Help me give my students a sense of comfort in knowing their heritage, life experiences, and families are valued, represented and welcomed in our country. These books all mirror the beautiful rainbow of colors that are my students.
My students come from a wide variety of racial, ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. All of my third grade students are discovering who they are as people and how they identify themselves. Many of my students are immigrants or first-generation Americans, and some of my students are refugees. Many of my children do not want to be defined by traditional gender roles, and I do my best to support all of them in feeling safe, accepted, and celebrated. I try to include and represent all of their beautiful backgrounds and family histories in the ways that I teach and the images they see in my classroom.
I will use all these books as read-alouds. The joy and pride my students feel when they hear a book that is about them and their culture is so empowering. They light up and feel so valued as a member of our classroom community. And the classroom discussions allow all students to learn empathy and tolerance.
My students feel excited to share more about their culture and background when we have read a book about it, which allows all of us to be more educated and accepting of each other's differences.
The more we learn about each other the less we fear our differences and see them more as a gift to be shared.
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