Literature if used correctly can enhance a child’s life. It can become a valuable tool in helping children to understand their home, communities and the world in which they live. Through literature children’s vocabulary, imaginations, and self understanding is built. Children should be exposed to literature that is age appropriate and within the context of learning respect for themselves and others by the diversity of the books. My literature plan is based upon multicultural diversity which reinforces reading readiness, read-along that emphasis multicultural songs and rhymes, build self esteem through art, music and movement and responses to literature.
Children are unlikely to connect to the classroom environment if they cannot see images of themselves. According to Agosto (2007) children should have a sense of belonging and the aspects of their culture should be represent in the school environment. The criteria for choosing multicultural literature titles should be based upon students being exposed to people and characters such as themselves. When choosing books about these cultures the following guidelines from Clegg et al. describes what to look for in multicultural books from various author’s:
Joseph Bruchac states, choose books that show characters as true Native Americans and not as Indians. When selecting Native American literature be prepared to show the culture of the Native American’s today. Also, how they show great respect for living things.
Gary Soto states, Mexican-American books should be from the culture. Also, books that use Spanish words and phrases show respect for the culture; many books have English guides to help.
Floyd Cooper states, portraying African-Americans characters authentically in the illustrations should be true to the culture and should feel as they are someone you can connect. Don’t combine the history of the North with the South, or urban with rural settings.
Patricia Polacco states that books should do a good job bridging the gap by having respect for the people who are different. Give the correct portrayal of Jews with strong plots and believable characters.
Yumi Heo states wrote two books that correctly depicted the Korean immigrant experience. Choose books that exhibit values of Asian cultures such as respect for elders. Be sure to include setting from the United States as well as other countries providing cultural roots for Asian-American students.
While choosing multicultural literature the story should be interesting to the children, characters should represent the culture of the people, the illustrations should represent diversity, and most of all the books should be age appropriate.
Today’s classroom is very diverse and the activities should represent the classroom culture. The development of children is centered on what is taught in the classroom. Therefore, the language, intellectual, personality, social and moral, and aesthetic and creative development of preschool age...