Announcing the TeachersFirst 2021 Fall Book Club Topic:

Encouraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
through Critical Thinking with Literature

See the featured books and the schedule

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, 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 and together you can learn to turn your students' interest in stories into thought-provoking discussions about identity, culture, friendship, and inclusion.

Our Book Study

We also offer a book study twice a year, focused on integrating instructional technology in the classroom.

While the book club works through books for students, the book study is based on professional learning conversations using books that offer pedagogical strategies.

About Our Book Club

Our book club focuses on timely topics you and your students might be encountering in your day-to-day lives. The 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 the Book Club Works

Members of the book club have the opportunity to earn CEUs through their active participation in the book club.

  1. The application deadline is September 15, so apply ASAP!

    Eligibility Criteria
    You must live in the United States to participate. Participation is limited to 40 participants per grade level.

  2. Next, download and review our Book Club Starter Kit. It explains:
    • How to join our Microsoft Team
    • Our rubric for book club discussions
    • What is expected of book club participants for fostering learning Conversations
    • How to prepare for participation in book club meetings.
  3. You'll be assigned popular, age-appropriate books based for the grade(s) you 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.
  4. Join us in for our book club meetings, engage in conversation with other members, and have fun!!

At the conclusion of the book club, members who follow the book club rubric, actively 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.

Featured Books

My Two Grannies book cover

Elementary School (Grades K-5):
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin
We're Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey


$30 reimbursement


September 27-November 19

Live Meetings:
September 27 & November 18

22-hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)

Amari and the Night Brothers book cover

Middle School (Grades 6-8):
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston


$20 reimbursement

September 27-November 19

Live Meetings:
September 27 & November 18

22-hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)

Children of Blood and Bone book cover

High School (Grades 9-12):
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


$15 reimbursement

September 27-November 19

September 27 & November 18

26-hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)

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!