Announcing the TeachersFirst 2021 Spring Book Club

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

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As racially charged controversies continue to move through the news cycle, it is important that teachers help students process and understand perspectives that are different from their own. In order to foster understanding, students and teachers have to be able to discuss the many facets of racial and cultural identity and diversity. Acknowledging similarities and differences in perspective and opinion can be an important academic exercise in critical thinking. This spring, TeachersFirst® is hosting a free, member-only virtual book club designed to help teachers use popular literature to start meaningful discussions about the characteristics of identity and diversity.

How it Works

TeachersFirst members who participate will be divided into groups and assigned popular, age-appropriate books based on the grade(s) they teach. Each week, participants will read a few chapters and join a conversation in Microsoft Teams about the previous week's reading, facilitated by our expert discussion leaders. Discussions are post-based and asynchronous, giving you the flexibility to participate on your schedule.

By engaging with other educators, you'll learn how to encourage critical thinking and turn your students' interest in stories into thought-provoking discussions about identity, culture, friendship, and inclusion. 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 and reimbursement for the price of the book. Learning is more fun with a friend, so tell a colleague and sign up today!


Book Cover - My Two GranniesElementary School (Grades K–5):
April 5–June 11
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin
We're Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
Live Meetings: April 5 & June 3
22 hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)
$30 reimbursement.

Book Cover -  New KidMiddle School (Grades 6–8):
April 5–June 11
New Kid by Jerry Craft
We're Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
Live Meetings: April 5 & June 3
22 hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)
$20 reimbursement.

Book Cover - Children of Blood and BoneHigh School (Grades 9–12):
April 5–June 11
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Meetings: April 5 & June 7
26 hour commitment (reading/responding/online meetings)
$15 reimbursement.

Outcome Highlights

  • 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.

Eligibility Criteria

You must be a TeachersFirst member living in the United States to participate. (Not a member? Sign up for FREE today so you can register!) Participation is limited to 120 TeachersFirst members (40 per grade level). Registration closes March 31, 2021.

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