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, February 13, 2011

Freckleface Strawberry

Title: Freckleface Strawberry
Author: Julianne Moore, Illustrated by: LeUyen Pham
Available to Purchase:  Barnes & Noble Online, Also available in the store!
Teacher Resource Website: Scholastic Book Blog For Teachers
*Great Activity Ideas for Before, During & After Reading!
SJE: Element One: Self-Love and Knowledge
Grade Level: Kindergarten - First Grade (5-6 years old)

This picture book starts and ends as a fairy tale about a little girl who remains unnamed. She is just like everyone else her age, however, she had two major differences - red hair and freckles!  People at school made fun of her for looking different, even going as far as to call her by a nickname, Freckleface Strawberry. This made her very upset, therefore she tried several ways to get rid of her freckles. The little girl covered her face but realized she was still feeling upset and lonely. Her friends were excited to see her again which made Freckleface Strawberry not ashamed of her red hair or freckles. In the end, she grows up ... but her freckles don't go away and she lived happily ever after.

Representation of Element One:
This story showed a little girl who had different physical characteristics and was having to deal with harsh name-calling. In the end, it showed that the little girl accepted her different looks, even growing up to love her differences. It shows self-love to children by accepting themselves for who they are, even if other people don't agree. This book also shows how self-confidence is built through getting advice from different people, but also recognition from friends. Many people in today's world are prejudiced against for their different physical attributes, whether it is hair or clothing. Therefore, self-love is an important aspect that needs to be built at a young age, which this book is a way of doing so.

A Read Aloud lesson plan could be used for this book because it incorporates predictions and complex vocabulary. Pose the question- "why did the author write this book?" before reading. It will set up the discussion about self-acceptance. As a post-reading activity, children can be placed in pairs where will draw themselves and circle the similarities/ differences that they have physically with peers. Children will then evaluate those, as this will be a great "ice-breaking" activity where students can get to know everyone in the class. Overall,  teachers should make sure to tell the students that the differences they have make them who they are! This activity will not only highlight differences in people, reducing prejudice and stereotypes, but also build self-confidence.

*This is even a Broadway Musical so you can show students YouTube clips of it to make the Read Aloud more interesting!

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