Resources for Teaching How Black Lives Matter at School

by Marsha Rakestraw News headlines remind us daily that racial injustice and violence and discrimination against Black people (and other people of color) continue to thrive, and the impact on people of color, especially children and families, is significant and long-lasting. With school systems in the US made up largely of white teachers, many schools…

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Blog Windows and Mirrors

Windows and Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors: Ensuring Students See Themselves and Others in Literature

by Cathy Potter In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop published an essay about the importance of providing young readers with diverse books that reflect the “multicultural nature of the world” in which we live. In the essay, Dr. Bishop coined the phrase “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors” to explain how children see themselves in…

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marisol doesn't match

5 Children’s Picture Books Celebrating Identity

by Marsha Rakestraw Even we adults struggle with our identity, so imagine how challenging it is for children, in a world full of mixed messages, stereotypes, and media and cultural pressures. Celebrating identity is a powerful and vital part of raising healthy, compassionate, thriving young citizens. Here are 5 children’s picture books that celebrate identity….

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father and son playing with dollhouse

11 Children’s Picture Books That Shatter Gender Stereotypes

by Marsha Rakestraw Just as we like to pretend that we live in a post-racial society, many of us want to avoid talking about sexism, stereotypes, and gender inequities. After all, women are CEOs and scientists and MMA fighters. And men can (sometimes) express their feelings (in certain cases), and can be stay-at-home dads and…

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Resources: Growing Changemakers

Growing Changemakers

Through this activity students will gain insight into their own lives, and will be able to connect how their past and who they are as individuals today will help guide them to become changemakers. Through collaboration with their peers, students will also be able to brainstorm ideas and actions for how they can realize their…

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books

9 Resources for Finding Multicultural Books for Children

by Marsha Rakestraw According to the latest figures from the National Center for Education Statistics, “black, Latino, Asian, and Native American students will together make up a narrow majority of the nation’s public school students,” yet the number of children’s books that feature characters of color are shamefully sparse. Studies show that having multicultural literature…

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13 Children’s Picture Books Whose Characters Have Special Needs

Occasionally the media focuses on those with particular challenges, such as animals with special needs and people whose likenesses – in the form of unique mannequins – shed light on the meaning of “perfect.” But the truth is, positive depictions in the public sphere of people and nonhuman animals who have special needs are not…

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Different kinds of Lego people lined up in rows on a grey surface

Where Are the People Like Me?

Students assess examples of  media (catalogs, magazines, books, etc.) to consider who is (and isn’t represented) and to explore the impact of lack of diversity in media and their own rich experiences with diversity. Recommended for grades 4-10. Time: 45-60 minutes

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Resources: Dare to be different

Dare to Be Different

What is prejudice? Why do some people judge others because of their differences? How can we make positive choices that reflect understanding, acceptance, and tolerance? Students learn about these issues and have a chance to “dare to be different” by altering their appearance for a day. Recommended for grades 3-5. Time: 1-2 days   Common…

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girl with blocks

12 Children’s Picture Books That Challenge Traditional Gender Roles

by Marsha Rakestraw Each May and June in the U.S. we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Moms usually receive pretty, smelly, “girly” stuff, and dad’s get yet another manly tie, cologne, or something to BBQ. Just one of the countless ways we perpetuate the stereotypes and biases about what women and men are supposed…

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