Global Inquiry and Content Teaching through the “Stories of a Discipline”: Science

By Melanie Landon-Hays and Tracy L. Smiles

fountain-230205_640In our first blog post we presented a framework for how we think about constructing classroom experiences that, through the stories of that discipline, apprentice students into disciplinary learning that fosters authentic, and relevant knowledge and presents opportunities for inquiry. This week we are examining science. Read More »

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First Person Plural: Storytelling as Learning in the Disciplines

By Melanie Landon-Hays and Tracy L. Smiles

diversityToday’s students live in a different world than we grew up in. Because technology has increased interconnectedness in almost every domain of learning including arts, politics, education, and cultures, today’s student is not bound by time and space when it comes to interacting with and learning about cultures and societies around the world. Coupled with migration and immigration, today’s student lives in more culturally and linguistically diverse US communities and schools Read More »

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Seeking Global Perspectives in Traditional Literature Picture Books: Part 5

Juan Bobo Goes to Work: A Puerto Rican Tale or Juan Bobo busca trabajo
By Judi Moreillon, Texas Woman’s University

The stories of Juan Bobo have a long history in the oral tradition of Puerto Rico. Similar to the English folklore character Lazy or Foolish Jack, Juan Bobo, or “Simple John,” bumbles through life from misunderstanding to misunderstanding. Sometimes he’s a trickster, sometimes a town fool, but all the time, Juan Bobo is good for a laugh. This character has starred in many books, is featured in school curricula, newspaper serials, puppet plays, and even an animated cartoon. Read More »

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Seeking Global Perspectives in Traditional Literature Picture Books: Part 4

Pretty Salma: An African Little Red Riding Hood Story
By Judi Moreillon, Texas Woman’s University

In 2008, the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) selected Pretty Salma: An African Little Red Riding Hood Story for inclusion on the Outstanding International Books (OIB) for children and young adults. This book was recommended for grades K-2. The book jacket notes Pretty Salma is set in West Africa and a brief glossary with two Ghanaian words accompanies the book’s dedication “For Salma.” Read More »

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Seeking Global Perspectives in Traditional Literature Picture Books: Part 3

When Animals Were People: A Huichol Indian Tale/Cuando los animales eran personas: Un cuento huichol

By Judi Moreillon, Texas Woman’s University

In When Animals Were People: A Huichol Indian Tale/Cuando los animales eran personas: Un cuento huichol Bonnie Larson retells a story told to her by the book’s illustrator Modesto Rivera Lemus. The biographical information at the back of this English/Spanish bilingual book rightly identifies Mr. Lemus as the “narrator” of this story. This collaboration between the narrator, reteller, and illustrator results in a story and book richly textured with Huichol culture.

The book opens with a prologue that explains the time in Huichol history, when after a great flood had destroyed most of the animals and plants on earth, Read More »

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Seeking Global Perspectives in Traditional Literature Picture Books: Part 2

Climbing Rosa

By Judi Moreillon, Texas Woman’s University

As Rachel Young, former Art of Storytelling student learned, Hungarian folktales often begin with these lines: “Once there was, or once there wasn’t…” This introduction could easily be applied to a retelling of Climbing Rosa. Retold by Shelley Fowles, this story is about a girl who is an expert at climbing because she is forced by her stepmother and stepsister to sleep on the roof of their house. This skill gives her an advantage when the king has had enough of his son’s reading, reading, reading and holds a contest in which the prize is none other than the prince himself. Read More »

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Seeking Global Perspectives in Traditional Literature Picture Books: Part 1

My Village: Rhymes from around the World

By Judi Moreillon, Texas Woman’s University

In addition to informational books and Web sites, school and public librarians and classroom teachers who are looking to provide children with global perspectives often turn to traditional literature. The fairy and folktales, myths, and fables of a people provide “insights into the underlying values and beliefs of particular cultural groups” (Short, Lynch-Brown, and Tomlinson 108). These stories that have their origin in the oral tradition carry cultural markers that offer readers and story listeners opportunities to learn about and compare other worldviews to their own. Read More »

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February—And more awards go to . . .

by Barbara Thompson Book, Indiana University Southeast

This week I explore some of the less popular, but not less important awards, the American Library Association gave out in January. First I’ll discuss the Geisel Award. Created in 2006, the award honors the best book, written in English, for beginning readers. Past recipients of this award reflect the best that is early reading: Ethan Long, Josh Schneider, Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee, Geoffrey Hayes, Mo Willems, Read More »

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February—And the next award goes to . . .

by Barbara Thompson Book, Indiana University Southeast

Previously, we looked at the 2014 Caldecott Winner Locomotive by Brian Floca. Then winter exacted its continued revenge in the Northeast and I became a victim of a door locked against the cold, a door jam and cement. Meaning, I fell and dislocated my finger, broke ribs and more. So this week we play catch up.

I promised the answer to who are Flora and Ulysses? Read More »

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February—And the award goes to . . .

by Barbara Thompson Book, Indiana University Southeast

LocomotiveJanuary and February are award months in the United States. We (at least my husband and I) sit before our television and watch to see which members of the various media groups are honored by their colleagues. We debate, discuss, feel old and even yell at the screen as the announcements are made. Although literature for children does not draw a national television audience, it certainly was present on social media and the web. While my phone was not cooperating Read More »

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