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.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Element 2: Families are Different

Written and Illustrated by: Nina Pellegrini
Grade Level: Preschool-2

You can buy it: HERE
You can get ideas on how to use: HERE and HERE

Short Summary:
In this story, Nicola observes her family and all of the similarities and differences that they have. She starts by looking at her sister, both of which were adopted from Korea, and then at her mom and dad. As she realizes the similarities and differences within her family, especially because of the adoption she sees that all families actually have differences. She sees at the end it is most important that she loves her family, and they love her – which she sees in all of the families she looked at even if they were all different.

Element: Element 2 Respect for Others
Families are Different shows us that even if we all have differences, we have similarities as well. It reminds us that there are differences in every family but there is always a similarity – which is the love that glues us together. It is important for children to see that even though one friend may have a certain type of family it is not wrong, and if their family is not like other families that is okay as well. The most important thing about family is to love each other.


I would use this book to talk about diversity within our own lives. I would start by showing my own family picture and discuss how even though my family looks like this, my neighbors or others in my community do not have families that look like this. I would ask the students to draw their own families and write a sentence about how their family is different and how their family is similar to another family they know. This would help them practice similarities and differences, as well as writing sentences. This activity would also get them to think about how there are similarities and differences between everyone and that is okay.

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