10 Books That Celebrate DiversityIt's time to build your classroom library with books that celebrate diversity! These books are not just about having your students explore their own background. Read about different cultures from around the world. This is the foundation of a great social studies curriculum. Check out these 10 books that celebrate diversity!
Encounter by Brittany LubyThis story begins with a meeting between a French sailor and Stadaconan fisher. Read a different story from the traditional violent tales of colonization. Author Brittany Luby wants these histories to be remembered. In addition, she also desires readers to think critically and allow for the possibility that not all encounters were negative.
Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution by Laurie Halse AndersonThe American Revolution heroes in the history books are usually men. This lighthearted book provides an overview of many females who influenced how our country won its independence. Anderson's book is a great read for boys and girls alike.
Pink and Say by Patricia PolaccoThis is a story of friendship against all odds. Pink and Say are both Union soldiers. However, Say is white, and Pink is a soldier in the colored regiment. Pink risks his life to save a wounded Say. Overall, their lives are forever altered in the face of an oncoming Confederate army.
For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story by Rebecca Langston-GeorgeThe life of Malala Yousafzai, youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, comes to life in this vibrantly illustrated book. Malala's story opens doorways to many valuable conversations about racism, the importance of education, and when to stand up for what one believes in.
Africa is My Home: A Child of the Amistad by Monica EdingerMargu is a young girl taken from Sierra Leone and sold as a slave upon the Amistad. Her remarkable journey back to her homeland brings her into contact with such historical figures as John Quincy Adams.
Number the Stars by Lois LowryThe heroism of countless citizens during the German occupation of Denmark in WWII is told from the perspective of Annemarie Johansen, a ten-year-old Danish girl. When life becomes increasingly perilous for Jewish citizens, Annemarie's family gives shelter to her young Jewish friend, Ellen. This is the story of human connection in a time where it's seems hard to find goodness and kindness.
Dancing Home by Alma Flor AdaMargie, a Mexican-American fifth grader, often feels at odds with her Mexican roots. In addition, these feelings intensify when her cousin visits from Mexico. The immigrant experience is beautifully told in this story about the importance of family, friendship, and remembering who you are.
Paper Wishes by Lois SepahbanThis is the perfect literary piece to include in your existing social studies curriculum. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the lives of Japanese-Americans forever changed. This is the story of Manami, a young girl and her family whose lives were upended as they were removed from their home and sent to an internment camp.
Drita, My Homegirl by Jenny LombardDrita tells the story of a friendship between Drita (a refugee from Kosovo) and Maxie (a fast-talking tough girl). The book shows readers that the experiences of love and loss speak a universal language. When Drita begins attending her new school, she struggles to make friends. Maxie is less than welcoming until the two are forced together for a research project. Finally, things begin to change.
Civil Rights Puzzles
Overall, teaching about the Civil Rights Movement not only helps your students celebrate diversity. In addition, it also teaches them about empathy and understanding of sensitive topics.
I love using Civil Rights puzzles with my students to study the Civil Rights Movement. Topics include the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Little Rock Nine and Ruby Bridges. Of course, these puzzles are important during Black History Month. However, cultural diversity is also important to integrate into your curriculum all year long!
Share these fun puzzles with your students. Puzzles include ciphers, Morse code, cryptograms and a final 4 digit code based on the decoders/clues.
Use these puzzles as a way to introduce your Civil Rights unit or an activity to end a unit. Your students have a blast learning about important Civil Rights leaders and events in American history. How will you celebrate diversity in your classroom?
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