Beyond the Single Story: Utilizing Cluster Texts to Celebrate Diversity


  • Dr. Lisa Parker Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
  • Jennifer Malec Wattsburg Area School District (PA)



cluster texts, intertextuality, viewpoints, diverse literature


This article investigates the advantages of incorporating cluster texts in educational settings to present a variety of viewpoints. The discussion begins by examining the reasons behind choosing picturebooks, followed by introducing the concepts of intertextuality and cluster texts. The significance of students' ability to connect with the texts is highlighted. The article then introduces three carefully curated cluster text sets, developed with consideration for classroom observations and students' requirements: 1) laying the groundwork and the school experience; 2) highlighting unsung heroes and overcoming obstacles; 3) showcasing diverse family structures and experiences. Each set features an in-depth analysis of a primary text, accompanied by a table outlining supplementary books within the cluster. The article wraps up with a summary of key insights on the subject matter.

Author Biographies

  • Dr. Lisa Parker, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

    Dr. Lisa Parker ([email protected]) is an associate professor of language and literacy education and teaches Early Childhood Education (PreK–4) courses at Penn State Behrend. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Literacy from Kent State University. She is also the literacy consultant for the Southern Regional Education Board and has been an adjunct professor at Gannon, Kent State, and Edinboro Universities. Her most recent publications have appeared in Middle School Journal, Betwixt and Between, and Voices in the Middle.

  • Jennifer Malec, Wattsburg Area School District (PA)

    Jennifer (Jenny) Malec ([email protected]) is a third-year teacher at Wattsburg Area School District, Erie, PA.

Beyond the Single Story (Parker & Malec, 2023)






Research and Practitioner Articles

How to Cite

Parker, L., & Malec, J. (2023). Beyond the Single Story: Utilizing Cluster Texts to Celebrate Diversity. Georgia Journal of Literacy, 45(1), 51–61.

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