Diverse Literature and Picturebook Making in the Writing Classroom

Teachers, Profs, Parents: Writers Who Care

By Angie Zapata

My personal curiosities for diverse picturebooks as mentor texts were inspired in part by a question posed in the book In Pictures and in Words by Katie Ray. Ray asks, what if we were to teach the fine art of writing through illustration? I further wondered how teachers and parents might look to diverse picturebooks as model texts for doing so, and if in turn, students might be inspired to integrate their ways of being, doing, and speaking as composing resources. Alongside two similarly interested classroom teachers, I explored how young writers leaned on diverse models of writing and design to produce their own picturebooks. We found that students were quick to take up the ways diverse authors and illustrators folded their lives and languages into their books and book making processes, and that the students also learned about the fine art of writing.

One picturebook maker…

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