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

It's Okay To Be Different

Author/Illustrator: Todd Parr

Grade Level: Preschool - 2nd grade

Buy it here!


Summary: “It’s Okay to Be Different” by Todd Parr is a bright and colorful book targeted towards young children in Preschool to 1st grade. This book shows young children that it is okay to be different. Each page has a simple sentence that starts with “It’s okay to…” which reinforces the message that it’s alright for someone to be different. The book depicts various differences, not just relating to race and ethnicity.

Element 2- Respect for Others: This book is categorized under Element 2 because it shows many differences that people may have besides race and culture, and it gives the message that it is alright for someone to be different. It helps promote respect for others, even those who are different than you because it is the differences that make people unique. It is a simple yet clear book on diversity so it is a great resource that can be used with young children.

Activity: I think this book would be good to use at the beginning of a marking period, as a way of showing that everyone has differences and that it “is okay to be different.” This would help the students to become comfortable with each other and themselves, and to show that being different is what makes a person unique. I would read the book with the students and then have them draw something about themselves that is different. They would all get time afterwards to share and discuss their drawings with the class.

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