Literacy PK-3

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Literacy PK-3 > Strategies > Selecting Culturally Responsive Texts

Selecting Culturally Responsive Texts


Selecting culturally responsive reading materials, including multicultural and diverse texts, is critical for supporting all students. Diverse texts should reflect different facets of students' identities, including but not limited to race, gender, socioeconomic, and disability status, as well as the intersections of those identities. Engaging with texts that reflect the diverse experiences of all students allows each reader to connect with and see themselves in what they read, encouraging a sense of belonging. Diverse content also exposes students to perspectives that may be different from theirs, expanding their cultural awareness and Background Knowledge. It is important that texts go beyond surface-level diversity and engage with complex social issues to truly support the practice of culturally responsive teaching and the development of critical literacy skills.

Use It in the Classroom

Learn how these educators conducted an audit of their elementary classroom libraries to create a collection of diverse, representative texts. By providing rich choices that are mirrors and windows into other cultures, students are able to develop a greater sense of their own identities and widen their viewpoints.

  • Intentionally providing literature that speaks to and represents the experiences of under-represented groups can deepen learners' self-understanding and understanding of others, positively impacting their perceptions of themselves and each other and also mitigating Stereotype Threat. Learners can feel a greater connection when engaging with texts that highlight the complexities of their histories, cultures, and experiences, especially those written by authors from diverse backgrounds. Incorporating diverse texts also allows different voices that may not already exist in the classroom to be heard, as analyses show that published children's literature overwhelmingly represents white and male experiences.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how OurStory allows learners to discover books that celebrate diverse experiences. Through an interactive quiz, learners can explore and read a variety of titles that might interest them.

  • Including texts that highlight authentic, diverse perspectives and experiences allows learners to encounter characters who are like them but also develop an appreciation for others. Access to these diverse texts can also enrich learners' cultural competency and promote cross-cultural connections. When learners are able to discover books that reflect their own authentic experiences, their Motivation to read grows.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy