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May 17, 2019

Six steps to lead a cultural diversity read aloud

People experience the world in different ways. From the things we wear to the languages we speak and the ideologies we uphold, cultural norms and traditions shape who we are.

Cultural diversity is part of the fabric of humanity—creating a path for new ideas and development. Diverse cultures of the world live and work harmoniously together when recognition, acceptance, and mutual respect are present.

Books are wonderful tools to help kids practice cultural awareness and celebrate diversity. Reading stories enables children to connect with their own feelings and experiences in relation to the character’s feelings experiences.

In fact, reading is shown to increase kids’ social and emotional learning skills. Through reading, children can learn to empathize with characters, interpret multiple different experiences in a story, and relate events from a story with their own lives.

In honor of Cultural Diversity Day we’re sharing some of our favorite multicultural kids books and providing a step-by-step guide on how to lead a cultural diversity read aloud with the kids in your life. Let’s celebrate cultural diversity by encouraging kids to engage with and discuss multicultural children’s literature.

How to lead a cultural diversity read aloud

What you’ll need: One to three books from the Cultural Diversity Book List, the Cultural Diversity Day discussion guide, a cozy spot to read, and a reading partner.

Step 1: Secure your books

Reference our list of books exploring topics of cultural diversity for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Choose your favorite titles, and visit your local library or bookstore to pick them up if you don’t have them handy at home.

Step 2: Prepare

Once you have your books selected, print out a copy of the cultural diversity day discussion guide.

Step 3: Start by selecting a book

Start the read aloud by letting your young reading partner preview two or three book options before selecting one to read. If you are only able to purchase or borrow one book, then consider including your reading partner in the book selection process in step 1.

Step 4: Set a purpose

Follow the discussion guide to set a purpose and make some predictions about the book before reading.

Step 5: Read

As you read, pause at key points throughout the story to checkin. Refer to the discussion guide for sample questions about the plot, setting, and characters.

Step 6: After reading

After you are done reading the book, revisit some of the main themes and events in the book. Check in with your reading partner about their reactions. Reference the discussion guide for some great “after reading” questions.

Download a pdf copy of these instructions

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