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Multicultural Children’s Literature

Multicultural Children’s Literature
A Critical Issues Approach

April 2010 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Preparing K-12 teachers to address today's social, cultural, and critical issues using multicultural children's books

Written in an engaging style, this comprehensive text prepares K-12 teachers to address a wide range of contemporary social issues—such as violence, gender, war, terrorism, child labor, censorship, and disabilities—through multicultural children's literature. Each chapter includes sample lessons plans designed to encourage critical and creative thinking at the elementary and secondary levels and an annotated bibliography that makes it easy for teachers and librarians to choose multicultural children books that address specific critical issues.

Key Features

  • The evolution of multicultural children's literature is covered, including discussion of controversies and issues around its definitions and uses.
  • Reflection Questions for the Teacher provide readers with practical techniques they can use as they prepare lessons around a given critical issue.
  • Sample Response Lessons demonstrate how to address critical issues using multicultural literature in K-12 classrooms.  
  • An Annotated Bibliography at the end of each chapter lists specific multicultural children's books organized around each critical issue.

Part I: Taking a Critical Issues Approach
1. Introduction to Multicultural Children’s Literature: A Critical Issues Approach
Children’s Literature Defined  
Multicultural Children’s Literature  
A Brief Historical Overview  
Role of Multicultural Children’s Literature in Today’s Schools  
Critical Literacy and Multicultural Children’s Literature  
Forming Issues Into and Through Critical Literacy Lessons  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 1.1: Forming a Critical Literacy Lesson Using Educational Drama  
Examples of Responses to Lesson 1.1  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
2. The Essentials and Foundations of Multicultural Children’s Literature
Tracing a Brief History of Multiculturalism  
Multiculturalism to Multicultural Children’s Literature  
Multicultural Children’s Literature and Levels of Multiculturalism  
Defining Multicultural Children’s Literature  
The Need for Multicultural Children’s Literature  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 2.1: Check for Authenticity  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
3. Choosing Books and Reading Critically
Choosing Critical Children’s Books  
Reader Response  
Reading Aloud and Transactional Theory  
As the Experts: Authors, Parents, Educators, and Teachers  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 3.1: Change Is Not Easy  
Example of Response to Lesson 3.1  
Sample Response Lesson 3.2: Negotiating a Deal  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
Part II: Exploring Issues in Multicultural Children’s Literature
4. Responding to Censorship, Book Banning, and Controversies
What is Censorship?  
Intellectual Freedom and the First Amendment  
Why Are Books Censored?  
What Does Censorship Really Do?  
What do Authors, Publishers, Teachers, and Parents Say About Censorship?  
Useful Resources  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Web Sites of Organizations  
Sample Response Lesson 4.1: Censorship  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
5. Gender, Sexuality, and Equity
Gender Roles Portrayed in Children’s Literature  
Children’s Reading Preferences  
Gender Equity and Finding a Balance  
Some Considerations and Recommendations  
Children’s Books and Sexuality  
Sexuality Portrayed in Children’s Books  
Using Children’s Books to Promote Equity and Understanding  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 5.1: Gender Roles  
Sample Response Lesson 5.2: Gender and Coming of Age  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
6. Understanding or Justifying Violence
Defining Violence  
Justifying Violence in Children’s Books  
Steps to Counter Violence in the Media  
Gang Violence  
Traditional Tales and Violence  
Real Life, History, and Violence  
Understanding Violence  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 6.1: Violence  
Sample Response Lesson 6.2: Violence  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
Part III: Realities in Life and Multicultural Children’s Literature
7. War, Terrorism, Justice, and Freedom
Making Meaning: A Historical Perspective  
Making Meaning: A Current Perspective  
Making Meaning and Critical Connections  
Using Children’s Books to Address War, Terrorism, Justice, and Freedom  
Past Depictions  
Current Depictions  
Reading Authentic Accounts  
Finding Resilience in the Face of Adversity  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 7.1: Exploring Issues of War Using Educational Drama  
Example of Responses to Lesson 7.1  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
8. Prejudice, Bullying, Abuse, and Other Challenging Situations
Defining and Discussing Challenging Situations  
Child Labor  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 8.1: Poverty  
Sample Response Lesson 8.2: Foster Care  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
9. Disabilities and the Special Child
The Need for Representating Disabilities and Special Needs in Classrooms  
The Special Child  
Disabilities as a ‘Multicultural’ Group  
Children Who Are Health Impaired  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 9.1: Children With Special Needs  
Sample Response Lesson 9.2: Children With Special Needs  
Selected Annotate Bibliography  
10. Influences of a Digital World
The Internet, Television, and the Video Industry  
Digital Age Literature  
Computer Books and Programs  
Reflection Questions for the Teacher  
Sample Response Lesson 10.1:  
Sample Response Lesson 10.2:  
Selected Annotated Bibliography  
About the Author
About the Contributing Author

This is a great text for my Literature for Children course. This text provides perspectives on critical multicultural analysis, which is the focus of my course.

Dr Kim Archung
School Of Education, Claflin University
December 2, 2010

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ISBN: 9781412955225

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