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November 2006 Related Contents

book_care.jpgC.A.R.E.: Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps, NEA Human and Civil Rights, can be downloaded at A few summers ago, NEA gathered a diverse group of researchers, practitioners, Association staff, and community advocates to identify ways to close achievement gaps. This guide is the product of that work, and readers will find it offers great insight on what works best for poor and/or culturally and linguistically diverse students. It can help you reflect, plan, and implement approaches to addressing cultural, economic, and language differences, undeveloped abilities, resilience, effort and motivation.


book_cultural_competence.jpgCultural Competence: A Primer for Educators, Jerry V. Diller and Jean Moule, Thomson Wadsworth, $40.95 (online booksellers recently had new and used copies for sale for $27). A quick read, this short book offers a great introduction for student teachers and any other educator new to culturally responsive teaching. It focuses not so much on the students, but on the social and psychological factors that shape a teacher's ability to work with students of different backgrounds than their own. Nervous about trying the method? You're not the only one, as you'll learn in Chapter 2! This book is a favorite among Association staff who train members in culturally responsive teaching.

Culturally Responsive Teaching, Jacqueline J. Irvine and Beverly J. Armento, McGraw-Hill Publishers, $59.69 (online booksellers recently had new and used copies for sale for $35). This offering synthesizes cultural and historical knowledge of specific minority groups into examples for instructional use in various subjects. There are geometry lessons using patterns in Navajo rugs, African textiles, and Mexican pottery. A science lesson links cultural folk tales and expressions with the weather. Pre-service teachers and teachers new to the method will get a leg up on creating culturally responsive lesson plans for their classrooms

book_how_to_teach.jpgHow to Teach Students Who Don't Look Like You, Bonnie M. Davis, Corwin Press, $29.95. This book has strategies and activities that address culturally responsive teaching at all grades and for myriad subjects. It also includes reflection questions, staff development activities, and a facilitator's guide. It can help you examine your own culture's impact on your teaching and examine the impact of racism on your students' lives.


book_what_is_it_about.jpgWhat Is It About Me You Can't Teach?, Eleanor Renee Rodriguez and James Bellanca, Corwin Press, $34.95. Teachers who are successful with culturally responsive teaching say that setting high expectations for all students, regardless of race and economic status, is essential. The newly updated edition of this book discusses the challenges faced by urban students and examines research focusing on “high expectations” instruction. It includes sample lesson plans covering culturally responsive teaching.


book_teaching_about_asian.jpgTeaching About Asian Pacific Americans, Edith Wen-Chu Chen and Glenn Omatsu, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., $39.95. While the number of Asian American students is soaring in classrooms, classroom materials often don't include their version of the American experience. This resource guide has interactive activities, assignments, and strategies for classrooms or workshops. It also contains extensive background information on issues that concern Asian Pacific Americans, which can be especially helpful for educators who are approaching culturally responsive teaching with these students for the first time.


Kids Like Me, Judith M. Blohm and Terri Lapinsky, Intercultural Press, $22.95. Twenty-six students share their stories about coming to America, learning English, and making a home for themselves in a new community. Using their words, photos, and maps, the book offers an excellent, first-hand insight to students' cultural identities. While written to help students understand their classmates, it also includes discussion questions, self-directed activities, and research ideas for educators to use in the classroom.

Northwest Native American Reading Curriculum DVD and guide, Denny Hurtado and Magda Costantino, Indian Education Office, available for free at http:/ The interactive DVD contains reading passages, photos, and video clips, including interviews with tribal elders. It offers an excellent overview of how a culture can be woven into state standards to make for an engaging curriculum. The authors point out that educators could easily adapt the types of lessons and activities to suit other cultures. The companion guide, Reading and the Native American Learner, focuses on sources of educational difficulties among Indian American students, their implications for teachers, and how to craft an effective reading curriculum.

Oyate This site offers information about evaluating texts, resource materials and fiction by and about Native peoples for anti-American Indian biases.

NEA: Minority Community Outreach Get news, event listings, and activity ideas for closing the achievement gaps from NEA's newly redesigned Minority Community Outreach website. The site is comprised of separate sections addressing education issues, community issues, and demographic information for Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, American Indian, and Alaska Native communities.

Visit Teaching Tolerance for tips and strategies on culturally responsive teaching.


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Return to It's There: Talk About It

Reading about culturally responsive teaching is one thing. But seeing it an action can help make reaching students of different backgrounds from your own click. In this online resource package, we've highlighted how one group of educators in Washington is incorporating American Indian culture into lessons. In this video, educator Denny Hurtado talks about how reading lessons focusing on the culture can bring it alive for students. And you can easily adapt the lesson’s components—video interviews with elders, reading passages—to engage students of other cultures in your own classroom.

The Northwest Native American Reading Curriculum is an interactive DVD and guide that is designed to help educators integrate American Indian culture into a reading curriculum. The DVD (available free-of-charge from contains video clips, reading passages and lesson plans celebrating Native culture. The authors say the lessons can be easily adapted to engage students of other cultures.

Check out these video clips, lesson plans and readings from the DVD!


Imagine showing your students a short video clip or two with elders of their community talking about something that relates to the culturally-responsive lesson you’re about to teach. In these videos, elders of the Skokomish Tribe discuss canoeing and drumming—the perfect introduction to the lesson plans and reading passages that follow.

Introduction – Denny Hurtado

The Canoe

The Drum


Lesson Plans:



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