Celebrating Diverse Cultures in Bilingual Books

Encouraging children to appreciate and celebrate diversity should be a major goal for teachers in this day and age.  And there’s no better way to appreciate and celebrate diversity than by using bilingual books in your classroom. Bilingual books help foster a welcoming environment, especially if you have English Language Learners (ELLs) in your classroom.  The great thing about bilingual books is that children are able to see a variety of cultures represented in a manner that they may not have seen before.

Bilingual books are excellent tools that encourage parental involvement Spanish-speaking parents and their kids who are learning English at school.  They also help promote literacy skills because ELLs can read them in their native language and English, which is typically their second language.  This helps ELLs better understand what they are reading, in turn improving upon their literacy skills.   Fortunately, there are countless bilingual books featuring an array of cultures.  Here are a couple of award-winning bilingual books that we recommend for any classroom or household.

The Art of Memory

The Art of Memory is a collection of ten short stories.  These short stories were written and illustrated by ten artists.  These artists’ most memorable childhood recollection are brought to life in this collection of short stories.  Each short story recounts the long-lasting value of family stories.   Some of the short stories include “The Great Star Theater” by Rio Yanez, “The Playhouse” by Noel Ill, and “New York City, Our New Home” by Maria Dominguez.

The Shark That Taught Me English

The Shark That Taught Me English by Michelle Markel is an awarding-winning book that tells the story of a little girl named Sofia.  She moved from Mexico to the United States and did not speak English.    On her first day in school, her teacher showed her class an image of a shark.  Poor Sofia was afraid of the shark. After all, she had never seen one in her life! Sofia’s teacher did everything possible for Sofia to learn and feel comfortable in class and even took the class on a fun-filled field trip.   This book demonstrates how teachers go the distance when it comes to teaching their students.  The Shark That Taught Me English won the 2010 Pinnacle Award for Best Children’s Book and the 2008 Moonbeam Awards Gold Medal.

Celebrating Diverse Cultures in Bilingual Books

Celebrating Diverse Cultures in Bilingual Books