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.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Element 2: I'm Like You, You're Like Me

Title: I'm Like You, You're Like Me
Author: Cindy Gainer
Illustrator: Miki Sakamoto

Take a peek!

Short summary: This book is about teaching our children about our differences and appreciating how they make us all beautiful. It begins by noting physical differences such as skin and hair color, then goes on to describe different holidays, and family structures. The book continues to show some similarities between children, like how we all were babies at some point and how we share similar abilities with each other such as shoe tying and name writing. Gainer continues to explain that our differences and similarities make us special and that we can show that we like and accept each other by extending kindness and including each other in activities. We are similar, yet different, but through it all, we can be friends.

How does it represent element 2: I’m Like You, You’re Like Me represents element 2 because it stresses respect and acceptance for others and all of our differences. It grants children the opportunity to learn about others’ lifestyles and appearances and walks them through actions of understanding by showing examples of how one can practice acceptance and kindness.

How would you use the book: I would read this book to my classroom before starting a lesson on culture and different family structures. I believe it is a good introduction on how families can be big or small, have different physical appearances, and celebrate different holidays (or the same holidays in different ways). It will then leave a pathway open for discussions on culture and heritage.

Anything else: At the end of the book, the author has a break down of how one can speak about tolerance and respect for others. She stresses 6 main points: comparing, acceptance, listening, understanding self and others, kindness, and cooperation.

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