."
Go to workshop 1 to learn more

Judith Ortiz Cofer
"I feel that there is this invisible umbilical cord connecting us and in my case, it became a literary umbilical cord. I feel that the life of my imagination began with the women of my family."
Go to workshop 2 to learn more

Shirley Sterling
"And we had everything taken away from us, including our language and customs and subsistence activities, by being sent to the residential school. But one thing you cannot stop is the storytelling."
Go to workshop 3 to learn more

Laura Tohe
"To write is powerful, even dangerous... Writing is a way for me to claim my voice, my heritage, my stories, my culture, my people, and my history."
Go to workshop 3 to learn more

Paul Yee
"I'll always be on the margins of formal Chinese culture. But I'm proud of where I come from: it's between two worlds, and although there are a lot of compromises to make, the margins of two cultures is a very interesting place to be."
Go to workshop 7 to learn more

Laurence Yep
"When I began writing science fiction, I never really thought about what I was doing... All my heroes were either alienated narrators or they were first-person narratives by aliens themselves. I was really developing an emotional vocabulary for myself as a Chinese American."
Go to workshop 4 to learn more

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