Coretta Scott King Books in the
Classroom and School
Since the first Coretta Scott King Award was given in 1970, the award jury has recognized more than 100 books. The award has served its purpose of promoting African American authors and illustrators. It has also helped to identify a body of work worthy of recognition and use in today's classroom. Teachers interested in books that appeal to a wide variety of students and feature people from all walks of life need to consider the Coretta Scott King Award books to use in their curriculum. Media specialists and librarians need to become more aware of these books and should promote them to readers of all backgrounds. School media staff and librarians can also promote the books to teachers looking for literature that supports their curriculum. A great addition to every school library would be a special section of Coretta Scott King Award books similar to the special collections many have for the Newbery and Caldecott titles.
Among the Coretta Scott King titles, instructors will find appropriate reading for a variety of reading levels. There is also sufficient variety to appeal to different student interests and tastes. Books can be grouped into various categories, such as biography or poetry, to promote a particular theme or concept. Table 5.1 gives possible thematic units and the Coretta Scott King books that apply. Integrated curriculum ideas abound in the Coretta Scott King Award collection, and a creative teacher will have no trouble incorporating titles into various units of study.