Minoritized Male Children and Access to Nonfiction Texts
This capstone focuses on the usage of nonfiction texts in the elementary classroom in order to build minoritized male children’s scholar identities. Specifically, this capstone focuses on elementary aged male children of African American descent. It is informed by theory surrounding nonfiction texts, racially representative children’s literature, and scholar identity (Duke, 2004; Duke, 2010; Tschida, Ticknor, & Ryan, 2014; Whiting, 2006). With the recent Common Core standards, nonfiction texts are gaining more importance in elementary classrooms (Correia, 2011). Because of this, teachers must learn how to adequately integrate nonfiction texts into their elementary classrooms. In order to combat the marginalization of students of minoritized backgrounds in literacy education, the books used in lessons and present in classroom libraries must be diverse and representative of the students who are reading them. A Negro League Scrapbook, Before John Was a Jazz Giant, Black Jack, and What Color is My World? are four examples of nonfiction texts that feature African American men in positive ways. These texts meet criteria for high quality multicultural literature as well as nonfiction texts (University of North Carolina, 2017; Yopp & Yopp, 2006). These books are useful for incorporating into lessons in ways that will build positive scholar identities in young, Black male children. There are five research-based strategies to use with these texts in elementary classrooms in ways that help build positive scholar identities and meet Common Core Career and College Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading and Writing. They are: authentic instruction, critical literacy, collaboration, agency, and comprehension. Teachers can use these strategies to better integrate nonfiction texts into their elementary classrooms and best support their young, Black male students in developing positive scholar identities, thereby increasing self-efficacy and academic achievement (Whiting, 2006).