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.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Whoever You Are- Element 1- Self Love & Knowledge: Rita Castellanos

Author: Mem Fox

Illustrator: Leslie Staub

Grade Level: Pre-K- 2nd Grade

Buy It Here
Reference 1
Reference 2

Summary: This book talks about people all over the world who come from different cultures, generations, ages and are of different colors. The beauty of this book is that is tells a story about children looking different, but despite their differences we are the same in many ways. Children from all over the world might live in a different house or speak different languages but, everyone shares the same feelings of joy sadness and many other emotions and experiences.

Element One: Self Love & Knowledge because the book talks about the beauty of being proud of who each individual is, what they look like and where they come from.  Children can see that it is normal to feel different from others around the world, but no matter wherever we are, we share the same emotions and experiences such as playing and laughing. This book is a great example to show that children can be themselves and feel proud of who they are no matter where they come from or what they look like.

Activity: I would use this book in my classroom in the beginning of the school year. I would read my class this book to introduce to my students the beauty of diversity in our classroom and how each individual in my class should accept who they are.  I would want to have a discussion about the book and hear thoughts and ideas of what my students thought. For my activity, I would use construction paper, markers, glue, colored pencils and magazines. For the projects, I want each of my students to create their own collage with their name written across the paper. Each letter in their name will stand for a nice word that represents and describes them in a positive and good way. Around their collage, they will provide pictures, drawings or words that show their interests and strengths to show their self-love. They will then share their self-love collages to the class. 

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