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Lesson Plan

Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action

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Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Michelle Ota

Seattle, Washington


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • 5-6 picture books that focus on stereotypical images of gender, ethnicity, or race. Possibilities include the following:

    • Rapunzel by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (North South Books, 2000)

    • Travels of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff (Random House, 1937)

    • The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman (Random House, 1965)

    • The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop (Puffin, 1996)

    • Disney’s Princess Collection (Hal Leonard, 2002)

    • Cinderella: A Fairy Tale by Charles Perrault (North South books, 2002)

    • Snow White and Rose Red: A Grimm’s Fairy Tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (Rudolf Steiner, 2000)

  • 5-6 print text examples of culturally diverse texts. Possibilities include the following:

    • Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt, a story of a man quilting, by Lisa Campbell Ernst (HarperTrophy, 1992)

    • Sam and the Lucky Money, a story of Chinese New Year, by Karen Chinn (Lee & Low, 1997)

    • Apple Pie Fourth of July, a story about a Chinese American family on the 4th of July, by Janet S. Wong (Harcourt, 2002)

    • Luka’s Quilt, a story of a grandmother and granddaughter in Hawaii, by Georgia Guback (Greenwillow, 1994)

    • Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, an African Tale, by John Steptoe (Amistad, 1987)

    • Too Many Tamales, a Latino family’s Christmas story, by Gary Soto (Puffin, 1996)

    • The Other Side, a story of friendship, by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam, 2001)

    • Dumpling Soup, a story of a Hawaiian family’s New Years, by Jama Kim Rattigan (Megan Tingley, 1998)

    • Raven’s Light: A Myth from the People of the Northwest Coast, retold by Susan Hand Shetterly (Atheneum, 1991)

  • Chart paper and markers

  • Supplies to decorate bookmarks (colored pens, pencils, magazines for clipping images, and so forth)

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Letter Generator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Letter Generator

The Letter Generator is a useful tool for students to learn the parts of a business or friendly letter and then compose and print letters for both styles of correspondence.


Printing Press

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Printing Press

The interactive Printing Press is designed to assist students in creating newspapers, brochures, and flyers.


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  • Consult the Websites section for additional background information, suggestions, and booklists.

  • Schedule time for your students to research and collect books in your school library (or at a nearby elementary school or public library). Coordinate with the librarian, who can share additional resources and suggestions with students. Alternatively, students can analyze home book collections.

  • Gather your examples of stereotypical and more diverse examples of children’s literature (see the lists above).

  • Make copies of the Promoting Diverse Reading in the Library assignment sheet, Diverse Reading Bookmarks Rubric, and ReadWriteThink Printing Press Layouts.

  • Print a copy of the sample bookmark on a color printer if possible.

  • Test the ReadWriteThink Printing Press and, if you’ll be completing the extension, the Letter Generator on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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