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 1, 2013

Whoever You Are

Title: Whoever You Are
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrated By: Leslie Staub 
Reading Level: Grades K-2
Purchase: Amazon

Whoever You Are is a children's book that simply but effectively discusses the differences between people all over the world while also acknowledging the similarities that people all share. The book mentions how people's skin, homes, schools, lands, lives, and words may be different but on the inside we are all the same. The examples of what aspects are the same are: our smiles, laughs, hurts, joys, love, pain, blood and hearts.

Element 1: Self-love and Knowledge:
Whoever You Are illustrates Element 1: Self-love and Knowledge because it brings awareness to ethnicity, multiculturalism and individuality. The illustrations in the children's book also contribute to Element 1 because each page depicts children from all over the world and different aspects of their differing cultures. I really like this children's book for Element 1 because it starts off by going through all of our differences but ends with our similarities which ties us together.

Follow-up Activity:
For a follow-up activity teachers can have students make life size cut outs of themselves and personalize them using examples from the book. Then the teacher could hang them all around the classroom and together the class can discuss similarities and differences similar to how the book does it. I am a firm believer that children of this age category learn best through visual representation so to be able to create themselves and then together find what they have in common and what they do not could be very beneficial and a effective follow-up after reading Whoever You Are.

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