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A Day to Celebrate Children and Books!

calendar_20716_dia-de-los-ninos_160wEl día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), developed under the leadership of author Pat Mora, is an April event (Celebrated on April 30) that focuses on the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. Plan your celebration by tapping these ideas and resources suggested in the following articles and lesson plans.

In the Talking Points article, “Connecting Students to Culturally Relevant Texts” Yvonne Freeman and David Freeman argue the importance of providing students with culturally relevant books and discuss their criteria for deciding if a book is culturally relevant to a particular child. The ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan Assessing Cultural Relevance: Exploring Personal Connections to a Text cites this article.

Collaborative Voices Exploring Culturally and Socially Responsive Literacies” an article in Language Arts shares how preservice teachers were introduced to literacy as social, cultural, and critical practices. The article also raises important debates about what is valued in language arts education.

Being aware of the kinds of multicultural literature used in the ELA classroom, and making sure to include literature attentive to differences within and beyond one’s nation for students to engage is a job for all of us, as explained by the English Journal article “Reading Nation and World: Cultivating Culturally and Critically Reflexive Readers”.

Writing Instruction in the Culturally Relevant Classroom offers specific ideas for how to teach writing well and in a culturally relevant way. Drawing on research-based understandings from NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing, the authors demonstrate how these principles support an approach to writing instruction that can help all students succeed. Listen to the authors discuss how culturally relevant pedagogy is important for all students, across all content areas, as they share the work of four classroom teachers.

Respecting learners – and educators – as individuals with culturally defined identities is just one of eight core principles outlined in The Conference on English Education Position “Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education.

Tune into the ReadWriteThink.org podcast “Latino Literature for Teens” for text recommendations and visit ReadWriteThink.org to learn more about El día de los niños/El día de los libros.