ow to set up your project:
Choose a medium: write a letter, create a presentation, or make a video… You can decide on the medium once you’ve wrapped your head around the rest of the project.
Choose an audience: Dear Self, Dear “Fake Name” Administrator/Librarian/Teacher, Dear Future Child, Dear Longview Public Library, Dear Aunt so-and-so, Dear Grandma, Dear Mom/Dad, Dear Bookstore Owner, etc. As is implied in the list, the audience will turn this into a fake, make-believe, role-playing project or something real/tangible. I’m fine with either one! Again, wrap your head around the rest of the project, and then decide.
Choose a scenario (*optional*): If it helps, you are welcome to create a false scenario to accompany the audience you’ve selected. For example, you might say “Last week, I was perusing the many books on the shelves in your living room, your bookstore, your library, your classroom, etc.”
What to say:
Explain the importance of diverse representation in literature for children, focusing especially on historically under-represented people groups in the book publishing industry. (*THIS IS A COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME). Give multiple, specific reasons; be authentic by sharing the things that actually matter and feel important to you.
Explain the essential ways that this kind of diverse representation can/should be achieved.
Give positive, or negative, examples of diverse representation taken from sample books/films for children to further prove your points in a concrete way.
*Depending on your medium, audience, or scenario, you might be trying to convince your audience to change something, or improve something (whether in a small or significant way). On the other hand, you might be thanking or praising the audience for the things they are already doing well. You might be doing both. Or, you might be writing to your future self or future situation in which you are pleading with the audience to “remember these things” for future use.
How to structure it:
This is not an essay, which means that you can put the *thesis* wherever it feels natural and effective when considering your audience and medium (letter, slides, or video). I’m open to all kinds of organizational patterns and structures, as well as various styles/tones as long as they feel authentic and aligned with your audience, medium, and purpose. You’ll have to experiment with this a bit until it feels right… like creating a mini work of art 😉
Though it is not a formal essay, you are required to use the following resources and to reference them specifically in the body of your work, giving credit via signal phrases (According to, for example):
Choose one or both of the following in order to provide OFFICIAL, nation-wide, statistical support for your points:
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) “…2019… Diversity Statistics” (Links to an external site.)
The Diverse Book Finder website, especially the “Disparities in Representation” data section (Links to an external site.)
Choose at least two of the following in order to provide the perspectives of diverse AUTHORS in the field:
“The Windows & Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf” (TED Talk by author Grace Lin) (Links to an external site.)
“The Danger of a Single Story” (TED Talk by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) (Links to an external site.)
“The Politics of Fiction” (TED Talk by author Elif Shafak) (Links to an external site.)
Incorporate ideas from Russell, Chapter 2 and Louise Derman-Sparks’s “Guide” in order to provide SCHOLARLY perspective:
Russell, Chapter 2 (pgs. 25-38)
Louise Derman-Sparks’s “Guide to Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books” (Links to an external site.)
Integrate illustrations from at least three different books/films for children, which enriches the project with YOUR OWN perspective as a reader/viewer of various pieces of work:
Example diverse texts: The House on Mango Street and/or any other books/films you’ve read before or that you choose to read as a result of our learning activities over the next two weeks.
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