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Inclusive Texts in Elementary Classrooms

Developing Literacies, Identities, and Understandings

Amy J. Heineke Aimee Papola-Ellis

192 pages
Teachers College Press

Learn how to put children’s diverse and storied experiences at the center of the curriculum. Schools are more diverse than ever before, but the texts and materials that typify classroom curricula continue to prioritize so-called mainstream stories and perspectives. These canonical texts often exclude the nuanced identities and rich lived experiences of the very children sitting in today's classrooms. But kids thrive when they see themselves in texts and learn about the world around them by connecting with the experiences of others. Based on the authors’ work with elementary school teachers over the last decade, this resource offers strategies for moving away from canonical texts. The authors present a four-part framework for selecting, using, and engaging students with texts that promote children’s identity development, literacy engagement and comprehension, and learning across the content areas. The practical text provides guidance for setting learning goals that align with relevant standards and curricular directives, as well as classroom examples, teaching strategies, and reflective questions.

Book Features:

  • An actionable way for teachers to move from theory to practice, using what we know about culturally relevant practice and critical literacy to create instruction that enhances children’s classroom experiences and learning.
  • An inclusive and intersectional approach that supports all teachers in enhancing their classroom libraries and curricular resources for the benefit of all students.
  • Specific ideas for texts and authors, as well as more generalizable themes and ideas that will guide future exploration and use of texts in classrooms.
  • Tangible strategies and rich classrooms examples from 20 expert teachers spanning diverse elementary school settings.
  • Reflective questions to help practitioners personalize the content to their own contexts.
Author Bio

Amy J. Heineke is a professor of multilingual teaching & learning at Loyola University Chicago. Aimee Papola-Ellis is an associate professor of reading and literacy at Loyola University Chicago.