Culturally-Relevant and Language-Focused Storybooks

Introducing another classroom resource (and an amazing one!!!):

The resource is called Story Books Minnesota. It contains 40 culturally relevant texts.These texts are translated into the most common Minnesota languages (including Somali!). They are chunked texts, and the website will read them to students (in an actual native speakers’ voice). The texts are also leveled for students.

I am very excited about this, as it could be a great fit integrated into many of our classrooms across our schools to promote bilingualism and culture. It could also be useful to engage some of our African students.

How could you integrate this into your own classroom?

If you cannot find the story books online, here is a link: Story Books Minnesota

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Thanks for sharing, Merissa. I can think of several ways that this resource could be useful. As a parent I’ve noticed the predominance of whiteness and white authors in Children’s literature, so I think for my own use with my toddler, this is a fantastic resource to counter that. I know of many educators in our district who will be interested in this!

They’re creative commons licensed, nice! That way someone could turn them into a slideshow or movie if they wanted. These would fit into our Storytime Hub resources from MDE.

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I spent a little time exploring the parent resource, The African Storybook. This looks to be a really great literacy resource. Students can create storybooks on the site as well as access storybooks in African languages, English, and other world languages.

The science curriculum I’m using ( commonly refers to “Goldilocks Conditions”. I spent a little time looking to see if there are any un-Anglo versions of this story with the focus on something being “just right” for someone. Didn’t find anything CR, when I get a chance, maybe I’ll give this resource a shot.

Thanks for the resource!

Here’s another fun resource (which also happens to be a pet project of mine). I am working on tagging high quality lists of recommended books into Destiny. If you can get signed in to Destiny, you can access these lists by following these instructions. Click the first video and then skip to 1:28.

Let me know if you have questions or if there are other lists you are interested in getting tagged into Destiny. We have some good resources in District, but sometimes it can be hard to find them.

I got to go to a training regarding these storybooks on Friday. I learned that there are even more texts and languages than I had originally heard about. In addition to African stories, there are also Native American storybooks to access and use with students.

I was thinking about doing a little mini-training on how a resource like this could be used. Helpful or not?

I think it would be helpful. I can add it to the Storytime Hub we copied over from the Dept. of Ed. and share it as part of those resources.

If you’d like to write up a short paragraph or two about the resources, I can add it to the Teaching and Learning blog, and then (maybe) get it put in the S’more newsletters too.

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