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Guidelines for Multicultural Literature

The following guidelines for material selection were developed by adopting
recommendations from various language arts and multicultural educators: Beilke
(1986), Harada (1995), Harris (1991), and Pang, Colvin, Tran, & Yang (1992). They
recommend that multicultural literature contain:
1. Positive portrayals of characters with authentic and realistic behaviors, to avoid
stereotypes of a particular cultural group.
2. Authentic illustrations to enhance the quality of the text, since illustrations can have a
strong impact on children.
3. Pluralistic themes to foster belief in cultural diversity as a national asset as well as to
reflect the changing nature of this country's population.
4. Contemporary as well as historical fiction that captures changing trends in the roles
played by minority groups in America.
5. High literary quality, including strong plots and well-developed characterization.
6. Historical accuracy when appropriate.
7. Reflections of the cultural values of the characters.
8. Settings in the United States that help readers build an accurate conception of the
culturally diverse nature of this country and the legacy of various minority groups.
Lu, Mei-Yu, and English, and Communication, Bloomington, IN. ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading. Multicultural Children's Literature In The Elementary Classroom. ERIC Digest. n.p.: 1998. ERIC. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.

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