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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Everyone Matters A first look at respect for others

Author: Pat Thomas
Illustrator: Lesley Harker
Grade Level: Kindergarten

Buy it here!

The book gives a powerful meaning of the word "respect" and explains how it should be used in school, home, or all around the world. The author explains that respect is someone you see as equal and to pay attention to ways in which we are all alike instead of different. It also touches upon bullying and how we should not hurt others that are believed to be different as well as not fear those who do bully. The story comes across that showing respect doesn't mean to never disagree, but to understand the other person's point of view even if we disagree on it is a sign of showing respect. Adults as well as children need to show respect and the positive outcome at the end of the story teaches students that if we all respect one another then we will live in a happier place together.

Element 2 Respect for Others:
The book represents this element because it teaches children the meaning of respect and how to respect one another in schools, homes, or in their community. It gives students an introduction in what is bullying and how to not bully or fear those who do bully. It explains how respect has to do with equality and the meaning of equality by seeing others with what we have alike instead of different. This book explains this element really well and is a perfect introduction to teach young children about respect.

I would use this book within the first week of school with my kindergarten class to teach them what respect is and make a list for the class to know how to respect others. I would ask each child how would they like to be respected and add it on the list. Then I would have them do a portrait of who they are so everyone can get to know each other and have them find a student with many things they have a like. This could help them feel comfortable in the class and give them a chance to make friends with their classmates. It will be a reading lesson and fun excerise when they try to find another child with things they have in common so it will be entertaining for the students.

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