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 17, 2010

What if the Zebras Lost Their Stripes?

What if the Zebras Lost Their Stripes?
By: John Reitano
Illustrated By: William Haines

Ages 4-8

Available for purchase at: Barnes & Noble and Amazon

Summary: In this book zebras loose their stripes and become different than each other. Some zebras are only white and other zebras are only black. The book analyzes what would happen if zebras lost their stripes and if they were left as only black or white. Through rhymes and questions children become aware that no matter what a zebras skin color is, it doesn't change the fact that they are an animal like any other.

Social Injustice: This book deals with prejudice helping children understand how to avoid it. Through zebras this book helps teach children about being different races and how that is okay. Zebras obviously being compared to humans and different races will help children understand a persons skin color doesn't make them the kind of person they are. People should be looked at from the inside out. If they are a nice person then they are a good friend and should be treated with respect. This book will hopefully show students it is okay to be friends with children who make not look the same way you do.

Activities That Can Come From this Book:

-Using different skin toned paints children can paint each others faces and hang them all together on a wall in the classroom.
-Researching different races and classifying unique things from each race.

An ingenious look at prejudice, profound in its simplicity. Reitano and Haines should be commended- this book is flawless! - Childrens Magazine, by Elain Gant, February 1999.

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