Looking for global literature

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By Kelly Clark
kelly.clark@education.ky.gov

Trying to add global literature to your classroom or lesson plans? Two resources from Primary Source guide teachers in adding multiple viewpoints through literature and stories to avoid the danger of “a single story” about cultures.

By the way, if you haven’t seen Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk about the “The Danger of a Single Story,” click the link to watch it. Only by finding your own authentic cultural voice, can you listen to the stories of others.

Primary Source offers its 6th annual Global Read. This is a free teaching toolkit with resources, reviews and background materials for teaching global texts in your classroom. The most recent toolkit features “Looking for Transwonderland,” a travel memoir about modern Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa.

This site contains lists of award-winning literature by grade levels and countries along with graphic novels and author talks. The site also contains excellent book lists and websites for exploring and using multicultural and global literature in your lessons and classroom libraries.

If you have existing literature and you need a way of discerning how unbiased or diverse it might be, the site also has several tools to use for critically evaluating text. I like this one-page questionnaire to spark discussion and thinking about text I might use in the classroom. Making intentional and deliberate use of text that speaks to authentic, equal and inclusive writing is one way to bring the world inside your class.

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