Learning to Live in a Diverse and Sometimes Confusing World
My students need diverse texts, such as "The Sun is Also a Star," which deals with immigration and racism, in order to explore, understand, and learn how to discuss and act to change difficult world issues.
My students are diverse (in skills and culture), involved, vibrant, and enthusiastic; however, in our high poverty school, many struggle with having basic school supplies, clothes, and food. Many are involved in extra-curriculars, such as student leadership, cheer, sports, band, choir, and clubs.
Many of my students are not living in homes filled with books.
They need to be involved in a reading community, which I try to create in our class. Most of them do become readers and fall in love with books in my classroom, as well as other classrooms. They just need more books in their lives!
Today's world is diverse in so many ways, and it can be extremely confusing to understand and to know how to react in a positive way in order to change things for the better. We often say we have come a long way in issues such as racism, sexism, etc. But it is difficult to find concrete examples of progress. With leaders and adults often fighting in public forums over these difficult situations, how can we expect children to learn to navigate these issues?
Each of the books deals with different types of oppression and social inequity; "All American Boys" deals with an issue we see all too often these days, racial violence between the police and African American males.
This gives the students a chance to see the world through someone else's eyes, a different perspective, allowing them to begin to empathize and understand. Perspective is the beginning of growth, kindness, and empathy.
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