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A Different Mirror For Young People: A History of Multicultural America

Found in: social studies, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

A Different Mirror For Young People: A History of Multicultural America (384 pages) was written by Ronald Takaki and adapted by Rebecca Stefoff in 2012. It's an American history told through the eyes of Native Americans, Africans, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Jews, Irish, Mexicans, Vietnamese, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, Afghans, South Asians and other minority groups through stories, illustrations, photographs poems, letters, and songs. The author challenges the “Master Narrative” that says the United States was created solely by white Europeans. The book opens with a meeting of Beothuk, Native Americans who lived on Newfoundland and Labrador, and Vikings and closes with recent waves of immigration. Another revised edition of A Different Mirror (2008) (529 pages) is available for older students and adults. This book can be found FREE at your local library or purchased at 

A Different Mirror for Young People, A Teaching Guide provides chapter summaries, vocabulary, open-ended discussion questions, connections (films, readings, and websites to extend chapter content), and questions for teachers to consider. Project and enrichment ideas are included.  Note: Teachers must create an account to use this resource.

Support Materials:

  • Chapter 9 of the Census Atlas of the United States covers Ancestry ( PDF, 14.6 MB, 20 pgs.) and includes many maps and charts.
  • National Origins Act of 1924 features essays, primary sources, multimedia, interactive features, and teaching resources. NOTE: All K-12 educators receive free subscriptions to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Lesson Plans:


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