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, February 18, 2014

I Like Myself

Title: I Like Myself!
Author: Karen Beaumont
Illustrated by: David Catrow
Reading level: Ages 3-7
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

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I Like Myself! is a children's book about a young girl, illustrated in the front of the cover, who likes everything about herself. She is happy about the way she looks, even when she looks messy. She does not care what anybody else says, because she likes herself just the way she is right now.  As you can see she likes her self because she is who she is! We are all born with our own uniqueness. We all have different fingerprints, appearance, personality, face, hairstyle, and etc., and being different from others is what makes each and one of us beautiful. I Like Myself  motivates the reader to value yourself and to love yourself as who you are, because you are born to be loved! Just like the young girl in I Like Myself says, "There's no one else I'd rather be," we should all be pleased with the way we look and with  every little part of our body inside and out.  

Element #1- Self-love and Knowledge:
I Like Myself! is an excellent story for our young children to enjoy. It is fun to read with rhymes and pictures, but at the same time it gives the children an important lesson for them to learn about. The girl who is illustrated in the front cover tells a story about herself: how she likes herself inside and out, how she likes herself from head to toe, and how she is happy about herself just the way she is. This is what every children should believe and should feel about themselves. It is essential for the children to realize how valuable they are and how precious they are, so they build their self-esteem and feel proud of who they are. I believe we can only be respected by others if we respect our selves. How can we possibly hope for others to respect and to treat us well, if we do not respect and treat our own self? In addition, Children can only love and respect others after they have learned to love and respect themselves despite one's background, skin color, heritage, and etc. we all should simply like our own self and appreciate the way we look. This book does a great job with encouraging students to like themselves just the way they are, without worrying about  their heritage and background. Just as the young girl says, "And I don't care in any way what someone else may think or say. I may be called a silly nut or crazy cuckoo bird-so what? I'm having too much fun, you see, for anything to bother me!"

Follow-Up Activity:
In order to reinforce the lesson of accepting yourself and loving yourself, I would do an art project that requires making our own self. I would bring in large rolling papers for the children to lie on. Then, the teacher will trace out the students' bodies. Once the teacher have traced the student's body on a rolling paper and she/he will cut them out. Since, the tracing would be very time-consuming it would be helpful to get few helping hands if possible. It is also helpful for the teacher to use recess or snack time if possible to call students to come one at a time for you to trace their body. Every minute helps when it comes to preparation!! Then, once the teacher have cut out all of the students' bodies and have handed them out, you will ask the students to draw and fill in their bodies. It would be helpful if the teachers can encourage the students to draw what you think makes you special. For instance, if a student has a curly hair, you will encourage your student to draw his/her curly hair because that is what makes him/her unique and special. After students have completed their body drawings, I would hang them around our classroom wall for the children to see and to share. 

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