As I plan to teach a new class in the fall, Multicultural Literature, I have been assessing the available resources as I develop my syllabus. I have to admit the pickings are slim–or so I thought. With the adoption of the Common Core Standards, there is a greater emphasis on informational and nonfiction writings. The amount of literature that explores concepts relevant to multicultural writers, definitions of America, melting pot theories, and numerous other motifs and themes is actually quite extensive.
For all of my Common Core lovers (admit it, you are out there) you know that each unit is guided by one extended text and seven short thematically linked pieces. The Internet is a great tool for finding these resources. Every book you can imagine is online as a pdf or mobi file in some capacity. Due to the need for short pieces, excerpts are really what we are in need of in most cases. These are not only easy to come by online, but typically free for embedding. I made a post last month about Google Previews. Amazon also offers previews (albeit it, not embeddable) that students can access. I have also begun ordering copies of more expensive books that I love and photocopying the sections I want to share with my students and creating a pdf. Is that allowable? YES! Remember that as educators we have the copyright allotment of ten percent from any protected work, as long as it is for educational purposes. Those great anthologies and 700 page books are excellent sources for these excerpts. As I begin pulling sources for my Multicultural class, I will embed them on my site under a resources page. I am considering going live again with my classroom (student) site to provide a home for what I imagine will be a wealth of resources and tools. I considered just putting all of the tools on Edmodo, but the embeddable books would not work. As I work this out in my head, the options seem expansive!
Feedback? Suggestions? I would love to hear any ideas!