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International Literature

What are the potential benefits of using international books with children and young adults? Are there any downsides?  Can children get excited about reading books set in other countries, or books that are actually from other countries?

There are individual threads for novels from the international text set but one interesting idea we are exploring in class is using a collection of books from another country to evoke interest in the cultures of these countries, introduce styles and literary literary traditions, and spark interest in the world around us.

What are you discovering from working with a set of books from another part of the world, and what do you see as the possibilities for using world literature with children?

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Environmental Issues and Literature

There are many reasons why you might consider using literature to spark interest, provide information, and led to inquiry connected to environmental issues.  Having a set of books connected to a topic like endangered animals, water conservation, environmental stewardship… can broaden the scope of investigations into these topics.

So what ideas are you working with? In what ways do the books you have chosen benefit such explorations?

Diversity

Last year we saw much attention in the media to the lack of diversity in children’s books in the USA.  A new group We Need Diverse Books grew as it became more obvious that such a small number of character/authors/illustrators of color were able to get published.

Is it a significant issue?  Are we sorely lacking in culturally authentic books?  If so how do we go about ensuring that our children are able to see themselves depicted in the literature they encounter?

http://weneeddiversebooks.org/

Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Each person is reading books that fit within the general parameters of a genre.  Genres are really just constructs created over time… works of literature that share certain characteristics.  Not all authors write within the confines of a “genre”, but authors who write Contemporary Realistic Fiction for example often read Contemporary Realistic Fiction and over time we find echoes, patterns, connections between books in this genre.  There is a history; there are expectations.

So what is it that makes Contemporary Realistic Fiction identifiable.  How are these books different from other works of literature?

iwannabeyourshoebox

Genre: Historical Fiction

Each student is reading books that fit within the general parameters of a genre.  Genres are really just constructs created over time… works of literature that share certain characteristics.  Not all authors write within the confines of a “genre”, but authors who write Historical Fiction for example often read Historical Fiction and over time we find echoes, patterns, connections between books in this genre.  There is a history; there are expectations.

So what is it that makes Historical fiction identifiable.  How are these books different from other works of literature?

day of tears

Genre: Horror

Each student is reading books that fit within the general parameters of a genre.  Genres are really just constructs created over time… works of literature that share certain characteristics.  Not all authors write within the confines of a “genre”, but authors who write Horror for example often read horror and over time we find echoes, patterns, connections between books in this genre.  There is a history; there are expectations.

So what is it that makes horror identifiable as horror.  How are these books different from other works of literature?

lastapprentice

Genre: Science Fiction

Each student is reading books that fit within the general parameters of a genre.  Genres are really just constructs created over time… works of literature that share certain characteristics.  Not all authors write within the confines of a “genre”, but authors who write Science Fiction for example often read Science Fiction and over time we find echoes, patterns, connections between books in this genre.  There is a history; there are expectations.

So what is it that makes Science Fiction identifiable as Science Fiction.  How are these books different from other works of literature?

Michael Vey