At the Educators for Social Justice (ESJ) Conference at Wydown Middle School on Saturday, March 3, 2018, Old Bonhomme’s Reading Specialist Stacy Butz gave a presentation entitled Critical Literacy: Using Picture Books to Create Authentic Conversations in the Classroom.
Stacy Butz published her first children’s book through Guardian Angel Publishing entitled “A Mother’s Gift”, which tells the story of a boy named Matthew who recently lost his father. Struggling with his father’s death, Matthew resolves to give his mother a special gift for Christmas, and in doing so, discovers the true meaning of the holiday.
As an educator, Stacy strives to use children’s literature to generate authentic conversations among her students.
Stacy said that the purpose of the workshop was to allow educators to examine picture books and engage one another to create a lesson to be used in a classroom immediately.
“Literacy is more than reading and writing,” Stacy says. “It is inherently social, cultural, and political. As educators, don’t we want to teach our students to question and challenge the world around them so they become stronger citizens? Critical literacy is not only a type of pedagogy that is different from a more traditional approach; it is a different world view that transforms teaching and the way students and educators see and interact with the world. Critical conversations cross lines of culture, gender, race and class. It allows students to engage critically with the texts they read, as well as the world around them. It leads to an interest in literacy and a desire to use literacies in meaningful ways. The hope is that this type of instruction will yield stronger readers and stronger citizens.”