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.
Friday, February 8, 2013
I Wished for You (an adoption story)
Illustrator: Marianne Richmond
Grade Level: 4 & up
Buy it here!
I Wished for You is a story about a little adopted bear and his adoption mother. In the story Barley asks his mother about the story of how he came to be adopted. Mama Bear then begins to tell the tale of how Barley became hers. In this book Barley wonders why he does not look like his mother, and questions if his birth mother loved him. All his questions are answered by Mama Bear who shows him that love is deeper then color or being related by blood. I Wished for You highlights adoption and allows for children to relate, understand, and learn that families can be created in many types of ways.
I Wished for You is an excellent example of Element 1: Self-Love and Knowledge. In the story you can see Barley questioning if his birth mother loved him, if his adopted mother loves him, and many other issues that adopted children may face. The story shows children that families are not always a mother, father, and children. It shows that families can be made up of many different people and colors. This story teaches children that you do not necessarily have to look like your family in order to be apart of your family. The book demonstrates the idea of self-love by allowing the reader to accept themselves and their family and knowledge by understanding the idea of adoption.
I Wished for You is a great introduction into speaking to a class about adoption. Adoption can be a difficult subject to speak to young children about, but with the use of this book it can be a great conversation starter for even the youngest of children. A possible activity to a classroom would be to begin with reading I Wished for You to the class. After the book is finished the teacher can have an open discussion and time for questions. Later the teacher can have the students draw a picture of their own family. An activity such as this will allow for acceptance of adopted children as well as a reflection for the students of their individual families.