Monday, October 16, 2017

Importance of Identity

I’ve been pretty wrapped up the last several weeks doing lots of instructional workshops around interdisciplinary teaching. The student teachers are grouped with students from various disciplinary backgrounds. One of the ways I help with this particular course is to speak to conceptual thinking and connect it to resources found in Doucette Library’s collection.

The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a crucial part of this workshop as I use it as an example of a provocation, a resource that can be used as a hook for engaging student interest. I come back to it, throughout the workshop, as this book epitomizes conceptual thinking. There are so many concepts to be found in this book such as identity, power, conflict, relationships, interdependence, communication, change, movement of people (immigration) and many more.

If you’re keen to learn more about this please visit the library guide that has been develop to support the workshop.

One of the concepts that often came up in the workshop during the discussion period is identity. Identity is one of those concepts that overarches the social studies curriculum from Kindergarten to grade 12. Connecting identity to English language arts, I think, is fairly easy. There are notions of identity found in both science and math, too, which, depending on how the concept is further developed, may be brought in to a unit. Not all content areas needed to be integrated in the units.

Today’s recommendations all touch on the concept of identity. These are just a few of my go-to fiction books when it comes to identity for all ages.

Grades K to 3: Elementary

Hello My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe 

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi 

Red: a Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall 

Ten Birds by Cybele Young 

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie 

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman 

Grades 4-8: Middle school

Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle 

George by Alex Gino 

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III 

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

One Half From the East by Nadia Hashimi 

Grades 9-12 (Books I wish I had more opportunities to recommend.)

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz 

Ms Marvel by G, Willow Wilson

Nation by Terry Pratchett 

Scythe by Neal Shusterman 

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld 


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