November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Resource Roundup: Teaching and Curriculum Supports on Antibias and Social Justice

In the wake of the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA, this past weekend, educators around the country are grappling with how to address current events in the classroom and create space for meaningful discussions about racism, bigotry, and violence. As the start of a new school year looms, teachers are faced with an educational—and moral—obligation to help young people process what’s happening in the news and within their own neighborhoods and cities. Numerous organizations and associations have stepped up to offer lesson plan ideas, discussion guides, links to thought-provoking articles, and excellent booklists for a range of ages and reading levels, sharing them via #CharlottesvilleCurriculum on Twitter. We’ve collected some of the best resources below and added a few of our own picks. We encourage you to share your own recommendations, links, and curriculum ideas in the comments section below.

classroom and curriculum support

Inservice: educate yourself

Booklists

A Social Justice Book List curated by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. Selected by an outstanding group of educators, this list contains over 200 titles on racism, homophobia, classism, xenophobia, religious persecution, sexism, and more. The list is divided into five main sections: Early Learning, Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Teachers.

Standing Up for What’s Right: LiteracyConnections by Rachel Roseberry. The Literacy Manager at ExpandED Schools, a New York City based nonprofit dedicated to closing the learning gap by increasing access to enriched educational experiences, recommends using literature as a starting point for difficult conversations and suggests titles across three categories: Younger Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle School.

Books to Help Kids Understand the Fight for Racial Equality from Brightly. A selection of 11 titles, including picture books, middle grade, and YA (mostly nonfiction), including several from beloved authors Jacqueline Woodson, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Duncan Tonatiuh.

Books on Democracy and Citizenship. Over 30 titles, divided into Elementary, Upper Elementary and Middle School, and Teens, selected by the editors of School Library Journal in collaboration with Facing History.

Social Justice: Teachable Movements by Tessa Michaelson Schmidt. Twenty titles that encourage reflection, critical thinking, and the exchange of ideas.

Upsetting the Apple Cart: Books About Activists and Whistle-Blowers by Jody Kopple

Social Justice in YA Lit (#SLYALit) blog series. The Teen Librarian Toolbox bloggers discuss books and chat with authors and librarians about social justice within teen books.

Unity and Justice Booklists from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

Programming, Outreach, and Library Policy

How Skokie Public Library Tackled Race by Amy Koester and Amita Lonial

Free Library of Philadelphia Hosts First-Ever Social Justice Symposium for Teens by Erin Hoopes

The Power of Nonneutral Librarianship by Mahnaz Dar

Why Social Justice in the Library? by Margo Gustina and Eli Guinnee

Social Justice and You by the ALSC Children and Technology Committee. Library program and display ideas, along with recommended reads.

Kiera Parrott About Kiera Parrott

Kiera Parrott is the reviews director for School Library Journal and Library Journal and a former children's librarian. Her favorite books are ones that make her cry—or snort—on public transportation.

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