Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 Opening Minds Conference - Chicago Metro AEYC


A hearty welcome to people who attended Choosing and Using Picture Books about Native Americans: What's New, What's Good, and What's Best Practice at Opening Minds, the 1011 Chicago Metro AEYC conference in January, 2011. (For those who don't know, the conference is for educators in early childhood).

Jean Mendoza and I are glad that you attended our session, and are happy to provide you with this list of books we discussed. Click on the titles for more information about each one. Some may be available from Oyate. Where possible, I provide a link to the webpage for the publisher. As is always the case with a conference presentation, time is limited, and presenters are never able to say something about every book they want to...  So, this is an incomplete list.

Board and Concept Books

Traditional Stories
  • Pia Toya: A Goshute Indian Legend, by Children of Ibapah Elementary School (order used copy from your preferred used bookseller).
  • Muskrat Will Be Swimming, by Cheryl Savageau, available from Tilbury House
  • The Story of the Milk Way: A Cherokee Tale, by Joseph Bruchac and Gayle Ross (order a used copy from your preferred used bookseller).

Contemporary Stories

Historical Settings

Nonfiction
Internet Resources

Chicago Area Resources

1 comment:

Shaun & Rina said...

First of all I’d like to thank you for sharing your wisdom with our class on Wednesday. Your presentation and blog have brought thoughts that have honestly never crossed my mind. Call me naive, but as a math and science teacher, I just took for granted that published books are well researched, and generally portray a telling story. When I come across literature that portrays a false representation of Aboriginal people, I laugh it off, and toss it aside. This is because I am aware of alternative perspectives, and I am aware how Aboriginal people can often be falsely portrayed.
However, you brought insight into the purpose of books in early education – to educate! What are these books teaching our youth if they cannot be true representations. This can be especially hurtful when a young Aboriginal child is seeking for that sense of identity and belonging. We look for mirrored images of ourselves and relate to the books we see ourselves in. I see now how books can be educating Aboriginal youth in a wrong way, and teachers need to be careful of that. I have no idea if English and Early Years teachers are being educated on the validity of the books they choose to place in their classrooms, or if they are simply taking “good books” from recommendation, and placing them in their school or classroom. I’m very glad you have chose to publish your work in a public blog site for everyone to see your work, and your recommended books with accurate Aboriginal perspectives. I believe teachers need to have access to sites such as this so that they can have “quick access” to a number of books they can offer their students. Thank you so much!