LEAP Materials

Global Understanding/Cultural Literacy™ Book Series

This book series is an innovative educational tool for students in grades K-12.  These comprehensive anthologies link literacy to every academic subject and use stories, writing, comparison charts, music, drama, games, visual arts, maps, images and more to enhance the teaching of the core curriculum. The books employ a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the 12 diverse cultures of China, Japan, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia.  Through lively lessons, hands-on activities, artistic projects and creative games, students fall in love with learning while increasing their overall academic performance.
Click here to take a look inside the books of the Global Understanding/Cultural Literacy book series!
Our anthologies for students in grades 3-6 include space for them to illustrate the stories.
Classroom sets are available at amazon.com as well as the NYSTL website. Book Contract # 7000579.

The Global Understanding/Cultural Literacy publications featuring the same 12 countries throughout include:


Animal Tales, for students, grades K-5
A beautifully illustrated book for parents or teachers to read aloud to young children, or for older children to read on their own. It contains 12 stories from around the world with vibrant pictures, games, art, and music activities that encourage children to read and learn about new cultures.

Trickster Tales, for students, grade 3
This unique and interactive introductory book explores the role of the trickster in 12 cultures and helps young readers expand their literacy skills while comparing social attitudes in diverse cultures. It can be used as a springboard for writing, arts, and drama projects.

Cinderella Tales, for students, grade 4
This book is for mid-level readers and highlights the many ways that the Cinderella story can be told. It presents 14 tales of Cinderella, male and female, allowing students to conduct a compare and contrast analysis. Many of the versions are very different from our own version and illuminate a wide range of cultural values and practices.


Folk Tales, for students, grade 5
From China's White Lotus Magic to Brazil's The Three Old Ladies, these imaginative stories encompass folk tales from around the world that students enjoy. These stories reflect the beliefs and diverse points of view of each culture represented.  As they are the retelling of common folk tales, this book makes learning about these countries effortless and fun.
Classic Literature, for students, grade 6
This thought-provoking collection of classic literature—from China’s Dream of the Red Chamber to Germany’s Emil and the Detectives—combines well-known literary works drawn from 12 countries. These stories illuminate historical events, cultural attitudes, and social customs.  The stories also address how geography, economy, religion, and history influence the social customs and values of the 12 cultures.


Famous Tales Anthology, for students, grades 7-8
This anthology contains essays, short stories, and excerpts from literature from around the globe that highlight the various symbols, values, and cultural beliefs of people from a variety of world cultures. From tragic love stories to cautionary tales and allegories, this collection is designed to improve middle school students’ literacy and social studies skills.


Uncommon Tales Anthology, for students, grades 9-12
A perfect tool to prepare for the NYS Global History Regents Exams, this book introduces high school students and advanced readers to world cultures, while strengthening their literacy skills. It includes 56 fully annotated stories related to the environmental, historical, and religious influences on culture, as well as social attitudes toward gender and authority, and cross-cultural links. Each chapter is accompanied by a detailed introductory essay. All of the materials in this book were tested and revised with over 400 9th- and 10th-grade students in order to ensure that they were relevant and engaging for this age level.


Teacher's Guides, for grades 2-6
This 900-page two-volume educational tool focuses on all 12 countries from the Global Understanding/Cultural Literacy book series.  Accompanied by a CD-ROM with slides, games, maps and activities, this guide includes comprehensive background information, primary source maps and reading, writing and comparative language activities, 250 images, over 200 lesson plans, and 75 hands-on activities and games to engage students.
Volume I
Volume II

Teacher's Guide, for grades 7-12
With over 200 detailed lesson plans and 2 CD-ROMs, this guide also includes interactive classroom activities including political systems, economic systems, all of the major religions, report and essay writing activities to strengthen students' skills, historic modern maps, charts, game boards, slides, art materials, and worksheets. This is an effective tool that aligns with the English and arts curricula as well as the NYS Global History Regents Exams.

Additional Curriculum Guides & Materials

American History Comes Alive
This publication, funded by the USDOE, includes a summary of the many tested activities that will engage 7th and 8th graders in the study of American History as well as background information, useful web links, lesson plans, activity sheets and many primary source materials for use with 7th- and 8th-grade social studies classes. All lesson plans and materials are on a downloadable CD-ROM.

Drama: Social Voice of History
This publication provides teachers with an exciting approach to teaching history through theater. Using well-known dramatic works, theater visits, playwriting and other hands-on activities, this book, written by theater professionals and educators, presents an innovative and easily replicable way of teaching English and social studies through drama.

Japan: An Island Culture
This educational resource for teachers provides a remarkable way of learning about Japanese culture. This kit includes a book, slides, background information, games, a self-guided museum visit, and hands-on activities such as "the web of obligations bowing game" and "the proverb game," which compares American and Japanese proverbs. The materials are designed to supplement the classroom study of Japan and highlight the link between traditional and modern Japanese culture.
Korea: Crossroads of Asian Culture
A teacher guide developed and tested with middle school students to engage students in the study of Korean culture, history, and traditional social structure.  This kit contains numerous slides, maps, classroom activities, lectures, and even a self-guided tour of the Hall of Asian Peoples at the American Museum of Natural History.

Understanding History through Art
Initially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this kit uses art as a primary source material in the study of world and American history. This six-book series focuses on art from Ancient Egypt to modern day.  These publications are designed specifically for middle school students and present an engaging way of looking at history through various forms of art. These materials include a CD-ROM featuring art from international museums along with accompanying text, detailed museum worksheets for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and hands-on classroom activities. Through highlighting dress, teenage customs, etc., they provide a fun and exciting way to directly relate to students' lives and interests.

City as History
This teacher guide, created by renowned educators and authors, uses resources in New York City such as historic houses, museums, parks, and the harbor. By utilizing these resources along with hands-on activities, this book provides a wide variety exciting lessons to help expand students’ understanding and knowledge of American history.

  Immigrants in the Bronx: A Passage through Time
  Immigrants in the Bronx: Today's Arrivals
  Immigrants in Harlem: Today's Arrivals

Student Created Books and Pamphlets
A Book Series: Haiti, Mexico, Russia, Mythology, Peru, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Guyana, Sibera, and Brazil.
$5.95 each