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

How My Family Lives in America

How My Family Lives in America by: Susan Kuklin

This book is about three children who are born in America but have a parent or both parents that were born in another country. Each child talks about their culture and their family in first person. The first child is named Sanu who's father is from Senegal while her mother grew up in Baltimore. Sanu talks about her experience cooking ethnic food with her father. The next child, who's name is Eric. Eric was born in the United States while his father is from Puerto Rico. Eric shares his experiences dancing a cultural dance called the merenge. Also he talks about cooking Spanish dishes with his Spanish speaking family. April or Chin Lan comes from a Taiwanese family. April talks about her experiences in Chinese school on the weekends and how it is different from her regular school.

This book promotes the respect for others element because it shows children who embrace their culture. Also when reading this book to a class it can allow the students to share their family background. It also shows that every student might have a lot in common, they might all come from America but have a different cultural background. I would use this book in my classroom to get the children talking about their culture and how it is different yet the same. This book can show students how to respect each others culture by educating them about the different cultures each student might have. To promote the book even more I might give my students an assignment to learn more about their culture by talking to their parents and then sharing what they learned in class. This book will show that every student might be different and there is nothing wrong with that.

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