Literacy Matters Winter 2022

VOLUME 22 WINTER 2022 Literacy Matters The Journal of the Palmetto State Literacy Association

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Volume 22, Winter 2022 Literacy

Matters T he J ournal of the P almetto S tate L iteracy A ssociation

Make It Matter Letter from the President by Missy Lark. ........................................................................................................................................VI

Letter from the Editors by Lisa Aker and Koti Hubbard.............................................................................................................VI

Featured Article Read Alouds to Foster Community and Critical Conversations by Katie Kelly with Kate Massey, Madison Siekman, Grace Mather, and Helena Sherman.............................................. 7 General Articles “Straight Privilege is Bumping into a Potential Partner in the Grocery Store”: One Student’s Queering of the #MeToo Movement by Brittany Adams.........................................................................15 Act with Kindness: A Children’s Literature Review Column for Teachers by Hannah Buford, Katherine Davis, Emily Gerdes, Mary Catharine Mauney, Maggie Schneider, Maggie Sullivan, and Lauren Zalud...............................................................................................................22

The UpstateWriting Project by Tobi Pirolla..................................................................................................................................25

Building the Bridge to Compassion and Cooperation with Children’s Literature About the Lives of Immigrants and Refugees by Elke Schneider..........................................27 Think-Aloud Reading Instruction through a Culturally Responsive Teaching Lens by Sarah Sharpe ..........................................................................................................32

PSLA Executive Board/Officers 2021-2022 President Missy Lark President-Elect Cathy Jones-Stork Vice President Kaye Jamison Treasurer Eddie Marshall Secretary Karley Watkins Membership Director Jean B. Brewington

Editors Lisa D. Aker, Ph.D., Clemson University Koti L. Hubbard, Ph.D., Clemson Universit y Editorial Review Board C.C. Bates, Ph.D. Clemson University Michelle Cook The Pennsylvania State University Susan Fernandez, Ph.D. Lander University Susan King Fullerton, Ph.D. Clemson University Janie Riddle Goodman, Ph.D. University of South Carolina Emily Howell, Ph.D. Clemson University Sarah Hunt-Barron, Ph.D. University of South Carolina Upstate Jacquelynn Malloy, Ph.D. Clemson University Victoria Oglan, Ph.D. University of South Carolina Christine Oskar-Poisson, Ph.D. Lander University Tamara Pack, Ed.D Lander University Leslie D. Roberts, Ph.D. Georgia Southern University Rachelle Savitz, Ph.D. Clemson University Elke Schneider, Ph.D. Winthrop University Mary-Celeste Schreuder, Ph.D. Lander University Kelly Tracy, Ph.D. Western Carolina University

State Coordinator Pat Smith

Conference Coordinator Vickie Brockman Immediate Past President Susan Fernandez

JuliaWilkins, Ph.D. Presbyterian College

CALL FOR MANUSCRIPTS PSLA s Literacy Matters Classroom teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and rese archers are invited to submit manuscripts to PSLA’s professional journal, Literacy Matters . Authors are requested to submit unpublished work not under consideration by any other publication. Types of Submissions: Literacy Matters welcomes practical, theoretical, and research articles, generally no more than 15 pages (excluding tables, figures, and references), related to all areas of literacy. Articles should be clearly written, purposeful, and discuss the topic in some depth where treatment of the topic is interesting, insightful, and based on the writers’ experience. Brief commentary pieces on teaching literacy are welcomed, as well as short teaching tips, teacher or student poetry, vignettes of classroom experiences, and student writing and/or artwork (with parental permission). Manuscript Form: Manuscripts should follow APA 7 style guidelines. Please be sure to include an abstract. As manuscripts are subject to blind review, content should not reveal author identities or affiliations. Full references for all citations should be included, following APA guidelines. Submitting a Manuscript: Manuscripts should be typed in Microsoft Word and sent as an email attachment to or When naming your file, please use simple, clear file names. Include a cover page giving the author(s)’ names, affiliation, complete mailing address, email address, and home and work telephone numbers. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed and edited for style, content, and space limitations by the editors. The Review Process: Manuscripts undergo a blind-review process, with at least two reviewers from the Editorial Review Board. Acceptance decisions are based on interest and relevance to PSLA membership, usefulness, clarity, timeliness, and cohesiveness. The overall balance of the journal’s content also influences editors’ selections. Manuscript Deadline: July 1, 2022

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Letter from the President

Missy Lark

Therefore, we desire to promote our profession to maintain and attract those teachers and future educators who have the will and skill to celebrate the love of literacy. We encourage local councils to reach out to colleges and universities in their area to embrace teacher education and teacher cadet programs and to include them in meaningful ways. We know that successful school administrators embrace literacy and can demonstrate and support literacy instruction across all content areas. We encourage all administrators to become the key to teacher and student support, including providing the resources needed to support teachers in the classroom and throughout the school community. We will face the challenges before us in supporting our educators as they serve as the bridge between home-based literacies and the literacies expected in the classroom. We believe this bridge begins with books in the hands of children.

The Palmetto State Literacy Association (PSLA) is committed to the teaching and improvement of literacy in South Carolina. The primary commitment is to promote literacy through the advancement of reading, writing, and communication instruction and encourage literacy as a lifetime tool for learning. In keeping with the mission, the 46th Annual PSLA Conference was held in Hilton Head, South Carolina, with featured speakers and authors along with break-out sessions to highlight effective instructional strategies to promote student growth and achievement. Keynote Lester Laminak reminded us that the most important person is the storyteller and our stories shape the world. Our story continues as PSLA offers Afterschool Virtual Learning Opportunities to support educators with access to quality professional development, including local and national speakers on trending topics in education. Current offerings can be found on the PSLA website,, under the News tab. Here you will find information on upcoming learning opportunities and registration directions.

Literarcy Matters Make it Matter

Missy Lark PSLA President 2020-2022

We are facing a time where fewer and fewer individuals are graduating with degrees in teacher education programs.

Letter from the Editors

Lisa D. Aker & Koti L. Hubbard

On behalf of all the Palmetto State Literacy Association officers, we want to thank all the teachers and administrators who tirelessly work to support students and instill the love of literacy in their classrooms. It has been a difficult couple of years, and we appreciate your hard work and dedication to education. Our students would not be successful without you.

Dear Readers,

We invited Dr. Katie Kelly, a professor at Furman University, to submit a featured article in this issue. Dr. Kelly’s research interests include critical literacy, multiliteracies, and culturally sustaining literacy practices. Her article, Read Alouds to Foster Community and Critical Conversations , co-authored with Helena Sherman, Kate Massey, and Grace Mather describes how teachers can facilitate conversations that support all students’ cultures, identities, and experiences through read-alouds across the curriculum.

Lisa D. Aker

Be inspired and inspiring, Koti and Lisa

Koti L. Hubbard

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Read Alouds to Foster Community and Critical Conversations

by Katie Kelly with Kate Massey, Madison Siekman, Grace Mather, and Helena Sherman

While some books will serve as mirrors for some children, the same books may serve as windows for others. Culturally relevant literature provides windows to explore new perspectives and world views (Bishop, 1990; Laminack & Kelly, 2019). In fact, when children read stories about characters unlike themselves or with unfamiliar settings or circumstances, it builds their schemas, broadening and refining their perceptions of the people and world around them. This also enables them to expand their understanding and compassion for others. “Literature as a window allows the reader to stand safely in their own identity while exploring a world beyond their current view to expand their perspectives and understanding of others and the broader society” (Laminack & Kelly, 2019, xvii). Books as windows help to develop readers’ appreciation for diversity and open their minds to a world of possibilities (Bishop, 1990). Read Alouds to Explore Our Individual and Collective Identities Intentionally selected read alouds can serve as springboards for cultivating classroom communities through conversations, writing, and art-related activities to learn more about ourselves and each other. For example, in Katie’s preservice literacy methods course, students participated in a read aloud of the book, Skin Again by bell hooks. Afterward, they created a self-portrait using multicultural skin tone markers. They then listed aspects of their identities they wanted to share around the self-portrait (Figure 1).

ABSTRACT —Through read alouds, teachers can facilitate conversations that support all students’ cultures, identities, and experiences. With the intentional selection of texts, students from all backgrounds can be affirmed as they see themselves in the pages of a book. Additionally, books serve as opportunities to learn and celebrate new and unknown experiences while fostering classroom community. Ultimately, read alouds foster conversations that encourage students to think critically, develop empathy, and expand beyond their own experiences. Read Alouds to Foster Community and Critical Conversations Reading aloud is an essential daily classroom practice that yields numerous academic and social benefits for children (International Literacy Association, 2018; Lane &Wright, 2007). Read alouds offer a common experience with shared stories and serve as opportunities to introduce new information and dive deeper into topics of study. Benefits include a model of fluent reading, enhanced background knowledge, and exposure to sophisticated vocabulary (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002; Laminack, 2017). Reading aloud deepens students’ comprehension as they actively listen, form questions, consider overarching themes, make connections, and participate in discussions (Norris, 2020). Reading aloud offers opportunities to build community, foster social interactions, and develop children’s love of reading (International Literacy Association, 2018; Lane &Wright, 2007). Reading to children can expand their reading repertoires and create a thirst for a reading life (Laminack, 2017). Through reading aloud, children are exposed to various genres, authors, styles, topics, and interests to explore. “In reading aloud, an effective teacher serves as an orchestra conductor, coordinating conversation among students, fostering aesthetic and efferent text responses, pushing students’ text reaction past surface-level responses, and weaving an intricate network of meaning” (International Literacy Association, 2018). Selecting Read Alouds When selecting texts for read alouds, it is essential to seek texts representing diverse cultures, identities, and experiences (Laminack & Kelly, 2019). The intentional selection of text is paramount to fostering engaging and meaningful read aloud experiences. Begin by ensuring the books selected are culturally relevant and affirm the students’ identities in the classroom (Christ & Sharma, 2018). When children see themselves represented in the pages of the book or other texts, they will be validated, make more connections, and be more engaged in the reading experience. As Harste and Vazquez (2018) remind us, “no one really becomes literate without seeing themselves in literacy” (p. 17).

Literacy Matters Feature Article

Figure1 Identify Self-Portraits

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and when their identities and cultures are valued. By honoring students’ and their families’ funds of knowledge (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1992), we position their ways of being and knowing as valid and valuable. Powerful information about children and their families can help develop a culturally responsive curriculum, select culturally relevant resources, and build positive social identities for each child (Hass, 2020). To learn more about the children and their families, invite parents/caregivers to complete a survey (print or digital options) at the beginning of the year and when new students join the class community. Sample questions may include: “What languages are spoken in your house?” , “ What are your memories of learning as a child? ” and “ What are your fears or concerns about your child this year in school, if any ?” (Kleinrock, 2021). In addition, families can recommend culturally relevant literature that represents some aspect(s) of their child’s identity (Hass, 2020; Palmatier, 2020). The children can share the book with the class resulting in greater agency and pride. Parents and caregivers can also be invited to visit the class (in person or virtually) to read the class’s books or serve as mystery readers. Families can also be invited to the classroom to share their cultures and lives at home to deepen students’ knowledge and bridge connections. For example, after reading the book Dear Primo by Duncan Tonatiuh, one third grader’s parent shared how her family was working to support earthquake relief efforts in their hometown of Mexico City and invited the children to get involved (Laminack & Kelly, 2019). In a nearby fifth grade classroom, students read Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez then interviewed their families to learn about their ancestry. One parent visited the class to discuss her Gullah culture (with roots in West Africa, the Gullah culture is preserved in South Carolina’s low country) through a hands-on demonstration of weaving sweetgrass baskets and shared about how these traditions are essential to her identity (Kelly et al., 2020a). The students learned more about one of their classmates and his culture in the process. Through these relationship-building practices, teachers develop inclusive classroom communities within and beyond the four walls of the school to support student learning. These practices center students and empower them in their learning experiences. Through reading intentionally selected culturally relevant literature, sharing about their lives outside of school, and regular conversations in the classroom, students can make connections across texts and with their peers as they make sense of the world. Layered Texts to Deepen Conversations and Comprehension The intentional selection of collections of text help students deepen their understanding of the material. Developing a collection of layered texts, including print, digital, visual, audio, and video, weave together a more complete tapestry of information and ideas to expand students’ understanding and perspectives.

Our identities are multidimensional and include visible and hidden aspects that comprise who we are as human beings. According to Tatum (2017), “The concept of identity is a complex one, shaped by individual characteristics, family dynamics, historical factors, and social and political contexts. Who I am? The answer depends in large part on who the world around me says I am. Who do my parents say I am? Who do my peers say I am? What message is reflected back to me in the faces of my teachers, my neighbors, my store clerks? What do I learn from the media about myself? How am I represented in the cultural images around me? Or am I missing from the picture altogether?” (p. 99). Some aspects of our identities position us with more power and privilege (e.g., white, male, middle-upper class, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied, neurotypical, native English speakers, etc.), while other aspects may make it more difficult for us to move through the world. Exploring identity through read alouds is a foundational practice to build classroom community through acceptance and celebration of each other. Additionally, conversations around identity can help disrupt bias and notions of superiority that develop when children are very young. For instance, as early as five years old, white children have shown bias in favor of whiteness (Dunham, Baron, & Banaji, 2008). This was found when the Clark Doll Study from the 1940s was later replicated in 2010. The results revealed that white children developed a stronger bias towards themselves as superior as they tended to identify the color of their skin with more positive attributes (Saad, 2020). According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the most common hate and bias incidents are based on race or ethnicity. Students from other marginalized groups, including those from the LGBTQ+ community, also experience high rates of discrimination (Trevor Project). As educators, we have a responsibility to ensure students are safe from harm and create learning spaces that promote inclusivity, equity, and empowerment. To disrupt harmful stereotypes that lead to biases, we advocate for classroom communities where all students’ identities are celebrated and where their voices are heard and valued. Through honest and age-appropriate conversations about identity, biases can be confronted, leading to improved racial attitudes (Bronson & Merryman, 2009; Katz, 2003). Children must engage in conversations to explore their commonalities as well as their differences and to ask questions. Avoiding these conversations only perpetuates stereotypes that are developed at a very young age (Katz & Kofkin, 1997). Literature can provide students with opportunities to see beyond their lives, help them understand the broader pluralistic society in which we live, and inspire them to take action for social justice (Laminack & Kelly, 2019). Figure 2 includes suggested read alouds and instructional recommendations for identity exploration and celebration. See Figure 2 — Read Alouds to Explore Identity . Read Alouds to Honor Students’ Families and Cultures Another important part of identities includes family, culture, and language. Relationship building occurs when students have opportunities to share about themselves and their families

Literacy Matters Feature Article

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students’ understanding, and often ignite further inquiry. Shipp (2017) notes, “by infusing ideas, arguments, and texts that are culturally relevant, educators create and expand opportunities for students to think critically about the world and themselves and to formulate ideas that promote civic engagement” (p. 36). These texts can also offer springboards for critical conversations as students make connections, disrupt the master narrative, and unlearn and relearn. We recommend gathering a collection of culturally relevant multimodal texts to support content area learning such as social studies, science, and math. Read Alouds in Social Studies In social studies, students learn, discuss, and evaluate five main areas: geography, history, civics, economics, and government (Parker & Beck, 2017). Read alouds can help students develop a deeper, more meaningful understanding of these topics. For example, a read aloud of a first-hand account could supplement a lesson about South Carolina history. For instance, in her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson shares her experiences as a young Black girl living in Greenville, SC, during the 1960s. She describes how she witnessed the remnants of Jim Crow through “White Only” bathroom signs that had not yet been taken down. The poems found in Brown Girl Dreaming could be used to acknowledge the historical context as well as to model the author’s craft. For instance, the first poem beginning with “I Am Born…”moves from the specific date and place of when the author was born to broader contextual information of the history of African Americans. This technique of broadening the lens helps the reader understand the world from the perspective of an African American in 1963. Students can use a similar craft to write about the context of the world and their own community for the year in which they were born. Other examples of read alouds to share a historical event or time period from a South Carolinian’s perspective are Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill. These books share the unique stories of Black Americans who made and achieved extraordinary things. For instance, Ron McNair, one of America’s first Black astronauts who was tragically killed during the Challenger explosion in 1986, faced discrimination in racially segregated South Carolina. As a child, he took a stand and refused to leave the public library when he was not allowed to check out a book simply because of the color of his skin. The story of Dave the Potter is about an artist, poet, and potter enslaved in South Carolina in the 1800s. When learning about history, geography, and different cultures, the introduction of multiple perspectives, viewpoints, and lifestyles through critical conversations around a collection of texts can help dismantle harmful stereotypes (Norris, 2020). For example, the book Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard embraces the complexity of the Native identity by illustrating diverse Native people with varying skin tones and hair colors. By reading and discussing this book along with the information in the author’s note, students can learn about the complexities of Native identities to push beyond a “single story” and stereotyped portrayal of indigenous people as “primitive” and “uncivilized” and no longer existing (Reese, 2016).

As they navigate through these text sets, students will make connections, explore themes and big ideas across texts, and delve deeper into the topic being examined through reading, listening, and viewing a collection of layered texts. Reading a collection of carefully curated texts makes learning more connected and meaningful and increases student engagement (Bachelor, 2019; Lane &Wright, 2007). For sample text sets curated around different themes and topics, visit Text sets with common themes expand students’ perspectives, open their eyes to new ideas, and challenge them to see beyond their knowledge. Text sets provide opportunities for students to learn more about issues outside their own experiences (Bachelor, 2019). Layered text sets make learning more accessible for all students through a more intimate exploration of complex topics from diverse perspectives and modalities, including images, videos, etc. Culturally relevant text sets deepen students’ understanding and ignite further inquiry. When students are exposed to unfamiliar stories and new ideas, their minds are opened to a world of new possibilities. The intentional selection of collections of text helps us move beyond a single story which may result in tokenism or stereotyping. Shipp (2017) notes, “by infusing ideas, arguments, and texts that are culturally relevant, educators create and expand opportunities for students to think critically about the world and themselves and to formulate ideas that promote civic engagement” (p. 36). When considering topics for curating multimodal and culturally relevant text sets, begin by centering students’ interests, identities, passions, and inquiries. Thematic collections can easily address current events and various standards across the curriculum (Norris, 2020). Lane andWright (2007) recommend for teachers to “match read-aloud texts to curriculum goals and consider how the book fits into the unit being studied” (p. 670). Culturally relevant texts can include a range of complexity, making them accessible for all readers. This is particularly noteworthy since many textbooks are written two grade levels above, making them difficult to comprehend. Additionally, content in many textbooks is oversimplified, provides limited perspectives, and lacks the depth of information to cover a vast breadth of content (Demoiny & Ferraras-Stone, 2018; Vacca, Vacca, & Mraz, 2011). To make up for the inadequacy of textbooks, intentionally curated text sets can support content-area learning by providing a wide range of reading levels and different perspectives that textbooks do not. Integrating Read Alouds Across the Curriculum Carefully selected read alouds have immense academic benefits, including integrating content knowledge across subject areas. The teacher read alouds and layered multimodal text sets can be easily integrated throughout the instructional day. These practices can be used to teach the required standards while offering entry points for critical conversations. Carefully selected read alouds can provide content aligned with the curriculum, clarify misconceptions, provide counter-narratives, deepen

Literacy Matters Feature Article

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justice would invite them to examine who is affected more by these injustices along with the underlying root causes.

This book could be paired with other picture books such as When We Were Alone by David Robertson. In this story, a young Cree girl’s questions lead to her grandmother telling stories about her childhood in an Indian boarding school, including the ways her Native identity, language, and culture were stripped. This book offers a counter-narrative to the limited and sanitized story of Native Americans often told around Thanksgiving. Few children learn about the genocide of Native Americans throughout history, including the forced removal from their land and the stripping of their identity and culture at boarding schools (Dunbar-Ortiz, Mendoza, & Reese, 2019). Other books to learn about Indigenous people can be found in figure 3.

Read alouds could also be utilized to acknowledge mathematicians who contributed significantly to society. For example, Counting on Katherine by Helaine Baker shares the story of Katherine Johnson’s brilliant calculation skills, which helped NASA put a man on the moon. Books like this as well as Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, can highlight people of color who accomplished extraordinary things. Sharing stories such as Counting on Katherine provides role models and challenges the stereotype that only white men are in STEM fields. Additionally, these read alouds can create context for math problems. For example, students could be solving problems to assist Katherine and NASA. Read alouds such as Counting on Katherine and Hidden Figures could also be integrated into the science curriculum, allowing students to see how these concepts are applied to the real world. In the same way that read alouds can be used to integrate critical conversations in math, they can also be used to examine and disrupt real-world injustices in science. Read Alouds in Science When teaching science, real-world application is a critical component in the learning process. Science is a part of our everyday lives, and students deserve opportunities to discuss their observations and inquiries. One way to facilitate those conversations and explore new ideas or questions is through read alouds. Read alouds provide an opportunity for students to apply science content to the real world. Read alouds offer insight into concepts such as human interactions with the environment and the importance of taking care of our world. The current climate crisis has proven to be a significant problem requiring immediate attention. If we do not instill the urgency in students today, who will fix our planet’s crisis? Teachers must stress the importance of being respectful of the environment. Books like We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom could be used to express the responsibility we have for taking care of the Earth. Additionally, it highlights Indigenous people in America, who are often only discussed in the classroom around Thanksgiving and done so through a historical lens as if they no longer exist. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of children’s books representing Native Americans. In 2018, only 1% of books were written by or about Native Americans (Huyck & Park Dahlen, 2019). Because of this limitation, it is important to share the books that honor Native American stories. We Are Water Protectors shows beautiful illustrations of flora and fauna, flowing water, and the hands that help connect it all. When reading this text, it could be coupled with a service project where students practice and advocate for water conservation. Additionally, science standards of ecosystems, earth systems, natural resources, human-environment interactions, and many more could be applicable to this book and others like it.



We Are Still Here!

Traci Sorell

Literacy Matters Feature Article We Are Grateful

Traci Sorell

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross

Traci Sorell

My Heart Fills with Happiness

Monique Gray Smith

You Hold Me Up

Monique Gray Smith

Little You

Richard Van Camp

We Sang You Home

Richard Van Camp

Figure 3 Read Alouds About Indigenous People

Read Alouds in Math Economics, a topic studied in both social studies and math, can be explored further through read alouds. In mathematics, read alouds allow students to think about math concepts in abstract ways. By pairing culturally relevant read alouds with mathematics curriculum, educators can show students how math connects to the real world. For example, during a unit on addition and subtraction, students can create a grocery budget using coupons and store ads to practice financial literacy skills (Kleinrock, 2021). These financial literacy skills can also be used to discuss inequity between low-income families and how they often struggle to support their families due to systemic inequities. Books such as Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts, Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt, Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, and A Shelter in Our Car by Monica Gunning could be used to discuss different socioeconomic statuses and situations. In addition to having students think about mathematical topics more critically, incorporating read alouds into the mathematics curriculum allows for essential conversations of equity issues. The real-world application of math skills helps children see the value and purpose for these skills beyond the classroom. Integrating social justice work in math can include exploring issues in the community that can be solved with math, such as managing debt, examining minimum wage, as well as issues and statistics related to poverty and inequity. Continuing to expose students to these issues of social

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reminds us, the meaning of a text exists in neither solely the text nor the reader. Rather meaning-making occurs during the transaction between the reader and the text. Students can interact with one another and learn from each other as they explore new concepts, situations, and perspectives introduced through literature (Koltz & Kersten-Parrish, 2019). FromTexts to Conversations: Laying the Groundwork Relationship building and classroom community are foundational for participation in critical conversations. Students need multiple ongoing opportunities to interact with their peers to explore common interests, build connections, and deepen their understanding of one another. Developing meaningful and trusting relationships is paramount when engaging in critical conversations. Children will likely hear points of view different from their own, experience discomfort and disagreement, and engage in conflict resolution productively and respectfully. Critical conversations can occur throughout the instructional day as content learning, read alouds, and morning meetings. Morning meetings provide a welcoming community space where children are centered and empowered to share their stories, insights, and inquiries. Students’ listening and relationship-building skills are strengthened, and their emotional development is enhanced as they practice empathy, problem solving, and critical thinking (Allen-Hughes, 2013). The social skills learned in morning meetings transfer to collaborative work in the classroom and beyond (e.g., the playground). The skills practiced in morning meetings help students “learn how to successfully navigate conflict while ensuring others in the room have the opportunity to learn from - or at least process and critique - multiple perspectives” (Hass, 2021, p.110). When students have opportunities to discuss, disagree, and discover, they prepare students to be active citizens who strive for social justice. Educators are responsible for providing spaces for students to practice engaging in critical conversations within an environment they are supported and loved. “For too long kids have felt powerless in their classrooms because they spend their days being told what to learn, how to learn it, and what to think about this all afterwards” (Hass, 2021, p. 21). Traditional approaches center teachers rather than students rob children of important learning experiences to develop critical thinking and a sense of agency to take action in the future (Hass, 2021, p. xv). Teachers need to encourage peer interaction and limit teacher input. However, modeling and guidance are certainly necessary to scaffold meaningful contributions to the conversations. Further, when conversations may involve more sensitive subjects or challenging concepts, it is important for children to have a variety of response techniques to react and respond to their peers and a repertoire of strategies to disagree and offer counterarguments respectfully.

My Wounded Island

Jacques Pasquet

Our House is On Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet

Jeanette Winters

One Plastic Bag

Miranda Paul

A River Ran Wild

Lynne Cherry

Woosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super Soaking Stream of Inventions

Chris Barton

Mae Among the Stars

Roda Ahmed

Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner

Kate Messner

Janice N. Harrington

Literacy Matters Feature Article

Figure 4 Read Alouds to Integrate Science

In addition to discussing human-environment interactions, read alouds could be utilized to teach natural processes. For example, during a weather unit, the book Zane the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick, which describes the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, could introduce the devastation hurricanes can cause. To include the science standards, the class could discuss what causes hurricanes, where they are most likely to occur, and how much damage they cause. Students could interact with the text, observe images and maps, and participate in discussions surrounding inequities across racial lines. Other texts that could be layered in for a discussion about Hurricane Katrina include A Storm Called Katrina by Myron Uhlberg, and a chapter book read aloud titled Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes. These read alouds and informational texts, including news articles, images, and videos, can help students learn about how Hurricane Katrina disproportionately affected the Black community in New Orleans. Read Alouds to Foster Critical Conversations Through the interactive aspect of the read aloud, students are exposed to new ideas and are provided a space to discuss with their peers. They can explore multiple perspectives different from their own. When we create opportunities for students to engage in meaningful discussions of culturally relevant literature actively, they deepen their understanding of the text, expand their perspectives, and develop essential listening and speaking skills. Read alouds offer opportunities to engage children in conversations around an endless array of topics, including issues related to equity and social justice. “Picture storybooks have long discussed serious social justice issues contextualized within tangible, accessible stories: they speak to a range of ages, they are relatively easily accessible, and they get straight to the point, offering quick entry into a specific topic” (Neumann, 2009, p.65). It is important to create a space where children can freely share their connections and reflections about texts and their lived experiences (Laminack & Kelly, 2019). As Rosenblatt (1988)

Prior to engaging in critical conversations, we recommend co-constructing class community agreements. These

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framework (2019) demonstrates how to move from selection to connections, reflection, and ultimately action. As Hass (2021) notes, “We cannot spin our wheels teaching about social justice when what we really need to be doing is teaching for social justice” (p. 149). While reading and engaging in critical conversations is an important and foundational aspect of elevating students’ voices within the classroom setting, it is important to move from talking to action. As classrooms become increasingly diverse, it is essential to create spaces where all voices, identities, and cultures are celebrated (Kelly et al., 2020b). When we center students’ identities and cultures as strengths and a foundation for learning, we foster a student-centered approach to teaching that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically (Ladson-Billings, 1994). “Culturally relevant and sustaining teaching begins with a conscious effort on the part of the teacher to develop and maintain cultural competence and foster a more inclusive environment for all” (Kelly et al., 2020a, p. 156). “Each child’s voice must be valued in the curriculum and teaching—along with her ways of making sense of and in the world” (Souto-Manning & Martell, 2016, p. 7). Teachers can develop the knowledge and confidence to foster more culturally responsive and culturally sustaining pedagogy (Sealy-Ruiz, 2021). By fostering learning spaces where critical conversations and explorations occur regularly, critical inquiry becomes a regular practice and way of thinking and meaning-making.

agreements helped establish buy-in and shared ownership in the class community where students can participate without fear of judgment. When conversations explore sensitive topics such as race, class, and gender, we can remind students of class agreement statements such as “speaking our own truths” and “listening with compassion” previously established and agreed upon by all stakeholders. The classroom agreements collectively constructed and established at the beginning of the school year can facilitate respectful conversations that provide opportunities for critical thinking and expand students’ perspectives beyond their own experiences. A space created in this way gives students a voice, empowers them with confidence, and provides them the agency to make their own decisions. It also actively prepares students to become engaged citizens by embracing and practicing democratic values, active listening, articulating ideas to others, working together to reach a compromise, and respecting others’ views. Conclusion The intentional selection of read alouds to honor and center students’ and their families’ identities while also offering opportunities for readers to see beyond their own lived experiences can serve as powerful shared experiences to foster community and critical conversations. Laminack and Kelly’s instructional

Literacy Matters Feature Article

References Allen-Hughes, L. (April 2013), The Social Benefits of Morning Meeting: Creating a Space for Social and Character Education in the Classroom . https://login.libproxy.

Dunham, Y., Baron, A.S., Banaji, M.R. (2008). The development of implicit intergroup cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12 (7), 248-253.

Harste, J. & Vasquez, V. (2018). What do we mean by literacy now? Critical curricular implications. In P. Albers (Ed.), Global conversations in literacy research (pp. 14–28). New York, NY: Routledge.

Bachelor, K. E. (2019). Using linked text sets to promote advocacy and agency through a critical lens. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 62 (4), 379-386.

Huyck, D. & Park Dahlen, S. (2019). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. sarahpark. com blog.

Beck, I.L, McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford.

Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: resources/ccbc-diversity-statistics/books-by-about-poc-fnn/. Retrieved from childrens-books-2018-infographic/.

Bishop, R. S. (1990). Mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom, 6 (3).

Bronson, P. & Merryman, A. (2009). NurtureShock: New thinking about children. New York: Twelve.

Christ, T. & Sharma, S.A. (2018). Searching for mirrors: Preservice teachers’ journey toward more culturally relevant pedagogy. Reading Horizons, 57 (1), 55-73.

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Demoiny, S. B., & Ferraras-Stone, J. (2018). Critical Literacy in Elementary Social Studies: Juxtaposing Historical Master and Counter Narratives in Picture Books. Social Studies , 109 (2), 64–73.

Katz, P. A. (2003). Racists or tolerant multiculturalists? How do they begin? American Psychologist, 58(11), 897–909.

Dunbar-Ortiz, R., Mendoza, J., & Reese, D. (2019). An Indigenous peoples’ history of the United States for young people. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Katz, P. A., & Kofkin, J. A. (1997). Race, gender, and young children. In S. S. Luthar & J. A.

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Burack (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Perspectives on adjustment, risk, and disorder (pp. 51–74). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Rosenblatt, L. (1988). Writing and reading: The transactional theory. National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Koltz, J. & Kersten-Parrish, S. (2019). Using children’s picture books to facilitate restorative justice discussion. The Reading Teacher, 73 (5), 637-645.

Saad, L. (2020). me and white supremacy: Combat Racism, Change theWorld, and Become a Good Ancestor. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

Kelly, K., Becker, W., Lipscomb, G. & Robards, A. (2020a). Centering Culture through Writing and the Arts: Lessons Learned in New Zealand. The Reading Teacher, 74 (2), 147-158. Kelly, K., Laminack, L., & Gould, E. (2020b). Confronting Bias with Children’s Literature: A Preservice Teachers Journey to Developing a Critical Lens for Reading theWord and theWorld. The Reading Teacher , 74(3), 297-304.

Sealy-Ruiz, Y. (2021). Racial literacy: A policy research brief produced by the James R. Squire Office of the National Council for Teachers of English. content/uploads/2021/04/SquireOfficePolicyBrief_RacialLiteracy_April2021.pdf

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Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children . San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Tatum, B. D. (2017). Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?: And other conversations about race. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Literacy Matters Feature Article

Laminack, L. (2017). Read aloud often and well. National Council of Teachers of English. Voices from the Middle , 24(4), 33-35.

Vacca, R., Vacca, J., & Mraz, M. (2011). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the curriculum (10th ed.). Pearson.

Laminack, L. & Kelly, K. (2019) . Reading to make a difference. Using literature to think deeply, speak freely, and take action. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Children’s Literature Skin Again by Bell Hooks Dear Primo by Duncan Tonatiuh

Lane, H.B. &Wright, T.L. (2007). Maximizing the effectiveness of reading aloud. The Reading Teacher, (6), 7, 668-675.

Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied M ndez Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue

Moll, L.C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory Into Practice , 31 (2), 132–141.

Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard When We Were Alone by David A Roberstson and Julie Flett Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt A Shelter in Our Car by Monica Gunning Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate Counting on Katherine by Helaine Baker Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women

Neumann, J. (2009). Critical inquiry through read aloud: Context for critical discussions. Social Studies Review , 48(2), 65.

Norris, K. E. L. (2020). Using the read-aloud and picture books for social justice. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 56(4), 183-187.

Palmatier, T. (2020). Developing the eyes to see that identity breathes diversity. Heinemann. Retrieved on July 26, 2021 from developing-the-eyes-to-see-that-identity-breathes-diversity-8140e37428fc

Parker, W. & Beck, T. A. (2017). Social Studies in Elementary Education , 15th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom Zane the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick A Storm Called Katrina by Myron Uhlberg Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Reese, D. (2016). “We are still here”: An interview with Debbie Reese. English Journal, 106 (1), 51-54.

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Instructional Recommendations

Where Are You From?

Yamile Saied Méndez

Tell and/or write about where you are from. We encourage teachers to share their own as a model. The book states that the day you begin is the day you tell your story. What is your story? Tell us all about yourself. What is the story of your name? Who selected your name? How was your name chosen? Are you named for someone? Someplace? Something? Does your name have a significant meaning? How do you feel about your name? Tell/write your name story. What is the story of your name? Who selected your name? How was your name chosen? Are you named for someone? Someplace? Something? Does your name have a significant meaning? How do you feel about your name? Who are you on the inside? Share about your inside or hidden identities. Discuss what it means to be your truest self. Explore the notion of considering others’ perspectives and experiences. Discuss the assumptions Milo, the main character, makes about strangers’ identities. Then share how he reimagined the strangers’ identities. Draw a self-portrait and write about your personal characteristics and traits. Stop and jot about what makes a family and what makes a good neighbor. Then after reading the book, add more information about families and neighbors in a new color. Brainstorm affirmation statements to use as class mantras. Select your own to write on a sticky note and to share with others. Figure 2 Identify Self-Portraits Grace Mather is currently a Senior Educational Studies major at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where her parents and sister currently live. She hopes to complete a Masters of Arts in Teaching and get certified to teach following her graduation in the Spring. She is passionate about social justice and elementary education and was able to conduct research on those very topics with Dr. Katie Kelly and three other Education majors from Furman as an undergraduate research fellow over the Summer of 2021. Outside of her life as a student, she loves going outdoors, cooking, and spending time with loved ones. Grace can be contacted at . Helena Sherman is a senior education major at Furman University. She believes that literacy should be a place for all to feel welcome. She appreciated the opportunity to work with Dr. Kelly and her peers on this ABAR research. Helena can be contacted at . Use the sentence frame: I Am… to share more about you. Draw or photograph the best part of you and explain why.

The Day You Begin

Jacqueline Woodson

Your Name is a Song

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow Tell/write your name story.

Alma and How She Got Her Name

Juana Martinez Neal

Literacy Matters Feature Article I Am Every Good Thing

Derrick Barnes

The Best Part of Me: Children Talk and Write about Their Bodies in Pictures and Words

Wendy Ewald

Red: A Crayon’s Story

Michael Hall

Three Hens and a Peacock

Lester Laminack

Milo Imagines The World

Matt De La Peña

Eyes That Kiss in the Corner

Joanna Ho

In Our Mothers’ House

Patricia Polacco

I Am Enough

Grace Byers

Katie Kelly is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Literacy Graduate Program at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. As a former teacher and literacy coach, Katie’s teaching and research interests include engaging children in authentic meaningful reading and writing experiences and literacy practices to foster equity and social justice. Katie can be contacted at . Kate Massey is a senior elementary education major at Furman University, and originally from Commerce, GA. Kate can be contacted at . Madison Siekman is a student at Furman University in Greenville, SC studying elementary education. She is interested in incorporating a social justice mindset into the classroom. Madison can be contacted at .

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