Creating a Diverse Reading Curriculum for Any Grade

Creating a Diverse READING Curriculum forFor some subjects, using a boxed curriculum works, but when it comes to teaching Reading, it can be very difficult to find one that includes diverse viewpoints.

One of the things that I think about when planning my daughter’s Reading course of the study is how to “color the canon” and provide a variety of writers of color in with the typical white authors.

However, before choosing the reading material, it is important to look at the what The Tornado needs to learn to become a proficient reader. Reading is a skill and it is more than just being able to pronounce or define the words on a page.

(Note: If you are looking for a program that teaches your child HOW to read, I suggest All About Reading and All About Spelling.)

Good Readers:

1. MAKE CONNECTIONS:

  • Good readers make connections between what they’re reading and what they already know from past experience or previous reading.

2. VISUALIZE

  • Paint a picture in your head – imagine the setting, characters, and actions or description of the text.

3. PREDICT

  • What will happen next?
  • Read to confirm or revise your prediction.

4. SET GOALS

  • Have a purpose for reading before you begin.
  • What will you be reading for?

5. ASK QUESTIONS

  • Ask yourself questions as your read.
  • See if the text answers your questions.

 6. ADJUST READING SPEED

  • Good readers monitor the text they are reading and adjust their speed accordingly.

 7. CLARIFY

  • Make sure you understand what your are reading:
  • Reread unfamiliar vocabulary, use what your already know about the topic to help you understand.

8. SUMMARIZE

  • Sum up to check your understanding.
  • Reread if you don’t understand.
  • Put the main ideas in your own words.

In the early grades (elementary) these skills are modeled using read-alouds and questioning. The more you do this with your child, the better equipped they will be to do them for themselves. Remember, these are skills that we do naturally but children must be taught to do and must be allowed to practice.

Of course there are other things that you should consider when planning your curriculum.  Students will need to identify the following:

THE ELEMENTS OF FICTION

  • Plot (Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution)
  • Setting
  • Characters (Protagonist, Antagonist, Flat, Dynamic, Round, Static)
  • Characterization (Direct and Indirect)
  • Conflict (Internal  and External)
  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Point of View
  • Theme
  • Symbolism

Of course, if your child is in first grade you don’t have to teach all of these, but your child should be able to understand, identify, and explain these by the end of middle school.

And now we choose reading material. I consider myself a classical homeschooler in that I do believe that my daughter needs to be familiar with those authors of “The Classics,” but I include other authors as well. Here are some suggestions for adding diverse writers.

Poetry and Poets

Novels

Picture Books

For more, check out my friend Candace’s blog and Latino’s for Lit.

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2 comments

  1. Peace Kristina,
    The Universe truly does respond to our needs…if only we are bold enough to envision it. You are a visionary a “Anna Caona” (Taina Chief who fought to the end against colonizers), a Wombyn giving birth to your vision, to your people.

    Thank you for being a part of my village.
    I’ve had ‘writer’s block’ due to an immense amount of stress (from the horrific school year) shame and guilt the principal at our school caused us. I took a very strong stance on issues which parents (Black, White or Asian) feel powerless against and my daughter lost her best friend. Everyone I spoke to last year, parents, (former) teachers, administrators and of course students all agreed with me about the lack of learning in our MCAS-driven district; No one was brave enough to be in true solidarity. Because Nani is an only child, this was a huge blow to our family.

    This is an amazing list, many thanks. So, now I will set out to source these on a shoe-string budget!

    In solidarity,
    Nani and Viviana

    • You are very welcome. I am happy to help when I can. Use the library. Some don’t fine children for late fees and if that is the case, get your daughter a library card and take out as many of the books as you need.

      Also, the anthology Discovering Fiction has a very good selection of short stories from diverse backgrounds.

      Good luck!

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