So many questions exist on how to connect themed lessons to core subject matter. State standards play such a strong role in creating meaningful lessons that it is difficult to plan lessons centered on diversity only, albeit the valuable lessons that could be learned from diversity education. Teachers and schools struggle to find a happy medium that utilizes the state standards for education while still allowing diversity to be relevant in the classroom.
What can Language Arts teachers do to help address issues of diversity, and yet maintain state standards? Below are a tips and suggestions for connecting diversity to Language Arts lessons.
- Read novels in class that highlight diversity. A couple great novels to consider are Seedfolks and Bronx Masquerade. Novels of this nature make it possible to address typical Language Arts standards like figurative language, character development, and theme while learning about different races and cultures..
- Read and study poetry by diverse authors. Explore the works of Latino, African American or Asian poets..
- Compare and contrast nonfiction works about an immigrant story or event..
- Write short RAFTs connected to novels and diversity. (A RAFT is a short piece of response writing for students where they are given: “R” a role to assume; “A” an audience to write for; “F” a form or type of writing to complete; and “T” a topic to write about.).
- Create researching activities like webquests that allow students to interact with technology while learning the standardized material at hand.
Explore the many other Diversity themes in the
* Photo courtesy of: http://www.burlingtongardens.org/Seedfolks.htm