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Education - Children's and young adult's literature

Ted talks - Chimamanda Adichie - Danger of the single story

Quotes of note from this TedTalk by Chimamanda Adiche

"So, that's how to create a single story: show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again and that is what they become."

"The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete.  They make one story become the only story."

"The consequences of the single story is this: it robs people of dignity.  It makes our recognition of a equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar."

"Stories matter.  Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and malign. But stories can also be used to empower and humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people but stories can also repair that broken dignity."

"Final word: That when we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single storry about any place, we regain a kind of paradise."

Questions to consider

How do you see these books reflecting the values talked about in the course?

How do they align with the Alberta curriculum?

The questions found in the document above (Questions to Interrogate Texts) are only a sampling from a longer list found on page 420 from Constructing Meaning: balancing elementary language arts.  The questions included here are ones that will help you assess the materials I’ve asked you to look at and the books scattered about on the tables.

Paperless handouts

"Literature is one vehicle for developing those new conceptualizations because readers often find it easier to assimilate new meanings when they are presented within the structure of a story (Wells, 1986)" p. 31.

This document (Paired/Matched books) is a list of books that I use in this workshop that give students an opportunity to look and compare books around issues of culture.  The books have been selected with an eye to celebrating culture, cultural change and resiliency, activism, adjusting to life in a new country (stories about immigrants), and stories that push against or perpetuate stereotypes.

Christopher Myers in Horn Book, 2013

"This is the point of literature, to widen our view beyond ourselves, to take part in that implied and idyllic community of readers.  As a lucky member of that community, who also can make such books, I have a responsibility, one I share with all of you, to create that world in which we want to live, a world with few children in caskets.  The stories we tell and support, the ones that are funny, or sweet, or heart felt, are the best way to turn that responsibility into a reality."