BY ASHLEY A. ATKINSON
As we enter another week of sheltering in place and remote learning, it is clear that COVID19 will continue to impact our educational practices for the foreseeable future. As I talk to friends and colleagues still in the classroom, they share some beautiful moments of success that should be celebrated. However, I also hear stories highlighting the difficulty of continuing to maintain student engagement. During this time of stress on a global level, we, as educators, have to reach deep into our toolboxes to find new ways to engage with our students and their families.
One silver lining that has stemmed from COVID19 is the influx of resources provided by authors and illustrators to assist parents and teachers in engaging with literacy learning at home. I have seen several blog posts, including Lora M. Dewalt's Post on this blog @Instagram’s #KidLit Community, that highlight amazing opportunities to engage with authors. In today’s post, I am going to focus on the illustrators.
Visual images are an important aspect of meaning making for young children. Often in the classroom, we focus on the words authors pen and less on ways in which the illustrator is a crucial part of the story. Larry Sipe in his book, Storytime: Young Children's Literary Understanding in the Classroom, highlighted the interplay and interconnectedness between images and text, what he called synergy. The synergistic relationship of illustrations and text makes clear the greater impact when viewed together. Giving students a chance to engage and create both text and illustrations honors this relationship and expands the possibilities for how children make meaning.
Mo Lunch Doodles
You may be familiar with Mo Willems as the well-known author and illustrator of the Elephant and Piggie book series, but did you know he is also the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence at Home? In partnership with the Kennedy Center, he has created 15 episodes of Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. In his own words, Mo Willems says, “You might be isolated, but you’re not alone. You are an art maker. Let’s make some together.” The series offers downloadable activities that focus on his creative process as well as some “how to draw” activities. In an effort to isolate together, students can tag their artwork on social media with #MoLunchDoodles. What a great way for students to see how a single image can be the seed that grows into a whole picturebook!
Dav Pilkey at Home
Another great resource comes from Dav Pilkey, author and illustrator of Captain Underpants and Dog Man. He is working in conjunction with Scholastic and the Library of Congress to offer weekly video lessons that focus on a chance to read, to draw, to create, and to engage with other multimodal fun. What is great about this resource is that it offers a chance for families to have conversations around books and create art together.
Lastly, Debbie Ridpath Ohi offers daily creation challenges via her twitter that allows another way for students to work together while apart. Each day offers an art creation project that can be down with things around the house. Some recent challenges... broken crayon story/art, creating a dog character, and laundry art! Check out other children’s responses by searching for her tag #KidsDailyDebbieOhi.
These resources can offer entry into discussions of the images within picturebooks or a great springboard into students creating their own stories. They also create opportunities for students and families to engage with literacy in a new way. I hope you enjoy using these resources to help your students and families have a little fun as they imagine and create together.
BY THOMAS CRISP, MARY NAPOLI, VIVIAN YENIKA-AGBAW, & ANGIE ZAPATA
Changing the Stories We Share: Transforming the Children’s Literature Landscape
Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and malign. But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2009)
Stories summon us to wisdom, strength, and delight and make the richness of imagination available to all of us in order to envision a better world and to take action that makes a difference. Stories have the power to direct and change our lives and world--if we provide the time and space necessary for their role in meaning making, life making, and world making.
—Kathy G. Short (2012, p. 17)
With the November 2015 approval of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) “Resolution on the Need for Diverse Children’s and Young Adult Books,” JCL is committed to the recognition of diverse voices; to the support of emerging Indigenous, Black, and People of Color (IBPoC) scholars and researchers; and to excellence in interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the field of children’s literature. Therefore, we welcome submissions that center literature studies in relation to issues of social justice and equity, representations of populations that have been historically marginalized or underrepresented in children’s texts and culture, and the intersections between popular culture and identity.
Our team shares a commitment both to children’s literature and the field of education. We understand how children’s texts contribute to learning and the development of critical literacies and also serve as powerful cultural artifacts that inform the ways readers view and understand themselves and the world in which they live. We believe that all of us concerned with children’s texts (e.g., teachers, teacher educators, librarians, researchers) must attend to the content of children’s books as literary, cultural, and political objects.
About Our Team
THOMAS CRISP, PHD
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LITERACY,
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Thomas Crisp is an associate professor of literacy and children’s literature in the Department of Early Childhood Education in the College of Education at Georgia State University. His research and scholarship center primarily on topics related to justice and the representation of populations that have been traditionally marginalized and underrepresented in children’s media and culture (with particular concern toward gender and sexual identities). His involvement with the Children’s Literature Assembly (CLA) includes serving as communications co-chair; chair and co-chair of the Master Class; chair and co-chair of the Awards Committee; co-chair of the Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and a member of the board of directors. He also coauthored the CLA’s position statement on the importance of critical selection and teaching of diverse children’s literature. In addition to his work with CLA and NCTE, he currently serves as the vice president/president-elect of the Children’s Literature Association
VIVIAN YENIKA-AGBAW, PHD
PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION,
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY PARK
Vivian Yenika-Agbaw is a professor of literature and literacy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Her research and scholarship center on children’s and young adult literature and are informed by theories of critical multiculturalism, postcolonialism, and reader response. She publishes and presents primarily on topics related to social justice and the representation of populations that have been historically marginalized and underrepresented in children’s texts and culture (with particular concern toward race, class, gender, and disabilities). She has been a member of the CLA since 2009 and a member of NCTE for over 20 years, serving in various capacities. She has reviewed book manuscripts for NCTE; served as a member of the Notable Books for a Global Society committee; chaired the College Luncheon Committee at the NCTE annual conference in Philadelphia; reviewed students’ essays for NCTE’s National Awards; served as the vice president for colleges for the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (PCTELA); served as the Assembly on Adolescent Literature (ALAN) of NCTE state representative for young adult literature; and served on the NCTE Commission on Media. She served recently on the International Research Society for Children’s Literature Board.
MARY NAPOLI, PHD
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF READING,
PENN STATE HARRISBURG
Mary Napoli is an associate professor of reading in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate literacy courses, including children’s and adolescent literature. She is currently the professor-in-charge of the master of education in literacy education and K–12 reading specialist certification graduate program. Her research and scholarship are informed by theories of critical multiculturalism and reader response. Mary has been a member of NCTE since 2001 and a member of the CLA since 2003, serving both in various capacities. She has been a member of several professional committees, including the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award committee, Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts committee, and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children committee.
ANGIE ZAPATA , PHD
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LEARNING, TEACHING, AND CURRICULUM,
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
Angie Zapata is an associate professor of language and literacy for social transformation (LLST) in the Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Missouri. She is a longtime elementary teacher of bilingual and multilingual children; a teacher educator of undergraduate students preparing to be teachers of language and literacy in diverse, elementary settings; and an advisor to doctoral students in LLST. She teaches undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral courses focused on language, literacy, identity, and literature for children and youth in both online and face-to-face settings. The research methodologies she employs are oriented toward bridging the gap between theories of humanizing pedagogies and ethical classroom practice through collaborative teacher–researcher inquiry in literature-based and transling-ual contexts. She has been a long-standing member of the NCTE and the CLA; served on the Charlotte Huck Children’s Book Award Committee; served as co-chair of the Committee on Equity and Inclusion and as a member of CLA’s board of directors; and coauthored the Interna-tional Literacy Association Statement on Expanding the Literature Canon and the CLA position statement on the importance of critical selection and teaching of diverse children’s literature.
Our Work with JCL
Our team is committed to building upon the work of previous editors by bringing together master teachers, recognized scholars and researchers, and emerging voices (e.g., new scholars, doctoral students) across disciplines as contributors to JCL. We recognize that under the guidance of previous editorial teams, the theoretical content of JCLhas increased. We view this shift as particularly important for teachers and teacher educators in the current context of high-stakes testing (e.g., the edTPA), educational initiatives (e.g., the Common Core State Standards), and the “deprofessionalization” of teachers and the teaching profession. Through JCL, we want to foreground the attention to reader response, critical literacies, critical multiculturalism, and social justice.
We will continue to center scholarship and research and explore how theory can guide the ways in which researchers, teachers, teacher educators, and librarians view and explore children’s literature. We plan to make JCL relevant to both educators and scholars by publishing practical yet scholarly pieces that allow readers to think deeply about children’s literature (including visual and multimodal texts) and how it can directly influence the lives of children in their classrooms. To this end, during our tenure as editors, JCL will include the following features:
Each issue of JCL will feature up to four research-based, scholarly articles that explore contemporary issues in the fields of education and children’s literature. These articles will address topics of interest to elementary and middle-grade teachers, scholars and researchers of children’s literature, teacher educators, and librarians.
EDITED BY SUZANNE M. KNEZEK AND PAUL RICKS
The Teachers’ Voices column is a space that privileges the research of educators in all their myriad settings, highlighting both the realities of classroom learning situations and the important work that occurs elsewhere (e.g., in libraries, in community centers, in correctional facilities, online, at home).
In addition, we will continue featuring reports, articles, and forums relevant to the Children’s Literature Assembly. These will include interviews and commentaries with authors and illustrators, the Notables list, the Master Class article, and more.
WRITTEN/EDITED BY EDITH CAMPBELL
The Critical Conversations column is a space that encourages spirited debates on children’s texts (contemporary and classic). It also affords contributors an opportunity to critically examine texts for biases and to recognize innovations that might expand or complicate the ways educators see, think, and talk about children’s texts in and out of the classroom.
This issue of JCL marks the first time the journal is published in an online-only format. Moving online provides a number of affordances, one of which is our ability to offer a podcast focused on current issues relevant to the field of children’s literature. The podcast will consist primarily of lively conversations between a small group of individuals with a range of perspectives and expertise as scholars or creators of children’s literature.
- Donna Adomat, Karla Möller, and Angela Wiseman, who generously and tirelessly answered our questions, provided materials, and met with us as we transitioned into this role
- Jennifer Graff, Lauren Liang, Ruth Lowery, and the CLA board for entrusting us with this journal‡‡.
- Xenia Hadjioannou for creating the online format for the journal and working with us as we scanned issues, created calls for manuscripts, and so much more
- Laura May for her insights and advice on creating a podcast
- Our editorial assistants, Abigail Snyder (Georgia State University)and Jolynn Sullivan (Penn State Harrisburg)
- Our university department chairs and deans for their support, including release time, equipment, and student assistants
- Our editorial review board members for their commit-ment to the journal and insightful feedback on manuscripts
Short, K. G. (2012). Story as world making. Language Arts, 90(1), 9–17.
While there are many lists of award-winning books for young people online, there’s only one list of award-winning books that I know of that includes a discussion guide for each title: The Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards.
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are awarded each year to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books that celebrate the African American experience. For more details about the history of the award, watch the embedded video produced by the Los Angeles Public Library. Coretta Scott King Book Awards jury members create discussion guides for these books, which are available online as educational resources.
The History of the Coretta Scott King Awards, Los Angeles Public Library
Each Discussion Guide includes summaries, activities and discussion questions, as well as related CSK titles for that year’s CSK Author Award, CSK Author Honor Awards, CSK Illustrator Award, CSK Illustrator Honor Awards, and Steptoe Awards for New Talent (Author and Illustrator), as well as information about the year’s Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
Out of Wonder
For example, Ekua Holmes won the 2018 CSK Illustrator Award. That year’s Discussion Guide suggests an activity for Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth and illustrated by Ekua Holmes, Candlewick Press) that involves creating a collage and then writing a poem, as well as another activity requiring research. These projects can be as simple or complex as one chooses to make them.
For 2018 CSK Author and Illustrator Honor book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James, a Denene Millner Book, published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint), a suggested activity is sharing a story of an “experience that made you feel special, valued, and ‘ready to take on the world.’” Other books listed allow readers to then compare and contrast Crown to similar books that also won CSK book awards.
It’s worth noting that Glass is offering TeachingBooks’ “Book and Reading Engagement Kit: Home Edition” for free until September 15 for remote learning. TeachingBooks offers many resources for all CSK Award-winning titles, and these are included in the engagement kit. The resources include original material, interviews, audiobook excerpts, pronunciation guides, interviews and book trailers.
Editorial Note to CLA Members
BY SYLVIA VARDELL
Poems on Pinterest
Poem Videos on Vimeo
At our Vimeo site, you can find us goofily sharing a Groundhog Day poem, or a poem for Daylight Saving Time or even a demo of how you can turn one piece of paper into a tiny book. This medium is ideal for poetry because poems are meant to be read aloud. Below is one example video that is only three minutes long, but features Janet and me talking and reading three poems to share during “Scary Times” when we may feel anxious or worried.
One of the benefits of Vimeo (and other sites) is how easy it is for you and your students and colleagues to post your own homemade videos and share them with one another. You could record a Zoom reading of a poem with your students (or with a small group), then upload that recording to your Vimeo channel, and then spread the word and share that video with others. What a great way to spread the poetry love!
How can you participate in blogging? As consumers, you are free to comment on blog posts (at any blog) and are often welcome to write your own “guest post” on many blogs—I know I would welcome a guest post. That’s one way you and your students can participate—unless you want to start your own blog—which would be awesome!
The Academy of American Poets
This site offers sample poems, poet biographies, audio archives, National Poetry Month celebrations, curriculum resources, teacher discussion forums, teaching tips, and more
The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center
This site may interest older children who are interested in learning about the poet laureates of the United States, national prizes in poetry, special poetry events, and audio archives.
Poetry Foundation Children's Page
The Poetry Foundation maintains hundreds of poems (even accessible by cell phone) including a large library of poems for young people along with interesting articles and features.
The Poetry Minute
Here you’ll find poems for every day of the whole school year written by some of the best contemporary poets writing for young people. All can be shared in just a minute, making it easy to read aloud at school, in the library, or at home.
Favorite Poem Project
This site features Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s project to have average citizens audiotape their favorite poems.
BY ANGELA M. WISEMAN
COVID-19 has created stressful situations for many families - we may be concerned about many issues, including financial issues/job security, trying to meet professional obligations, and staying healthy. Children are experiencing general anxiety and stress, but also often experience negative feelings resulting from missing friends and family, adapting to changes in routines and activities, and fear of getting sick. In this post, I am going to suggest some ways to use children’s literature to start conversations about anxieties, sadness, and coping mechanisms. In addition, I share some resources for adults and children that might be helpful.
Books for talking about anxieties and fear
Here are two books that could cultivate conversations about anxiety and stress. I have used both of these texts with my colleagues in a trauma-informed family literacy program for parents who are in rehabilitation for substance use disorder to foster communication and build relationships. After describing the two books that could facilitate discussions, I provide some suggested ebooks about the CoronaVirus. Finally, I provide a few resources that could be helpful for families.
After the Fall by Dan Santat
This book is a variation on Humpty Dumpty and his great fall. The character in this text falls from a ledge while watching birds. After his recuperation, his fear of falling again affects the things he loves in life and his everyday tasks - from birdwatching to grocery shopping. In this book, we see how Humpty addresses his fears and “learned how to fly”.
While on the outset, this book may seem like an updated nursery rhyme, it is much more complex than that. After the Fall is Santat’s love letter to his wife, acknowledging her journey with anxiety and postpartum depression. You can learn more about the backstory at this Sharpread post. When my colleagues and I have used this book in our family literacy program, we have posed the following questions:
Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Weber
Ira is invited to his first sleepover, but he wonders...can he tell his friend Reggie that he needs his teddy bear? While his parents tell him it’s fine, his sister berates him and causes him to feel like his friend would make fun of his teddy bear’s name. Reggie initially decides not to bring him, but in the end, finds out that his friend has one too! So, he gets his own bear and can finally enjoy the sleepover.
While this book is older, it is infinitely relatable. First, we see how anxiety is affected by how others respond to us. Second, we can talk about the idea of security objects - things that make us feel better when we need them. This could be helpful during times of quarantine. One thing our family has done is talk about things that make us feel better when we are stressed. For instance, my sons are taking regular walks together and having time with their friends online.
In our family literacy program, we ask questions such as:
Books for talking about the Corona Virus with children
There are several ebooks that are free that are great resources to read with children to explain about COVID-19. Here are some we recommend:
The New York City School Library System recently published a list of free ebooks for children about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. The list includes several books in Spanish as well as books in other languages.
Additional Helpful Resources
BY KATHY G. SHORT
If you are a teacher educator searching for on-line readings and book lists for your courses or a teacher creating new inquiry units that are global in focus, the following resources can support your work. You can also use these features as examples for students to create their own reviews, vignettes, or book recommendations:
- Articles and Classroom Vignettes:
- Dialogue Between Readers
- Global "Book of the Month"
- Interviews with Global Authors
- Global Reading Lists
- Book Lists on Global Cultures
- Book Search
- Global Literacy Community Grants
Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona
Worlds of Words images used with permission.
BY MARY LEE HAHN AND FRANKI SIBBERSON
Read aloud is the cornerstone of our literacy workshop. First and foremost, we use our read alouds to create and build a community of readers, but as we read, our conversations model the mind of the solitary reader. We gasp in surprise together, we stop at a cliffhanger and make predictions, we notice a small detail that we think will be important and jot a note to track what the author does with it, just like we want our students to do in their independent reading. Our read alouds are also models of good writing. We study how the author creates mood, manages the pacing, uses rich language, and structures the entire text (chapter book, picture book, information article, poem) to inform the ways we will write in the writing workshop.
What, then, will read aloud look like in our digital classrooms?
The premise of The Last Human is that the robots have killed off the human race because it was wrecking the planet. Spoiler alert in the title and the image on the cover of the book -- they didn’t get us all. In our very last read aloud together, one of my students wondered aloud if robots caused the coronavirus and were trying to kill us all off. I assured them that the coronavirus comes from nature, and humans will use all of the science and technology possible to understand the virus and stop its spread. It was at that moment that I knew I must finish The Last Human. We couldn’t leave the story before we got to the part where the robots and humans collaborate to create a sustainable future for the human race and for the planet. We had to get to the hope, to the positives. For our next read aloud, I gave my students the choice of four books I’ve loved. Not ones to shy away from heavy topics, they chose The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart.
When I think about the kind of book I’d like to read aloud during this time, I know I want a plot-based book - a book that kids will want to hear each day. I want a book they can get lost in and one that has enough to talk about without being too heavy. I’ve decided on The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko and I am excited to begin sharing it with students.
KEEPING THE CONVERSATIONS GOING
While our read alouds look and sound a bit different than they did in our physical classrooms, like so much of what we are doing with online learning, we have found that the closer we hold on to our core values as teachers, the more authentic our digital learning space feels.
Mary Lee Hahn is a CLA Communications Committee Member and a CLA Member. Franki Sibberson is NCTE Past President and a CLA Member. Both Mary Lee and Franki teach fifth grade in the Dublin (OH) City Schools, and they blog together at A Year of Reading.
BY ANGELA M. WISEMAN
In this blogpost, I want to start by addressing some of the anxiety, stress, and trauma that children might be facing during COVID-19. In a second blogpost on Thursday, April 30th, I will share some books that my colleagues and I have found helpful in talking with adults and children about trauma in hopes that these books can start facilitating conversations about feelings, fears, hopes, and dreams.
*Thanks to my friend and colleague Dr. Qiana Cryer-Coupet for sharing this visual. This comes from Dr. Erin Leyba’s page, which is a great resource for parents. Graphic posted with permission by Dr. Leyba.
Missing family - In addition to missing friends, many children miss their family. Families may find themselves separated from each other for many reasons, particularly if one family member is an essential worker. One mother shared that “my eight year old is staying with his bio dad/my ex-husband during the quarantine because my husband (his stepdad) is a nurse. He has been missing us terribly and we miss him so much, too!” One caring adult shared that she put together a care package for a child in their life with individual notes for them to open each day. They stated that “I hope this will let him know I’m thinking about him all the time!”
Missing Routines and Activities - Children miss their regular routines and activities that they do outside of school that have been shut down indefinitely, which could include sports and other activities they do with friends and on teams. One parent told me that, “My oldest son is a competitive rock climber, and he hasn’t been in the gym in over a month and really misses that physical outlet of climbing. He’s quite literally climbing the walls in this house.”
General feelings of anxiety - Finally, many children are sharing general feelings of anxiety that are not necessarily articulated to specific concerns. While it may be hard to pinpoint what the concerns are, these behaviors might show as sleeplessness, acting out, or tiredness. Children might not come out and say, "I'm worried about this!"
April 30, 2020 Update: Part II of post
BY ALLY HAUPTMAN
One of my greatest joys as a teacher is to see students’ creativity in action. As an elementary teacher, I was amazed at the creative minds of my students, and now as a professor I continue to delight in seeing teacher candidates create lesson plans and ideas to engage their students. As I reflect on my career as an elementary writing teacher, my best lessons were the ones that involved excellent children’s literature and allowed for student writing choice. This is where the creative magic happens! If I am honest with myself, my students were their most creative as writers when I offered a great mentor text and just got out of their way.
So, I offer you a lesson complex in ideas, but simple in delivery that can be presented in person or on-line, really in any context. I have used this lesson in university classrooms, with PreK-12 students, and my own children.
2. Share the text with your students and model what writing ideas you have based on this text.
3. After reading, ask the questions, “What writing ideas do you get from this text? What are the possibilities you see as a writer?”
4. Get out of the way and let kids write and create!
5. Give students time to share and learn from each other.
That’s it...five steps that lead to important discussion and writing possibilities.
The following is an example of this writing lesson in action with two of my own children. I started by reading Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai. The book begins with Malala talking about a television program she used to watch. The show’s main character was a boy with a magic pencil who Malala saw as a hero, always helping others. She dreamed of having her own magic pencil. She goes on to tell her story of fighting for girls’ education, realizing that she really did have a magic pencil all along. She was able to change the world with her pencil as she fought for educational equality. The last line in the book reads, “One pen, one teacher, one student can change the world.”
Here is the key to this lesson, and this is how I get out of the way of their creativity. I asked my children to write for ten minutes about what ideas they got from Malala’s Magic Pencil. It is as simple as that. I did not give them my prompt that might be presented from this book such as, “What would you do with a magic pencil?” I let them figure out how this book would be a mentor text for their own writing. The beauty of presenting a text and then letting students figure out their own writing possibilities is that they bring their background knowledge, voice, and writing style and combine it with the author’s ideas from the text presented. When you present a mentor text and ask the students to see the writing possibilities, the variety is astounding.
Just with my own daughters, my fifth grader, who is the youngest and always trying to prove herself to her sisters, wrote about a magic tree. In her story, no one believes her that this tree is magic and she hatches a plan to show everyone that she is right. She brought in her ideas and showed strong voice. My eighth grade daughter decided to write about the Infiniti Pen. It is worth mentioning that all of my daughters are obsessed with Marvel movies. So, the Infiniti Pen was inspired by Thor’s hammer in that only the worthiest person in the village could pick up the pen because of its persuasive powers. In this piece, my daughter chose to bring in her own voice and combine Marvel with Malala’s ideas. These writers were able to choose their ideas and use their voices. When we present possibilities through mentor texts, readers also begin to read like writers.
The following list includes texts I have used to spark writing ideas over the past few years with teacher candidates, K-12 students, and my own children.
25 books with endless possibilities…
Animals by the Numbers by Steve Jenkins
Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raúl Colón
Camela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
Coco: Miguel and the Grand Harmony by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Ana Ramírez
Cute as an Axolotl by Jess Keating, illustrated by David DeGrand
Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
Dude! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Dan Santat
Dreamers/Sonadores by Yuyi Morales
Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All by Douglas Florian
Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Love by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Loren Long
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoёt
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael López
Nope! by Drew Sheneman
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López
The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca, illustrated by Daniel Rieley
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Water Land by Christy Hale
What Makes a Monster? by Jess Keating, illustrated by David DeGrand
Wild World by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Hvass & Hannibal
Ally Hauptman is a CLA Board Member and is the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. She is an associate professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN.
BY ALEXANDRA LAMPP BERGLUND
Transitioning to online education isn’t an easy task for educators, parents, and students by any means, and adapting and modifying online instruction for students with (dis)abilities presents unique challenges. Providing accessible literature in both print and audio versions is essential to many learners that have (dis)abilities. However, this can be quite challenging in distance learning contexts as students may not have access to a variety of resources and assistive devices available at school. Several apps exist to support this need, particularly in the realm of literacy learning. As discussed in previous posts, Epic! is an excellent resource that offers a wide array of children’s literature in a visual format alongside audio tracks with a “read-to-me” tool for many of its texts. Another app that I’ve found particularly helpful in my own preschool classroom is Tales2Go.
Providing audio material by using apps like Tales2Go and other resources such as text to speech software or sharing how to create audio materials with students are just a few small steps in making online literacy learning accessible to students with (dis)abilities, but they are important ones. Accessibility is essential, as we continue to navigate this digital landscape together, as educators, students, and family and community members. Together, we can all make small adaptations that make big differences in our online classrooms which we continually strive to make inclusive for all learners.
Alexandra Lampp Berglund is the Chair of the CLA student committee. She is a doctoral student in Language and Literacy Education at The University of Georgia.
Supporting PreK-12 and university teachers as they share children’s literature with their students in all classroom contexts.
The opinions and ideas posted in the individual entries are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of CLA or the Blog Editors.
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