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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woman looking into rows and columns of screens, each of which has a different person on it

11 Activities to Help Students Understand Different Perspectives

by Marsha Rakestraw In mid-January, two boys, ages 12 and 13, killed more than 500,000 bees and destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of property. Allegedly just for kicks. In December 2017, a young Muslim woman was attacked on a transit train in Vancouver, Canada. Most people watched; only one young man intervened. Incidences of…

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Caring When Caring Hurts

by Shannon Finch I admit it, I am sensitive. As a child, people thought my sensitivity was cute. As I got older, my sensitivity often exasperated my family. People teased; it wasn’t malicious, but it was patronizing and hurtful. I started to think that sensitive people were weak, whiny, and self-indulgent. Sensitive is defined as…

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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: Mouse vs. Zucchini

Mouse vs. Zucchini: A Lesson on Perspective

Using a brief video featuring a mouse and a zucchini on a kitchen counter, students will consider the issue of perspective and discover and think about the perspectives of other people and of nonhuman animals. Recommended for grades 2-7. Time: 30 minutes

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newspaper racks

Who’s Missing From Mainstream Media? (lesson plans)

by Marsha Rakestraw A few years ago at our graduate student residency, one of the students led an activity in which small groups looked at the prevalence of men, women, and people of color as authors of articles in different sections of the newspaper, such as Style, Sports, Business, and Arts. They found that men…

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