Announcing the TeachersFirst 2021 Fall Book Club
Encouraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
through Critical Thinking with Literature

Man Reading Book

Acknowledging similarities and differences in perspective and opinion can be a constructive academic exercise in critical thinking. As contentious public events spill over into the classroom, it’s important that teachers help students process and understand perspectives that are different from their own. This fall, TeachersFirst® is hosting a free, member-only virtual book club designed to help teachers use popular literature to start meaningful discussions about diversity and racial and cultural identity with their students. Invite a colleague (they can become a TeachersFirst member for free!) and you can learn to turn your students’ interest in stories into thought-provoking discussions about identity, culture, friendship, and inclusion.

About the Book Club

Our book club is a discussion-driven professional learning opportunity at the intersection of critical thinking, DEI, and literacy instruction designed to help you:

  • Learn how to use popular books to spark discussions about challenging topics.
  • Help students develop critical thinking skills and draw real-world connections to the fiction they read.
  • Discover strategies for planning and executing discussion-based lessons.
  • Connect, engage, and exchange ideas with other educators across the country.

How it Works

TeachersFirst members who participate will be assigned popular, age-appropriate books based on the grade(s) they teach. Each week, participants will read a few chapters and join a post-based, asynchronous conversation in Microsoft Teams about the previous week’s reading, facilitated by our expert discussion leaders.

At the conclusion of the book club, members who participate in all discussions and attend the two required live sessions will receive a certificate of participation for the appropriate number of CEUs and reimbursement for the price of the book. The application deadline is September 15, so apply ASAP!


My Two Grannies book cover

Elementary School (Grades K–5):
September 27–November 19
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin
We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
Live Meetings: September 27 & November 18
22-hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)
$30 reimbursement

Amari and the Night Brothers book cover

Middle School (Grades 6–8):
September 27–November 19
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston
Live Meetings: September 27 & November 18
22-hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)
$20 reimbursement

Children of Blood and Bone book cover

High School (Grades 9–12):
September 27-November 19
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Meetings: September 27 & November 18
26-hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)
$15 reimbursement

Eligibility Criteria

You must be a TeachersFirst member living in the United States to participate. Participation is limited to 40 TeachersFirst members per grade level. Registration closes September 15, 2021. (Not a member? Sign up for FREE and get access to member-only professional learning events, like the book club.)

Looking for more free, high-quality lesson ideas and professional development opportunities? Check out the Infusing Technology blog and our OK2Ask virtual workshops, and our education Twitter chats!