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, February 11, 2013
Author: Chieri Uegaki
Illustrator: Stephane Jorisch
Grade Level: 1st grade
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Summary: This book is about a young girl named Suki. She is in first grade and wants to wear her kimono on the first day of school. Her sisters make fun of her and say she should not wear it but Suki does not care what they think. Suki loves her kimono because it is from her obachan, which means grandmother in Japanese. It reminds her of being in Japan and celebrating her culture. It brings her happy memories. When she wears it to school some of the kids make fun of her but she ignores them. The teacher asks the children to introduce themselves. When it is Suki's turn she tells the class all about her grandmother and the time they spent in Japan. The class all cheers for Suki.
Element 1: Self-Love and Knowledge: This book represents element 1 because it shows Suki being proud of her culture. She does not care what anyone thinks about her. She is proud of her kimono and wants to show it off. Suki gives the example of being proud of who you are and where you come from. This will help children understand that you should not hide who you are, appreciate it and others will too.
Activity: I would use this book in my classroom along with a "show and tell" activity. I would have each student bring in an item from their culture; food, clothing, pictures etc. and explain to the class how the item represents their culture and where their family comes from. I would also have each student share why they are proud of who they are. This would give students the feeling Suki has when she wears her kimono. I want them to appreciate themselves and their peers.