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Multiethnic Classroom Guides


LEE & LOW BOOKS is committed to serving the needs of today's teachers and students. It is our goal to provide educators with books that address the experiences of people of all backgrounds, but especially children of color—who now make up more than half of the school population. Our diverse collection includes contemporary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. In addition, we publish historical fiction and biographies, often focusing on lesser-known figures who have been ignored by traditional history books. Our books give these heroes their day in the sun and make their contributions known to a wider audience of readers.

Our books also satisfy the requirements of national standards. Our Active Learner Classroom Guides are FREE for classroom use and are available in both on-line format and as downloadable PDFs.

Active Learner Classroom Guide Common Features:
  • Reading Levels and Themes
  • Story Synopsis and Background Information
  • Special Teaching Tips
  • Pre-Reading Focus Questions
  • Exploring the Book
  • Setting a Purpose for Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • After-Reading Discussion Questions
  • Literature Circles
  • Reader's Response
  • Other Writing Activities
  • ELL/ESL Teaching Strategies
  • Interdisciplinary Activities
  • About the Author and Illustrator
  • Web Resources




School Drawing Contest

First grade students from Jamaica Plains, MA, Chicago, IL, and San Francisco, CA, express their creativity in a drawing contest based on the story Can You Top That?



GRADE 1-2 Reading Level

David's Drawings Guide

David sees a beautiful bare winter tree. As soon as he gets to school, this shy young boy who loves to draw begins a beautiful picture of the tree he has seen. One by one his classmates come by with suggestions for the drawing.
Themes: African/African American Interest, Friendship, Imagination, Multiethnic interest, Sharing & Giving
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 1-2 Reading Level

My Teacher Can Teach. . . Anyone! Guide

In this unusual book, a young boy and his classmates explore an alphabet of occupations from Astronaut to Zillionaire with the help of the boy's favorite teacher.
Themes: Teaching, School and Learning, Occupations/Careers, Alphabet
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 2-3 Reading Level

Bein' with You This Way Guide

A playground rap that introduces young readers to how people are different and yet the same.
Themes: Physical Differences and Similarities, Sharing and Cooperation, Making Friends
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 3 Reading Level

Everglades Forever Guide

A photo-essay about the Florida Everglades, its unique ecosystem, and the efforts currently underway to restore this "Wetland of International Importance," told within the framework of a class study project and visit to the Everglades.
Themes: Environment/Nature, School, Multiethnic/Diversity
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 3-4 Reading Level

Celebrate! Guide

A photographic exploration comparing celebrations in seven indigenous world cultures and the United States, highlighting common rituals such as body decoration, music, and dance.
Themes: World Cultures, Celebrations and Traditions, Communities, Human Experiences, Music, Dance, Environments
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 3-4 Reading Level

How We Are Smart Guide

A multifaceted biography of twelve talented people that introduces readers to the eight ways people can be smart and the realization that intelligence is "not about how smart you are, but how you are smart."
Themes: Learning, Creativity, Self-Esteem, Diversity, Occupations, Multiple Intelligences
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 3-4 Reading Level

Irena's Jars of Secrets Discussion Questions

A picture book biography of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker who helped save nearly 2500 Jewish children during the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II.
Themes: Holocaust, Heroism/Bravery, War, Human Rights, World War II, Jewish Interest
Download Discussion Questions in PDF


GRADE 3-4 Reading Level

Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy Classroom Guide

A picture book biography of William Ellsworth Hoy, the first deaf player to have a long and statistically distinguished career in professional and Major League baseball.
Themes: Sports (baseball)/Sports History, Disability/Deafness, Deaf Athletes, Trailblazers, Discrimination, Dreams and Aspirations, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Overcoming Obstacles/Adversity, Persistence/Determination, Achieving a Goal, Peer Teasing
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 3-4 Reading Level

Tan to Tamarind

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Tan, sienna, topaz, or tamarind? Poet Malathi Michelle Iyengar sees a whole spectrum of beautiful shades of brown.
Themes: Asian/Asian American Interest, African/African American Interest, Cultural diversity, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Multiethnic interest, Poetry, Self Esteem/Identity, Similarities and Differences, Comparisons/Opposites, Colors
Download Classroom Guide in PDF (9.2MB)


GRADE 4 Reading Level

Vanishing Cultures Guide

The award-winning Vanishing Cultures seven-book series, now available again in beautiful, updated editions. Features photographic accounts of children from indigenous cultures around the world — exploring their daily lives, relationships with their environments, and challenges in a changing world.
Themes: World Cultures, Native Peoples, Environment, Habitats, Ecology, Customs and Traditions
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 4-5 Reading Level

Just Like Me

Fourteen artists share their self-portraits and the inspirational paths they took to becoming artists. These artists show children that they too can become artists like them.
Themes: Art, Biography, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Cultural diversity, Education, Home, Similarities and Differences
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 4-5 Reading Level

Puffling Patrol Guide

Ted and Betsy Lewin’s illustrated account of their trip to an island off the coast of Iceland, where they chronicle the annual activities of The Puffling Patrol, local children who rescue and care for lost young puffins and facilitate their first flight out to sea.
Themes: Animals (puffins), Environments and Habitats, Environmental Change, Animal Rescue and Preservation, Animal Science, Childhood Experiences, Societal Customs
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


GRADE 6 and Up Reading Level

Hammer of Witches Discussion Questions

Fourteen-year-old bookmaker’s apprentice Baltasar, pursued by a secret witch-hunting arm of the Inquisition, joins Columbus’s expedition to escape and discovers secrets about his own past that his family had tried to keep hidden.
Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Witches, Storytelling, Father-son Relationships, Genies, Columbus's First Journey, Native Caribbean People, Spanish Inquisition, Malleus Malificarum, Witch Hunts
Download Discussion Questions in PDF


GRADE 6 and Up Reading Level

Hammer of Witches Pronunciation Guide

Fourteen-year-old bookmaker’s apprentice Baltasar, pursued by a secret witch-hunting arm of the Inquisition, joins Columbus’s expedition to escape and discovers secrets about his own past that his family had tried to keep hidden.
Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Witches, Storytelling, Father-son Relationships, Genies, Columbus's First Journey, Native Caribbean People, Spanish Inquisition, Malleus Malificarum, Witch Hunts
Download Classroom Guide in PDF


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Our Active Learner Classroom Guides are designed to help you, the teacher, deliver useful and practical information to your students. So, PLEASE feel free to email your comments and suggestions. If you have ideas for lesson plans to implement with any LEE & LOW titles, send them to us and we will include them with an acknowledgment.





Helpful resources can also be found at our Administrators section.

Teach @ Home? Visit our Homeschooling section


Want to know more about us or have specific questions regarding Teacher's Guides?

Please write us!
general@leeandlow.com
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