¡Mira, Look!: Pumpkinheads

Phead Lets be friendsHey there readers! This is a special review of a series of books sent to us for consideration. The series, titled Pumpkinheads, is a collection of books for toddlers and preschool-age children. Here is a description from the author Karen Kilpatrick:

“As the mother of three multi-racial children, I felt it was important to develop books that help kids learn from and interact with others, while encouraging acceptance of self and the celebration of their unique strengths and talents. Children learn about themselves, the world and others through storytelling and play, and these new books invite them to explore important social and emotional themes appropriate to their age in a fun way.”

Continue reading

En la Clase: Celebrating Differences and Similarities-Exploring Identity

Today’s “En la Clase” is our last in a series of featured early elementary lesson plans whoever you areon topics such as teaching about race, culture, difference, acceptance, and respect.  If you missed them, be sure to check out the last two weeks’ posts on “Everybody is Unique: Teaching Respect in a Racially Diverse Classroom” and “Multiculturalism: Learning About Different Cultures.”

This week’s unit, “Celebrating Differences and Similarities: Exploring Identity,” was written by Michelle White, a pre-service teacher in UNM’s Teacher Education Program.  Her lessons were written primarily for kindergarten students, but could be easily adapted for grades 1-3.  Like the other units, White’s lessons are perfect for the first part of the school year, offering an introduction to themes and issues that can continue to be explored through the year. Written as they are, the art activities are also great practice for our young students on following directions. Continue reading

En la Clase: “Multiculturalism–Learning About Different Cultures”

This week’s “En la Clase” is our second in a series of featured early elementary lesson plans on topics such as teaching about race, culture, difference, acceptance, and respect.  If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s post on “Everybody is Unique: Teaching Respect in a Racially Diverse Classroom.”

This week’s unit, “Multiculturalism: Learning About Different Cultures,” was written by Amanda Gonzales, a pre-service teacher in UNM’s Teacher Education Program.  Her lessons were written primarily for second grade students, but could be easily adapted for k-3.  Gonzales’ lessons would be great for the first part of the school year.  They are a perfect way to introduce the subject of Social Studies with lessons on what culture is and how we study it.  Gonzales integrates a variety of activities using vocabulary study, music, art, reading and writing.  I have no doubt your young students would be quite engaged and captivated throughout the unit. Continue reading

En la Clase: “Everybody is Unique–Teaching Respect in a Racially Diverse Classroom”

In keeping with this month’s back-to-school theme on multicultural education, I thought it would be helpful to feature different lesson plans or mini-units focused on issues relevant to multicultural education. For the next few weeks, each “En la Clase” post will highlight a different mini-unit and include a pdf of the lesson plans discussed in the post (all of which have been linked to the appropriate common core standards).  Often times, many of the resources we share on Vamos a Leer are easier to adapt to middle school or high school classrooms.  The lessons you’ll see in the coming weeks will focus primarily on the younger grades.  Many times parents and educators believe we don’t need to (or even shouldn’t) discuss things like race, class, gender, difference, or acceptance, with our younger children.  Yet research has shown that young child do notice these things.  They talk about them, think about them, and draw conclusions based on what they see and hear, which for me means we shouldn’t wait until they’re older to begin discussing these things in explicit ways in the classroom.

This week’s unit, “Everybody is Unique: Teaching Respect in a Racially Diverse Classroom,” was written by Carey Rojas, a pre-service teacher in UNM’s Teacher Education Program.  Her lessons were written primarily for first grade students, but could be easily adapted for k-3.  In writing the lessons Rojas had a specific purpose in mind–she wanted activities that would help to create a classroom environment that is accepting and repsectful of all racial diversity, while also encouraging students to develop empathy and understanding towards others. Continue reading