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One-Day Workshop:
Creating Inclusive Classrooms through Diverse Literature: Reading to Make a Difference

Presented by Katherine Kelly and Lester L. Laminack

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In the morning, we will establish a rationale for the inclusion of diverse children's literature using Rudine Sims Bishop's notion of books as mirrors, windows, and doors. Because identity influences our choices and our perceptions of what we read, it is important to broaden our view of the world through diverse literature. In our classrooms, shared read aloud experiences can help students find value in their complex identities while honoring new perspectives and views other than their own. During this workshop, you'll examine the presence of mirrors, windows, and doors in a carefully selected collection of literature.

Together we will examine our personal identities and reflect on how these influence the selection of texts we make available for students.

In the afternoon, we will introduce the instructional framework as a vehicle to help children make the necessary connections with literature to build empathy and take action. You'll see the framework in practice through video clips and student artifacts.

The last segment of the workshop will focus on how you can apply the framework to plan future instruction to help your students speak freely, think deeply, and take action.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Deepen an appreciation for the importance of diverse literature
  • Evaluate their classroom libraries for the inclusion of diverse literature
  • Utilize the provided instructional framework to design future instruction
  • Evaluate a collection of literature for potential mirrors, windows, and doors
  • Consciously examine personal bias and the limitations it places on the selection and use of diverse literature

About the Presenters

Lester L. Laminack is Professor Emeritus at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where he has won both the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Botner Superior Teaching Award. Lester is a full-time writer and consultant working with schools throughout the United States and abroad. He is the coauthor of several notable books, including The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide; Bullying Hurts; and Writers ARE Readers, all with Rita Wadsworth.

Katie Kelly is an Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Literacy Graduate Program at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, where she teaches literacy methods for elementary learners, literacy assessment and instruction, and practicum with an emphasis on literacy coaching. Katie consults with schools across the United States and serves as a coeditor for NCTE's Early Childhood Education Assembly Journal Perspectives and Provocations.

Lester and Katie's recent book, Reading to Make a Difference, informs this workshop.

Who Should Attend?

Classroom teachers of grades K-6, literacy coaches/specialists, librarians, curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teacher educators.


8:30 A.M.-3:00 P.M.


The cost of this workshop is $249.00 per person. If you register 3 or more participants at the same time the cost is $239.00 per person.

Event Photography Notification

Please note that during this workshop, photography, audio, and video recording may occur. By attending this event, you agree to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded, and give permission for Heinemann to use your likeness in any promotional and/or marketing materials. If you do not wish to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded, you must see a Heinemann facilitator or staff member to sign an opt-out form, and have your picture taken for identification purposes. Failure to do so will assume permission has been given to use your likeness in any marketing and/or promotional materials.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

04/13/2020 - Hoffman Estates, IL
04/20/2020 - Hurst, TX

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