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Question: How Can We Engage Students by Helping Them See Themselves and the World Through Texts?

Dec 16, 2022 9:55:53 AM
Question: How Can We Engage Students by Helping Them See Themselves and the World Through Texts?

Hi Literacy Lovers,

Sheeba Jacob recently wrote a blog post that caught our attention! She wrote, “While I could see myself in some of these books because of universal experiences like grief and love, limiting the reading experience to a few specific voices subconsciously taught me that only certain voices mattered.” 

Two things are true: Texts are at the core of literacy instruction with our students, and the texts we read with our students have a lasting impact. How can we engage students by helping them see themselves and the world through texts? We knew we had to discuss Sheeba’s blog post on the pod as soon as we read it.

We’re so glad you’re here to learn with us! 

Listen to This

Listen to our most recent podcast, Ep. 81: Thinking About Reading as Mirrors and Window, where we talk with Sheeba about the idea of texts as mirrors and windows, and she shares highlights from her blog post. 

Bonus: Listen to Sheeba’s Spotify EP Let the Magic In featuring holiday music for kids!


Read This 

Read Sheeba’s Achieve the Core blog post: Helping Our Students See Themselves and the World Through the Books They Read in Our Classrooms. She shares her own story along with tips that educators can consider and implement. 

A few tips she shares: 

  • get to know who students are and what they care about

  • provide them mirrors of who they are and windows into other worlds through the literature they read

  • engage them in conversations about the world around them and the events impacting humanity

  • celebrate their stories and larger histories


Click on This 

Join Sheeba and Achieve the Core friends for Coffee & Conversations: Navigating Identities in Texts: affirming, extending, and challenging ourselves and students through text selection on Wed, November 17, 2021 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST.

Sheeba Jacob, Tamika Peters, and Kristine Woods will talk about how they navigate questions of identity and representation in text selection. In particular, they’ll dive into the question of instruction when identity is shared with students, and when it is different.


On our podcast, Sheeba mentions this website: Facing History in Ourselves.  You can find resources for important topics and issues, such as justice & human rights, democracy & civic engagement, bullying, global immigration, and more. 

Over 100 Episodes

Melissa & Lori have over 100 podcast episodes available now on your favorite streaming service. Listen now as they discuss new ways to think about teaching reading and writing with educators and experts in the field.