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Lesson Plan

Promoting Cultural Values Through Alphabet Books

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time Ten 20- to 30-minute sessions over three weeks
Lesson Author

Glasceta Honeyghan, Ed.D.

Sunrise, Florida


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



Diversity is celebrated in this lesson in which students embark on a cultural research project by first reading a variety of alphabet books about world cultures, including D is for Doufu: An Alphabet Book of Chinese Culture. They then select a culture to study and work in groups to conduct research into the history and symbols of their selected culture. The lesson includes tools for conducting primary interviews and other research techniques. The project culminates with each group writing and illustrating a cultural alphabet book based on their research. Groups share their work with the class and invited guests during a Diversity Celebration.

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Cultural Alphabet Book Assignment Sheet: Students can use this printout out to guide them through the steps of compiling a group alphabet book.

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Freeman, E.B., Lehman, B.A., & Scharer, P.L (2007). The challenges and opportunities of international literature. In N.L. Hadaway & M.J. McKenna (Eds.), Breaking boundaries with global literature: Celebrating diversity in K12 classrooms (pp. 3351). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

The authors assert that exposure to international literature helps promote a general goal of international understanding; that through international literature students are introduced to new terms from different languages or dialects used in meaningful contexts that promote children's language, literacy, and literary development; and that international literature has been credited to help students meet new narrative structures, themes, and patterns. Further, exposure to international literature supports students' social, emotional, and moral development by broadening their perspectives, increasing their empathy for others, and dispelling stereotypes.


Olness, R. (2005). Teaching writing and genre literature. In Using literature to enhance writing instruction: A guide for K5 teachers (pp. 1034). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Students can use what they have learned in shared and guided writing and then choose to write, taking responsibility of the writing process and thereby becoming independent writers. Among other genres, the author suggests alphabet books to use in writing activities.

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