Diversity in English Language Arts

Incorporating a wide variety of cultures and perspectives.

Showing Diversity in the Classroom

In order to best represent diversity in the classroom, I plan on putting up posters that represent all types of cultures and races. So far I have an African-American female athlete representing perseverance and I also plan on finding pictures and posters of famous authors that are not the standard white male figure that is typical in a lot of resources. I want to show them that even if they encounter stereotypes of certain people not being able to write or be successful there are examples and reasons to cast aside those false beliefs.

Diverse Perspectives in the Classroom

I am very excited that our first unit gives us a chance to study all kinds of perspectives in the form of memoirs. We have an opportunity to read about someone who has experienced similar emotions and struggles as my students but who come from different backgrounds and cultures. One I plan to have my class read is the memoir of Helen Keller. I also want them to read pieces from Infidel, the memoir of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim woman fighting for women's rights in the Middle East, as well as pushing for the end of violence in the name of religion.

A few of the memoirs we will look at during this unit:

Getting to Know My Students

Information Cards

My first step is to get some initial information from my students that includes fun facts, and some future plans and interests. This way I feel like I can begin conversations with students based off of what they have told me and that can act as an ice breaker. I hope to connect with them over hobbies, skills, and music.

Genius Hour Projects

Another way I plan on getting to know my students is through extensive conversations about what they plan on doing for their genius hour projects. One of my requirements is passion for the topic. They need to explain to me why they should be able to work on this idea and how it will benefit or interest them to see it through. This way I can find out what they are most interested in learning, as well as any secret skills or talents that they may have to use in these projects. I can also observe how they work on their own during this time and use it to match groups together for class projects and discussions.