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Teaching Multicultural Literature : A Workshop for the Middle Grades
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Workshop 2: Engagement and Dialogue - Judith Ortiz Cofer and Nikki Grimes
Overview
Authors and Literary Works
Video Summary
Teaching Strategies
Commentary
Student Work
Resources
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.


Overview

The program begins with a profile of the writer Judith Ortiz Cofer and then moves to Vista, California, where Akiko Morimoto and her eighth-grade students read short stories by Ortiz Cofer. They respond personally to the works, examine the author's use of figurative language, and then make intertextual connections with books they've read throughout the school year. In a culminating project, the students create their own visual symbols to represent the characters and events in the text. They then explore works by Nikki Grimes and examine her craft as a writer. Grimes visits the classroom, answers questions about her work, and attends an after-school reading of student poetry.


As teacher educator Tonya Perry comments, Morimoto find many ways to "lift the text off the page." "She makes students comfortable with who they are and what they bring to the table, and then she tries to stretch them. Through these multicultural works, Morimoto exposes students to literature that takes them to unfamiliar places and helps them see and make connections to themselves."


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