ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Young Adult Literature about the Middle East: A Cultural Response Perspective
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Eight 50-minute sessions|
Incorporating literature from diverse cultures and with diverse points of view means more than adding new books to the reading list. Exposing students to literature from and about the Middle East requires particular sensitivity, as students may approach the text with incorrect, often negative, prejudices. This lesson supports the use of multicultural literature through modification of traditional literature circle roles using a cultural response perspective. Students read and share their responses and research in collaborative groups. At the end of the lesson, they write a letter about their book's main character as if he or she has just moved to their school and community.
This lesson plan adapted from classroom ideas in Middle Ground: Exploring Selected Literature from and about the Middle East by Sheryl L. Finkle and Tamara J. Lilly.
In Middle Ground: Exploring Selected Literature from and about the Middle East, Sheryl Finkle and Tamara Lily offer a framework for incorporating multicutural texts in the literature classroom. They note the importance of exposing learners to a broad range of texts, explaining the need to "dispel cultural myths and give students opportunities to view issues from the perspectives of different individuals and groups" (29""30). They suggest that when introducing texts that represent cultures or world views that are significantly different from the students' backgrounds, there is a need to change the instructional approach.
They assert that reader response and New Criticism are insufficient and instead support a cultural studies approach in which students "build cultural insight through sharing different views in class or conducting research . . . and experience reading as a dialectic process where they work from initial raw connections and uncritical stances to make connections to other readings that may make them uncomfortable, creating critical interpretations" (31).
Finkle, Sheryl L., and Tamara J. Lilly. Middle Ground: Exploring Selected Literature from and about the Middle East. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2008.