My 2nd-grade learners are active and inquisitive about the world. They love lessons that involve movement, novelty, and flexibility. Many are just learning English, the majority are impacted by poverty- but these factors do not impact their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
There is a great deal of need at my Title I school, but more than anything, my 2nd graders need a safe, loving, and engaging space where they can just be seven and eight-year old kids.
I work each day to create this for them, so that when they come to school they can give all of their focus and attention to the hard and wonderful work of learning.
Multicultural picture books are a powerful tool to help my 2nd graders understand their own cultures and the cultures of others. This can deepen their knowledge of one another, strengthening relationships and bridge gaps between students from different backgrounds. My classroom library needs more books that reflect the diverse backgrounds of my students.
When my students see themselves and their peers in the books that they read they are given the important message that their culture is valued and recognized.
Research shows that multicultural literature fosters self-esteem and builds empathy and understanding among students. My class is made up of students from many cultures including Indigenous Native American, Latino, African American, South Asian and Russian backgrounds. It is essential that they have books that reflect and validate their family, community and cultural experiences.
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