UBC Graduate Research

Multicultural book clubs : exploring cultural identity with young children through literature Kan, Katharine


Although educators present many books of excellent literary merit to their students, the scarcity of current multicultural texts for young readers, as well as educators' unfamiliarity with them, lead to this area of literature being overlooked. As student populations change in the schools, classroom teachers are constantly presented with new challenges to address the diverse cultural needs of their students. Issues of cultural adjustment for new immigrants and cross-cultural identity for second generation children are pertinent. Therefore, this study aims to examine two crucial aspects of multicultural literature: How is quality multicultural literature chosen? How can it be taught to increase student awareness of diversity in the world? With a focus on East Asian literature, themes of cross-cultural awareness, identity, and acceptance are explored. Research into existing approaches to teaching multicultural curriculum has identified literature circle studies as an effective means of disseminating values of tolerance and respect. Consequently, a "literature circle study" book list of reviewed picture books and novels at at late primary or early intermediate level, are recommended later in this study. Furthermore, worksheets, in the form of adapted literature circle roles, are also offered to accompany these multicultural texts.

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