Multicultural Understanding through Literature Shirley Koeller Children read more literature than textbooks and enjoy literature more than expository text O'Brien and Stoner One reason is that imaginative prose and poetry offer affective and aesthetic views of others' lives and the joys and sorrows people know Norton ; Wagner Because of its vivid setting and dramatic events, literature is also an excellent means of traveling to the heart of social issues like freedom, justice, liberty, and human and civil rights, as well as the underside of society, represented by social problems and decay. Avid readers believe that literature enriches them.
Activity Day 1 1. At the beginning of the period, have the following questions written on the board: How does the place in which you live affect the kind of person you become? Think about the ways in which you are affected by your continent, your country, your state, your city, all the way down to your neighborhood.
How do these elements of your environment shape who you are? Begin a 15 minute class discussion about the question of the day.
Examine each step of this hierarchy continent, country, state, city, and neighborhood and how these spheres of our environment affect us. You may even wish to break students into groups to have small, separate discussions about how each sphere influences us.
To do this, assign one group of students to each of the following questions: How does living on the North American continent affect our perspectives? Students should be assembling and sharing their prior knowledge of the cultural, societal, and environmental influences on people.
Encourage the class to think about the differences between them and someone who lives in a different continent, country, state, city, or neighborhood. Students should begin to see the many ways in which these factors influence our actions, ideas, and beliefs.
Explain to the class that they are going to be reading a variety of fictional texts which reflect the different cultural and societal perspectives of the characters.
If you prefer, you may have the class begin reading the text silently. Depending on the ability levels of your students, you can have them read half the story and discuss the following questions, then finishing the reading for homework, or have the class read the story entirely in class, saving the questions for homework.
How would you describe the setting or environment in which the story takes place? Think about the continent, country, city, and neighborhood.
What kind of house does this family live in? What part of town do they live in? Compare and contrast the attitudes of the mother, father, and daughter toward Charles Andrews at the beginning of the story and then at the end. Does their view of him change? What kind of man is Charles Andrews?
How can you tell? What sets him apart from the Le Roux family? What cultural and societal values show in his manner? Why do you think Mrs. What might the carpets represent to her? Le Roux think of the carpets?
Le Roux trust Mr. Why do you think Mr. Andrews was able to trick him into buying the carpets? How did their respective values and beliefs play into this transaction?
How does the author bring a sense of her African culture into the story? What affect does this have on the reader?
Take the first 10 minutes of class to discuss the reading from the previous day, examining how cultural and societal values influenced each of the characters.
Ask the class if they found anything about the story surprising or ironic. Also find out how the students can relate the story to their own lives i.
Just as cultural values affect our perspectives, the ideals embraced by particular social classes can affect us as well.
Sometimes the values of society can steer the future in directions we cannot foresee. Allow the class to separate into groups to discuss the story, using the following questions as a guide students may choose a recorder to write down their answers: Describe the setting and mood at the beginning of this story.
Where does it take place? What is the general feeling of the story?
Reading and writing are reciprocal (Cairney ; Moss ). Literature often inspires readers to write. Literature often inspires readers to write. Writing about reading can further maturity, conceptual knowledge, and the . Olson has also published over thirty journal articles on interactive strategies for teaching writing, fostering critical thinking through writing, applying multiple intelligences theory to language arts instruction, using multicultural literature with students of culturally diverse backgrounds, and more. I often think back to that day and wonder if his opinion would be different if schools put more multicultural literature in their reading curriculum. Before I started writing professionally, I was a high school English teacher, reading and teaching the same books I read while in high school.
What kind of world does the narrator live in?Chapter 8 Downloads. Human Cultural Bingo Game; Recommended Works of Multicultural Literature for the Secondary Classroom; The Keeping QuiltFamily Tree; Instructions for Quilt Square.
Reading, Thinking, & Writing About Multicultural Literature Paperback – May 1, by Carol B. Olson (Author) Be the first to review this item. See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions.
Price New from Used from Paperback "Please retry" Author: Carol B. Olson. Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study.
The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied. I often think back to that day and wonder if his opinion would be different if schools put more multicultural literature in their reading curriculum.
Before I started writing professionally, I was a high school English teacher, reading and teaching the same books I read while in high school. Thinking Differently about Difference: Multicultural Literature and Service-Learning an article from Teaching English in the Two-Year College, presents a project where service-learning was combined with multicultural literature study in a general education first-year course can encourage students to theorize difference from multiple perspectives.
Students sometimes have limited views of the wide range of cultural and societal trends which influence both fiction and non-fiction writing.
This short multicultural unit will encourage students to think about ways in which cultural beliefs and societal values are reflected in literature.