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Teaching Multicultural Literature : A Workshop for the Middle Grades
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Channel Talk


[Teacher-talkmsmultilit] Teaching Multicultural Literature Workshop #1

From: Lindsay Ball <brynnsmom21_at_gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2012 22:53:45 -0400

Watching the first workshop video in the Teaching Multicultural Literature
reiterated much of what I know and believe about teaching. I have always
felt that it is important to add multiculture literature to the reading
list. I agree with a contributer on the video who said, "multicultural
literature can give a window into another culture." This can be
important to all students because the literature can help them understand
groups of people they may otherwise not.

I very much enjoyed seeing Carol O'Donnell's classroom. Her thematic unit
of "Dual Identities and Multiple Worlds" is presented in a very thought
provoking way. She introduces the idea that people can identify with more
than one culture, ethnic group, religion, or economic class, and that this
beloning to multiple worlds can affect them in many ways. All of her
students, all of us, can relate.

Ms. O'Donnell uses many different strategies to connect her students to the
literature and the theme. She pulls in the census and historical documents
to do this. I really liked this idea. What a great way to make the theme
come to life for each student.

I was very impressed with Ms. O'Donnell's classroom and students. I
especially liked the Peer Facilitation Circle. Ms. O'Donnell asks students
to come prepared with questions, quotes, or reactions to the texts they are
reading. The Circles are an opportunity for students to learn from each
other. Students can answer each other's questions and Ms. O'Donnell is not
the only teacher.

I wonder how Ms. O'Donnell does it. How does she get her students to not
only participate, but also take it seriously? She must begin with her high
expectations at the beginning of the year.

I was very impressed with Ms. O'Donnell and will use her techniques in my
classroom.

Lindsay Ball
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Received on Wed Apr 11 2012 - 08:34:08 EDT



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