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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Everybody Matters: A First Look At Respect For Others

Product Details

Author:  Pat Thomas

Illustrator:  Lesley Harker

Publisher:  Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Age Range:  4-8 years of age

Buy it here!


Summary: Everyone Matters is a book of colorful illustrations depicting multicultural and dis/abled  children and/or adults showing kindness and respect for each other. There is a picture of a child showing respect for an elderly woman, an older child hugging a younger child of a different race. There is  a picture of a family showing respect to a homeless or disadvantaged child, people in a shelter showing respect for each other after their town is flooded. It shows two children opening the door for a young girl in a wheelchair.  What a child doesn't learn from reading the words in this book, they will obtain from viewing the pictures in it.
Element - Respect for Others:   This book covers the many ways that children can display respect for others.  It provides a definition of the word respect; valuing others  as much as we do our own, seeing others as equal or the same and focusing on what we have in common instead of our differences. Children will learn the types of respect; the kind we all deserve which is to be treated fairly, and the kind we earn by keeping our promises and being honest.  There are two sections in the book entitled, "What about you?" It's a list of two or three questions for children to think about their own level of respect. It even includes a section on bullying which can lead to a discussion on why children should not be afraid of another child. It thoroughly provides a foundation of information for a teacher to open up a discussion on the topic of respecting others, but it's done in such a simplified way that children can easily understand it.
Activity:  The teacher after reading this book aloud to her students can provide them with magazines, scissors, glue and white sheets of paper.  Each child has to divide their piece of paper in half by drawing a line down the middle of it.  They will be asked to cut out pictures of people who have something in common with them, such as hair color, eye color, height, clothes, etc. and glue it on one side of the paper.  They will do the same for people who are different from them.  Then the teacher will ask a series of questions to help them discuss how they would treat people on each side of the paper and why. The teacher can also ask some of the questions listed in the book.

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