The wonderful thing about social media is that even though I don’t work with Molly anymore, I am aware of what is going on at her school via various teacher’s instagrams and twitter accounts. My social media PLN is constantly a source of learning and growth for me. One person I have not met in person yet that I have learned a great deal from is Teach Finn https://www.instagram.com/teach_finn/. Finn teaches Kindergarten at Molly’s school and one day I saw a post about how his class had done an inquiry into who was represented in their classroom library. I knew I needed to replicate this in my own classroom. So a couple of days later, I divided my students into partnerships and gave each of them a bin of books from our classroom library. I have a fairly large classroom library both with picture books and intermediate chapter books so there were a lot of bins to go through. Students were engaged in this for about thirty minutes. After students made their own lists, we came back together and shared who was in our library and who was missing. The resulting conversations were eye-opening. As expected, most characters are white. This didn’t shock me but did make me realize I need to continue to actively seek out more diverse books with diverse characters. Another observation my students made was that they didn’t see people with disabilities. They were right and I hadn’t even thought of seeking out books with this perspective.
You can see the chart we came up with below.
This is a great activity to do with students of all ages.
My challenge to you: Look and see who is in your library and who is missing. I am now seeking books that show people with disabilities and books that represent everyone in my class. My plans going forward? To do this every year to ensure I am constantly evaluating and adding to my library.