Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Multicultural Literature : A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Workshop 1 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 Workshop 4 Workshop 5 Workshop 6 Workshop 7 Workshop 8
Workshop 6: Historical and Cultural Context - Langston Hughes and Christopher Moore
Authors and Literary Works
Video Summary
Teaching Strategies
Student Work
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.


Stanlee Brimberg and his seventh-grade students in New York City study the recently discovered African Burial Ground in Manhattan through factual texts, video, art, photography, and poetry. The students interview writer, historian, and documentary filmmaker Christopher Moore to learn more about the experiences of African slaves in early New York. They examine the works of Langston Hughes, and then, drawing on all of the texts, they write their own poetry and engage in peer review. As a culminating activity, the students take a field trip to the African Burial Ground Memorial, then design their own postage stamps to commemorate the site.

Throughout the unit, Brimberg helps students understand the social, political, historical, and cultural context of the time, so that they can imagine the human voices that tell the story of history. Teacher educator Valerie Kinloch observes, "In a multicultural literature course, the discussion of culture and history is essential. Stan's curriculum challenges his students to grapple with issues of representation, of identity, and of the struggles that people have encountered over the course of history."

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