Week 9 Highlights: Whose Face Do I See? Multicultural Literature

23 03 2011

Here are a few highlights from our Week 9: “Whose Face Do I See? Multicultural Literature”

Essential Question: How can we create the conditions so that we learn to have empathy for others and value diversity in a global community?

Our essential question and collaborative critical inquiry led to questions like:

Whose culture is included in “multicultural”?

And if we plan to include texts in our canon from a diversity of cultures, should all cultures be included? Our guest, the mysterious Penelope, suggested that communities lacking diversity may not be as open to literature about diverse cultures. And Karen seconded.

Maureen cautioned that “we can’t ignore cultures just because we don’t agree with them” and CameraEye aka Linda gave a good example of Hitler Youth — “an eye-opening, brilliant non-fiction that really lays out how people immersed in the propaganda.” And Jen described an experience in which a representative of a controversial group was allowed to speak because we do need “to gain a broader perspective.”

We’ll address these questions again when we talk with MKO Frances Bradburn, Chair of the first Printz Committee, about the student’s right to read, intellectual freedom and censorship.

A good teaching point made (Micheline) was the need to introduce students to a culture that they may be reading about.

Frederik suggested that we consider the digital culture and how it may be influencing other cultures.

Bookcasts presented included The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin (Jen, Micheline, and Frederik) and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Scott, Maureen, and Karen).

Resources:
Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal by Naomi Shihab Nye

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose. National Book Award for Nonfiction for Young People 2010, 2010 Siebert Award for Nonfiction, Newberry Honor Book.

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