As more and more learning is now taking place at home, there are some steps parents can take to further their child's literacy development. Done well, the right book can have a similar effect as a day in the classroom. On this week’s Wisdom Wednesday, we will discuss the importance of inclusive literature. As we educate younger minds, we need to be very intentional about the resources we have in our classrooms, our libraries and our lessons.
Our communities are becoming more multicultural and it is important to include diversity within the curriculum. When classes resume, it will allows for all students in a classroom to share a sense of belonging, and for your child to better connect with and respect others. It is also important for our more homogeneous communities, as it allows for the student to learn about others and develop a better understanding of our fellow human beings.
Below are a few suggestions for some effective books you can share with your children. We have included links for online ordering so you can gain these resources with little to no contact risk.
Families, by Susan Kuklin
Recommended for Grades 4-5
Combining interviews and engaging color photos, this book shows the diversity of families in America. Includes mixed-race, immigrant, two-dad, two-mom and single parent families and families for whom religion is a focal point.
This book includes the LGBT community, and people of different race and religion. It teaches students about the different types of families that exist.
We recommend this to help your child adapt to situations that might come up in and around the school.
Muskrat Will be Swimming, by Cheryl Savageau
Recommended for Grades 1-5
A heartwarming tale of the lesson a girl learns from a Seneca creation story her grandfather tells her — a lesson of knowing who you are and staying strong in the face of hurtful criticism.
This book addresses issues of self-identity and native American culture. It teaches students how ancient tales of native American cultures can be utilized to help children find their way in the world.
Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky
Recommended for Grades 5-7
Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside. Strengthened by an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher who gives her a chance to step into the spotlight, Grayson has the tools to let her inner light shine.
This book addresses LGBT identities. It teaches students about the power of inclusion, and acceptance.
Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis
Recommended for Grades 1-8
“Today I feel silly. Mom says it’s the heat. I put rouge on the cat and gloves on my feet. I ate noodles for breakfast and pancakes at night. I dressed like a star and was quite a sight. Today I am sad, my mood’s heavy and gray…”
A storybook that examines at the wide range of human emotions. The girl in the book describes the possible moods that everyone can experience each day.The book helps students explore, identify, and have fun with their ever-changing moods. This book can be used to help students be aware of their emotions and can lead to a self-regulation discussion.
The Diamond Willow Walking Stick, by Leah Marie Dorion (Norman Fleury)
Recommended for Grades 3-6
A young Métis boy learns from his grandparents about the importance of generosity. Their belief in the circle of life extends to sharing what you have without reservation, as your return will be fourfold. The boy learns from the example of both of his grandparents and observes the respect in which they are held in the community. Eventually he must put this belief into practice himself by giving away his most treasured possession, the diamond willow walking stick.
This book addresses topics on generosity and the Métis culture. It informs students of other cultures.
King & King, by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
Recommended for Grades 1-5
One day, a queen decides she’s had enough of ruling, and it’s time for her son to find a suitable princess and get married. The prince agrees, though he’s never much cared for princesses… and none of the ones who show up manage to change his opinion. Then in walks the last princess, beautiful golden-haired Princess Madeleine–and her brother, Prince Lee. It’s love at first sight, and the two princes, known as King & King, live happily ever after.This book addresses gender stereotypes and teaches children to be open to everybody’s differences.