Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

David's Drawings

David's Drawings
Story and Pictures by:
Cathryn Falwell
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Summary: Cathryn Falwell’s children’s book, “David’s Drawings”, was written for children in grades kindergarten through second grade and is at the reading level of first and second graders. This book is about a little boy named David who decides to draw a picture of the tree he had noticed on his way to school that morning. David is very timid and does not seem to have many friends at school. When arrives to his classroom, he decides to get a pencil and paper and start drawing the bare tree he had seen earlier. As he begins to draw his beautiful tree, one by one his classmates come over to David and explore what he is doing. While looking down at his drawing, each child suggests something that could be added to make his picture even better. Without hesitation, David allows each one of them to contribute their idea to his tree. Even though it was David’s idea to draw this tree, he happily let everyone draw it with him. Although it was difficult at first being that David was so shy, he learned that he does have friends and that when everybody works together as a whole, the finished product has much more worth and value. By the end of the day, the children have a picture with everybody’s additions hanging on a wall inside of their classroom.

Respect For Others: This book really highlights the concept of respect for others in the sense that every child contributed their own ideas to create one picture. Nobody made fun of anyone's suggestions and they were all very accepting of one another's additions to the tree. It is not always easy listening to and accepting ideas that are not your own, but David and his classmates were all encouraging and respectful of everyone’s creative thoughts for the tree. Everyone shared their own perspectives of what a beautiful tree would look like to them and each child was considerate of one another’s thought . Being that every student’s idea was different, what started off as a drawing from only David’s point of view turned into a drawing with an entire classroom full of ideas. It is extremely important to be considerate and respectful of other people’s perspectives in a classroom, even if your perspective is different from theirs. “David’s Drawings” illuminates that idea of respect and teaches readers the importance of listening to other people’s points of view and respecting other’s opinions and ideas.

Activity: I believe that “David’s Drawings” would be a very appropriate book to share with my students during the first week of school. First, I would read the book aloud to the entire class. After that, I would start a discussion relating to the book. I could ask them how they think David felt when he realized how many friends he really had or if any of them had ever been in a situation where they felt shy or nervous like David had felt at one point. I could also ask them if any of them have ever felt like someone was making fun of them or discouraging them of an idea that they had and if so, how that made them feel. Next, by placing them in groups of about five children I could ask each child to draw a simple picture of something. Then, the children could rotate in a circle and each add something onto their classmate’s drawing. I could even do this activity with the entire classroom and have every student in the class rotate around to different drawings. At the end of the activity, everyone could hold up their pictures and share their reactions to their finished product with everyone’s contributions and ideas. This activity would show them the advantages of working together and being respectful of everybody’s ideas.

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