Picture Books and Global Perspectives
Seminar - UHON 301

Instructor(s): Yoo Kyung Sung

Course Description

This course focuses on developing the knowledge and perspectives that are essential to global citizenship through reading and responding to picture books and selective chapter books in a wide range of global cultures. Through pairing professional readings on global citizenship with social media and adolescent literature reflecting multiple cultural perspectives, participants will critically examine the development of their own intercultural understanding through the lenses of knowledge, perspective and action as they connect to literacy, leadership, and learning.  

We will form a community of readers to explore diverse, even opposing, readings of books and will critique the cultural worlds of books and our response to books through inquiring into how our differing understandings are socially and culturally constructed. This course  is a writing emphasis class so you will do many written reflections and narratives throughout the class and a final formal written paper.  


Subscriptions to EPIC Books: $11.99/Monthly 

Picture books that depict global communities are to be utlizied in class and digital children’s book library, The EPIC Book. Many of picture book collections will be provided by the instructor and assigned via EPIC Books. 


Book chapters are selectively assigned from Citizenship Education and Global Migration by James Banks that is also available as digital copy via UNM Library. DIfferent articles, blog articles, and video texts will be required to read and watch. Below is sample reading examples from the EPIC Books: 


1.Participation and attendance  

Attend class regularly and participate in discussions, sharing, small groups, written responses, and class activities. An essential aspect of participation is to read and prepare for discussions of the literature and the professional readings and to engage in informal and formal writing. Preparation and participation in class is significant, not only for your learning, but for the learning of others. More than one absence and/or chronic tardiness will lower your grade for the course.  

  1. Bi-weekly Response Journal (written reflections)

The purpose of the journal is to reflect on your readings of the literature and the professional articles and chapters which we discuss in class.  

  1. Analysis of self as a global citizen (personal narrative)

The purpose of this assignment is to explore your own cultural identities, global citizenship, and intercultural understanding. This assignment includes the following components that will be completed and shared over several different class sessions - A visual depiction and written reflection on your current cultural identities, focusing on multiple factors that influence identity including ethnicity, nationality, gender, social class, religion, etc. - A map of yourself as a global citizen that indicates the range of ways in which you are engaged in global experiences or perspectives - Write a personal narrative that involves a global cross-cultural encounter that you experienced.  

  1. Hanging Around Activity (written analysis and reflection) 

Visit a place where you have never been and that includes peoples from a range of cultures. This engagement will encourage you to experience something completely new. Choose a site where you will see, hear, and feel different cultures, language, or perspectives. These sites may include places that you can experience different religions, languages or cultures.  

  1. Interviews with someone from a global culture and review 3 picture books about the person’s affiliated cultures

 1) Interview #1: Interview someone who grew up in the U.S. and has extensive experiences of traveling around the world, or has active interactions with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. 2) Interview #2: Interview someone who grew up in a global culture that differs from your cultural community and who spent a significant period of time in that culture.In the next class session, turn in a short written reflection indicating what you selected and why and how the class responded. 

  1. Inquiry Project (formal paper) Choose a question or issue of concern to you in relation to global citizenship and intercultural understanding. Research through professional readings, picture books, adolescent chapter books, discussions, interviews, observations, and/or work with adults or children. You can choose to do your inquiry project alone or with others. 

No Video

About the Instructor(s): Yoo Kyung Sung

Yoo Kyung Sung, Ph.D. is a professor at the Literacy and Language Arts Program of the Department of Language Literacy and Sociocultural Studies. She teaches a wide range of children’s literature and literature education courses.