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 18, 2013

The Family Book- Social Justice Element 2: Respect Others

The Family Book
Author & Illustrator: Todd Parr

Through out the book Todd Parr explains how many families are different from each other. Some are big, small, different colors, some look alike more than others. He explains that some families have step siblings, adopted siblings, two moms or dads, eat different foods, some are clean while some are messy and the list continues. Todd also cues in how different families can be alike. He says that "All families can help each other be strong."

The Family Book represents Element 2: Respect others, for many reasons. It shows children that all families have some differences and similarities. The books shows diversity within the families by showing how some families have two moms,  or some are different colors.  The book  also shows how one family can be made up of different people. Some families may have adopted or have step siblings. The illustrations show that all of the people in the family do not always looks the same.  In the end, regardless of how different families are from one another, they are still a family! Children will learn to respect the diversity within families whether it's a classmates family or even their own. 

I would love to use this book in my classroom to teach children that not all families are like theirs. Every family is made up of different types of people, but they still make a family together. I would show the children that they have to respect each other's differences and embrace each unique person in the classroom. Families are diverse and that is part of what makes them so special. I would love to do a follow-up activity which would involve each student to draw a picture of their family and write a sentence or two about it. I would then hang up the pictures around the classroom so students could get to know each other's families.

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