9:00 am — 2:00 pm
Online via Zoom
Free - $50
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Building Empathy Through Diverse Children’s Literature

Change is the ever constant. The field of education is evolving rapidly to accommodate the learning needs of this generation of students. Increasing knowledge and research on learning styles, the influx of technology in education, the immediate access to information and happenings around the world, the heightened awareness of ability, racial, cultural, gender, and socioeconomic structures in the classroom impact the social-emotional functions of a student.

Social-emotional functioning impacts learning, which in turn impacts the delivery of instruction, which should give us teachers cause to frequently reevaluate how and what we teach.

It is, however, our collective responsibility as 21st-century teachers of young children not only to provide them with content knowledge and strategies for learning, analyzing, and synthesizing that knowledge, but also the skills to become cognitively healthy and responsible adults. These skills include developing self-awareness, treating themselves and each other with respect, taking responsibility, communicating effectively, and collaborating in an increasingly connected world.

This session illustrates how to consciously weave these skills into the music curriculum.

The empathy-building activities in the session are inspired by multicultural music and diverse children’s books. They address the growing need for building empathy in young children so that they can negotiate the world in a healthy and responsible manner.

Children’s literature may be used to build awareness and acceptance of self and others while working toward a common musical objective. Through movement, singing, playing instruments, body percussion, active listening, and composing activities students can learn to work cooperatively, think critically, and refer to collaboration rubrics while developing creative solutions to issues of bullying, gender identity, refugee and immigrant situations, poverty, racial and ethnic similarities and differences, and being labeled and stereotyped.

Through diverse children’s literature, movement, and multicultural song, dance, speech, and instrumental pieces that are taught with as close a simulation to authenticity as possible students may be led to discover, explore, and create while acquiring a respectful acceptance of the similarities and differences that exist among themselves, their community, and the larger world.

CDE Clock Hours* are available at all workshops for no extra cost!
Graduate Credit* is available through Adams State University for participating in all four online workshops.
*See the Clock Hours & Credit FAQ page for more information.

Online via Zoom | registration will be posted shortly.
​Zoom link will be sent the week of the workshop

Workshop Fees:
OAKE or AOSA Member: $25
​Non-member: $50

9a-11a | morning session
11a-12p | lunch break
​12p-2p | afternoon session


About Manju:

Manju Durairaj was born and raised in India. She studied in Pune, India. She was involved in graduate research projects on comparative pedagogical practices of Indian (Carnatic) and Western Music at Middlesex University, London, UK. She graduated with her second master’s degree and K-12 certification from VanderCook College of Music, Chicago. Manju currently teaches K-5 general music at the Latin School of Chicago. She is program chair and past president of the Greater Chicago Orff Chapter. She is an adjunct professor at VanderCook College of Music, Chicago. She is an AOSA approved Orff Schulwerk Level 1 instructor. She is SMART certified, Seesaw and Book creator ambassador and Edpuzzle coach. Her continuing teaching education courses on campus and online include early childhood, general music methods, curriculum design, technology, Orff Schulwerk, and assessment and standards. She was on the Diversity Commission of the American Orff Schulwerk Association and is on the Elementary General Music Council of IL Music Education Association. She is a frequent clinician at ISME, AOSA, OAKE, NAfME and various other state, national, and international conferences. She has been published in the Orff EchoReverberationsIllinois Music Educators JournalGeneral Music Today, and the Journal of the Council for Research in Music Education. Her publications with Hal Leonard include InterAct with Music Assessment Levels 1 and 2InterAct Levels 1&2 Student Activities for Devices and PrintTechnology in Today’s Music Classroom and Dancing Around the World with Music Express Magazine.

Not an AOSA or OAKE member?  Join the national Orff organization AOSA or the national Kodaly organization OAKE to help support the professional development and music education resources you know and love.


November 7, 2020
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Free - $50
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