Support Diversity and Encourage Young Writers by Using Window and Mirror Books in Your Writing Workshop (Guest Post)
by Stacey Shubitz, September’s Guest Blogger
A powerful way for teachers to embrace diversity is through the careful selection of mentor texts. All students deserve to read mirror books, in which they can see themselves, and window books, in which they can learn about others. This means teachers must have books that represent a variety of religions, races, and sexual orientations on classroom bookshelves during all months of the year, not just the ones with special designations (e.g., Black History Month, Women’s History Month).
Children need exposure to books that mirror their life experiences. Classrooms with minority students need books with minority protagonists. Children with same-sex parents need opportunities to access books with other children who are navigating the world with a family that looks different than the “mom, dad, 2.2 kids, dog, and white picket fence” scenario most books often show. When children see their lives mirrored in books, it allows them to feel safe, thereby giving them permission to write freely about their own lives in the texts they compose. Read more