While travel is the best way to broaden your perspective, that may be a bit difficult for our students. One way that students can learn about other cultures and see perspectives is through youth literature. I’ve been working on this project with my school’s librarian for the past few years and she has now over 90 books (List: Hispanic Novels) that deal with the Hispanic culture in our school library and is always adding more.
In additional to reading Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, my students also choose 1 book per trimester to read at home. [Update: In 2018, students must read 2 books per trimester] For those students who love to read, I also challenge them to a Read-Off; for every 3 books they read they earn a special prize (could be anything from extra credit, candy, stickers, getting to sit in the teacher’s chair for a week in class, or anything else that will motivate your students)
These stories, allow students to travel around the world. Students read stories about what it is like to be a migrant family, what is is like to work in the fields, what it is like to face discrimination for being latino, what is is like to have to leave your own country, and many other issues. Take a look at our Map of Hispanic Novels:
I recommend 4 books here, and have been trying to add some virtual “book talks” so students can learn more about the books before choosing. Here are 2 samples: