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Multicultural Literature

booksMany awards and literature celebrations are held this time of year, which makes it a perfect time to look at multicultural literature. The following materials from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org provide more resources on the topic of multicultural literature.

The Language Arts article Transactional Theory and the Study of Multicultural Literature works to answer the question, “Is transactional reader response theory still a viable and valid theoretical guide for the study of multicultural literature?”

In Understanding the Questions: A Community-Centered Approach to the Teaching of Multicultural Literature from Voices from the Middle, the authors challenges her preservice students to expand their understanding of “culture” beyond racially specific contexts and into the many roles people play within the communities to which they belong—local, regional, national, racial, religious, language, etc.

Author Jaime Wood offers middle school English language arts teachers material for teaching poetry by Nikki Giovanni, Li-Young Lee, and Pat Mora in her text Living Voices: Multicultural Poetry in the Middle School Classroom. The text includes graphic organizers and other resources. Also see the ReadWriteThink.org  lesson plans based on this text.

In the English Journal article Taking a Cultural-Response Approach to Teaching Multicultural Literature the author highlights the use of a cultural-response approach and the article presents several activities that can give teachers confidence to explore the cultural differences in diverse texts and provide “ways to help their students discuss these differences and enhance cross-cultural understanding.”

Thinking Differently about Difference: Multicultural Literature and Service-Learning an article from Teaching English in the Two-Year College, presents a project where service-learning was combined with multicultural literature study in a general education first-year course can encourage students to theorize difference from multiple perspectives.

Multicultural Hybridity: Transforming American Literary Scholarship and Pedagogy, a text from NCTE, explores the difference paradox in multicultural literary studies, the seemingly inescapable contradiction between two competing impulses: how do we acknowledge difference when it comes to multicultural literature but simultaneously treat all texts equally and as equal parts of the body of work and discipline long referred to as American literature? Read more in the sample chapter.

How do you use multicultural literature?