Franki’s Weekly Text Set–   Using Guides to Help Us: Our Own Unlearning and For Use in the Classroom

Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. 

Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!

This week, I am focusing on a set of books that have incredible Educator Guides. I am not usually a fan of teacher guides as in the past, they have not been responsive to student needs. And I certainly am not a fan of just any teacher guide (such as those I have seen on popular teacher sites). However, recently, some brilliant scholars have created educator guides for us to use. Many of these important guides help us, as teachers, unlearn harmful assumptions that we may bring to a text. In order to share these with students in a way that does not cause harm, these guides are critical. I so appreciate the experts who are supporting us with such thoughtful information and insights.

So I purchased the hardback, the ebook and the audio versions of this The 1619 Project Born on the Water, a must-have book. It is such a critical book, not just for children but for all of us. And the guide, written by the brilliant Aeriale Johnson is a true gift. The care that she took in writing this guide is evident. It is not a guide or a book to be read in one sitting and then shared quickly with children. Instead, we have to be mindful of all that Aeriale teaches us so that we can share the book with children. I’ve read through the guide once, but plan to revisit it several times as I learn, relearn, rethink and understand my role in sharing this important book with children.

I will pretty much buy any book from here on out that Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul has written an educator guide for. I learn so much from her-in her professional writing, in her authoring of Stamped for Kids and in her educator guides. The guide accompanying Stamped for Kids, as well as the guide for Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre both offer so much as we think about how we introduce history to children. Again, so much of the history in these books is history that was absent from my learning in school, so much of this is new learning for me. I can’t trust myself to teach this history well on my own. I appreciate so much the ability to have these guides to accompany these books.

The #DisruptTexts website has a set of really strong educator guides. These guides align with the core missions of #DisruptTexts and I trust and appreciate anything that any one of the co-founders shares about books and how we might approach them. The guides span K-12 but the guide for At the Mountain’s Base was especially interesting to me. I love that they remind me (and my students) to spend lots of time with the important author’s note. Check out this guide as well as the others published by the #DisruptTexts team.

I have been adamant about knowing who wrote the Educator Guides I share. Having guide authors who I trust is critical. However, for this “Lesson Kit” for We Are Still Here, I was unable to find the author of the guide. I read through it and the reason I am including it is that it helped me navigate the huge amount of information (much new-to-me) in the book and it also includes so many important resources to extend my knowledge. There is so much here to add to our understandings-for both teachers and students.

Heartdrum Imprint is another site that offers several guides for educators. If you do not know Heartdrum, Heartdrum is a new importing of Harper Collins that highlights the voices of Native creators. Many of the books have short guides to accompany them. The guides are helpful as they often share insights into the concepts and ideas specific to the culture represented in the book. I love that they have educator guides for series books because sometimes we don’t realize how much is embedded in this type of book for transitional readers. I love JoJo Makoons and love the book even more now that I’ve read and reread the guide. The guide is a reminder that we have so much to consider with every single book we share with children.

If you want to purchase any of these books, consider purchasing them from Bookelicious. Bookelicious is an amazing online independent children’s bookstore with a brilliantly curated collection and lots of incredible tools for young readers, their teachers and their parents.

Author: franki22

3rd Grade Teacher

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