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.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Element 1: Self-Love and Knowledge

Title: Jennifer Jean The Cross-Eyed Queen
Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Illustrator: Karen Ritz
Link To Buy The Book:
Reading Level: ages 4-8

This is a story of a little girl named Jennifer Jean. She was born the most beautiful little girl with brightest green eyes. Soon after she was born her parents notice that her eyes are crossed and Jennifer Jean does not care. She likes that she can see the very tip of her nose. Even though Jennifer Jean seems to not be bothered by her crossed eyes the other children at school make fun of her by calling her names and sing songs about her crossed eyes. One day Jennifer goes to the doctor and gets a patch put on her eye and eventually gets a pair of green glasses like her bright green eyes. Although Jennifer Jean was just fine having her crossed eyes she was happy when they went straight again. She played with ALL of the boys and girls at school and no one called her Jennifer Jean the cross eyed queen. They all just called her Jennifer Jean.

Relation to Element:
This story relates to element 1 self-love and knowledge because Jennifer Jean knew who she was. She knew she was different then the other children at school because she has crossed eyes. However, Jennifer was not bothered by what the children said because she was confident in who she was and liked her green crossed eyes. Jennifer at no point was upset she had different eyes from the other children, she thought she had beautiful green eyes even if they were crossed. She knew that the other students at school had things which were different about them which made Jennifer Jean more confident in herself.

How I Would Use This Book:
I would use this book to show how people are all different from one another. I would allow the children to each have a spot in the room to create an area which is about them. They can take turns explaining "what makes me, me!" This gives them the opportunity to share with their classmates which boots their self esteem and acceptance in themselves. This gives their classmates the opportunity to know that people are different in many ways.

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