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

[Teacher-talkmsmultilit] multicultural literature #8

From: Lindsay Ball <brynnsmom21_at_gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 23:33:07 -0400

Stereotypes are the subject of Lisa Espinosa's unit in her 7th grade
Language Arts class. She starts the unit with 'essential' questions to
help guide her students. She has the students read three novels that
include the subject of stereotypes: *The Circuit*, *The Heart of a Chief*,
and *Our America*. Ms. Espinosa uses *Chicano!* as another way to
introduce the topic. And she has the students fill out movie guides while
they watch. I like to use movie guides because it helps me guide the
students to the points I want them to take from the video. I also like the
use of non-fiction to introduce background information to get the students
read to read.

While the students read, Ms. Espinosa has them fill out a double-entry
journal. The journal is set up so that students can write down quotes or
sections that really stand out to them and the connections, feelings, and
thoughts that are associated with the text. I really like double-entry
journals. I think they are a great way to get students to dig a little
deeper with their thought process while reading.

Another activity that Ms. Espinosa has her students complete is the Venn
diagram. Because the novels she has choses shows a glimpse of prejudice
for three different groups of people, Latinos, African-Americans, and
Native Americans, the students need a way to organize and compare the
information they are given. The Venn diagram helps them do this. Venn
diagrams can help to synthesize a lot of different information.

Ms. Espinosa's unit ends with a picture activity. The students are sent
out in their communities to take pictures to document their lives and show
what life is like. I wish that I had seen more about this because I had so
many questions. Where did Ms. Espinosa get the cameras? How did she hold
the students responsible for the cameras? What exactly were they supposed
to take pictures of? I wish I had seen some examples. I did like how she
had a writing assignment to go along with the project and that students
were able to work at their own pace until the due date.
Lindsay Ball
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Received on Wed Apr 25 2012 - 07:05:19 EDT

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