It is important that we affirm as well as expand our students ideas around families. Families are so important in our student's lives and it is important to remember that families look are diverse, intersectional and unique. All of our student's families and who they consider to be part of their families should be honoured and respected. This is how we can create a respectful and inclusive classroom community and school.
While doing a project around creating family pictures, my student wanted to draw his family members that were in another country where he has recently immigrate from. I thought his picture was such a beautiful way to honour, respect, center and remember all of the people in his life who love and care for him. Just because he had moved to another country did not mean he was not thinking of them and that he didn't consider them his family. This was really a lesson for me to critically think about how to do this work in the classroom and how to honour my students and their identities and lived experiences. Some open ended questions I have asked to learn more about my student's families are "Who are the important people in your life who love and care for you? "Which family members live with you and which live in another place? "What do you love about your family?"
Below are some of the beautiful books I have come across with the theme of family. All books have so many different themes and ideas. These book center the different, inclusive and beautiful ways to be a family. When we curate and share books with our students, it is important that they are relevant, responsive and contextual. Different books will be read differently in the different spaces we occupy, it is always important to center the students that are in our classrooms and schools.
This is not really a booklist, but rather some recommendations that show the beautiful realities of what it looks and means to be a family.