Summer Sandbox: Resources for your Classroom - National Council of Teachers of English

We had an amazing time this summer where we spent 4 consecutive weeks engaged in conversation focused on culturally responsive English language arts instruction. We extend our gratitude to each of our guest speakers who shared such wisdom and knowledge about the elements of writing, media, and literature. We thank all who attended for their participation, and a special thank-you to our member leaders and hosts: Antero Garcia, Nicole Mirra, and Detra Price-Dennis.

Below we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you continue the conversation within your communities.

Watch the Recordings!


Books and a Musical
  • Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Additional Resources
  • Countdown by Deborah Wiles
  • “The History We Carry” from This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell
  • Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell
Additional Resources
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
  • Being the Change: Lessons and Strategies to Teach Social Comprehension by Sara K. Ahmed
  • The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui
  • Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America, edited by Ibi Zoboi
  • The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, José Olivarez, and Willie Perdomo
  • Charlie Hernández and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
  • The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • Counting Descent by Clint Smith
  • Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy by Gholdy Muhammad
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Hammond
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
  • The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by Michael Dante DiMartino
  • Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City by Wes Moore with Erica L. Green
  • Fresh Ink: An Anthology (hardcover) by Lamar Giles
  • Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée
  • Here to Stay by Sara Farizan
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
  • Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student by John Spencer and A. J. Juliani
  • Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy by April Baker-Bell
  • Making Middle School: Cultivating Critical Literacy and Interdisciplinary Learning in Maker Spaces by Steve Fulton and Cynthia D. Urbanski
  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds
  • Mindy Kim series by Lyla Lee
  • New Kid by Jerry Craft
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  • The Power of Presence: Be a Voice in Your Child’s Ear Even When You’re Not with Them by Joy Thomas Moore
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel
  • Red at the Bone: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Restorative Justice in the English Language Arts Classroom by Maisha T. Winn, Hannah Graham, and Rita Renjitham Alfred
  • Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Tight by Torrey Maldonado
  • Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson
  • Unconscious Bias in Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism by Tracey A. Benson & Sarah E. Fiarman
  • The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
  • We Got This: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be by Cornelius Minor
  • We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina L. Love
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Elizabeth Acevedo, Mahogany L. Browne, and Olivia Gatwood
Articles, Blogs, and Statements
Podcasts, TED Talks, and Other Audio Resources 
Additional Resources
  • Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
  • Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • The Border by Steve Schafer
  • The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
  • Culture Crossing: An American Cookbook by Azsaneé Truss (student of Detra Price-Dennis)
  • Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
  • Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley
  • The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis
  • In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
  • Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Antiracist Literature Instruction for White Students by Carlin Borsheim-Black and Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • This Is My America by Kim Johnson
  • What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado
Articles and Blogs
Additional Resources