While travel is the best way to broaden your perspective, that may be a bit difficult for our students. We talk about the image below of a man standing on top of a stack of books and being able to see over a wall and what that means. 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 read 2 books per trimester]
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:
My students get a chance to “travel” through the literature they read. Discover new places. Understand different cultures. Empathize with characters. See themselves in different people.
That’s why I love to have students create their own passport. Check out our post about our reading passport which includes a free printable passport.