As a parent I read my children multicultural literature for many different reasons:
- Their ancestors come from a diverse cultural pool
- They have cousins from different ethnic backgrounds
- They attend school with other children from various races, religions, ages, etc.
- I am a historian, thus the historical feast that multicultural literature brings to my table is one I want to share with my children.
As an educator I understand that in today’s global environment and the diverse cultures we encounter on a daily basis it is vital that we introduce our children to multicultural literature. Multicultural literature allows teachers to reach children that may resist learning due to cultural differences. Educators need to understand their student’s cultural background, values, and beliefs to reach their students and engage them in meaningful ways. It is important to integrate multicultural literature that helps students recognize their own diversity and broadens the world of all students (Au, 2002).
I absolutely adore fairy tales. Growing up I would read Grimms Fairy Tales. On the bookshelves in my living room rested a collection of books called My Book House by Olive Beaupre Miller. The second book in the series titled Story Time became a constant companion, even on into my teenage years – with Cap O’Rushes standing high on my top ten list. Three years ago I began my Master’s Degree program and my absolute favorite assignment was creating a multicultural unit on Cinderella, which included a PowerPoint presentation. I loved the idea of teaching my students AND my children how Cinderella, a much loved fairytale in American tradition, can open children’s eyes to the cultural similarities and differences in literature. A bridge across cultures may be built in which our children and students can look at their own lives and begin to see the similarities that their cultures have with those around them.
In tribute to my one of my most revered childhood loves I offer a series devoted to Cinderella across the globe!
- The Books/Stories
- Cinderella names, settings and time periods
- Role in the family/Treatment of Cinderella
- Differences from traditional American/Disney version
- Magical Elements, or lack thereof
- The End
- Moral of the story
- Cultural Specific Information
- Activities/Lesson Plans
Au, K.H. (2002). Multicultural factors and the effective instruction of students of diverse backgrounds. In S. J. Samuels & A. E. Farstrup (Eds.), What Research has to say about reading instruction (3rd ed.). Newark, DE: International Reading Association, Inc.