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, October 7, 2013

A Rainbow of Friends

Title: A Rainbow of Friends
Author: P.K. Hallinan
Grade Level: Pre-K - Kindergarten 

Buy It Here! 

Summary: A Rainbow of Friends teaches children that friends come in all different colors and sizes. This book is special in the way that it goes beyond race and culture and also portrays that it is okay to have our own personality or way of being and that others should respect that. A rainbow of friends depicts and mentions children with disabilities and how they too can still be your friend regardless of their impediment. The illustrations in this book are very vibrant and depict the meaning behind every word stated. It is a book that touches upon every difference a child might encounter and teaches them that no matter how different everyone might be, we still need to work together and care for each other in order to form a big family, our world.

Element 2: With A Rainbow of Friends children will begin to see everyone as an equal and begin to accept others for their differences. The book allows children to begin to look deeper than just a person's appearance to really learn about how everyone is special in his or her own way. This book allows children to acknowledge that they are different from each other but that's what makes the world just a rich place. Children will learn that acceptance of everyone's differences is needed in order to create a happy world.

Activity: After reading this book in my classroom I would like to create my own rainbow of friends. Each student will be given a construction paper 't-shirt' where they will have to list their age and three things about them that someone wouldn't know just by looking at them (eg. interests, activities they enjoy, what their personality is like, strengths, views, etc.). After the t-shirts are complete they will get to design the face that will accompany the t-shirt. They will get to choose from a variety of colors to depict their different skin tones and yarn to depict their hair. Other characteristics such as eye color, freckles, glasses, etc, will also be added by the child. A big rainbow will be hung on a classroom wall where all the students' depiction of themselves will hang in front of. This will be a reminder that we are all different yet we are all one big family.

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