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

Lucy's Family Tree

Title: Lucy's Family Tree
Author: Karen Halorsen Schreck
Illustrated by: Stephen Gassler
Grade Level: Pre-School and up
Age group : Ages 4-8
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers


 The main character of Lucy's Family Tree is Lucy, a girl, who was adopted from Mexico and living with Caucasian adoptive parents that look different from her. She was assigned to draw her family tree for a class assignment and it made her feel extremely insecure, angry, and frustrated to the point that she started tearing up while completing the task. She felt insecure because she believed that her family was not the typical American family or even an ordinary family. Even though her parents were living and supportive she felt indifferent and inferior because of the fact that she was adopted. She felt so down and discouraged that she traced her cultural heritage and found herself thinking of her birth parents who were of Mexican descent. She looks at her photograph and a wooden chest art from Mexico. She later visited her five classmates and neighbors to explore how inordinary and different her family was from others and to make herself feel better.

It relates to the social justice curriculum element "respect for others" because it focuses on "family diversity". There are different types of families introduced in this story. Included are a same sex couple of two females, an adoptive family, parent of a working mother and unemployed father, a Jewish family who are of a different racial ethnicity, divorced parents with a step father and family who lost their loved ones from a car accident. "Family diversity" is defined as various families with variations in religion, family customs, physical appearance, learning style, and language for residents in America. It brings awareness for readers young and old and can broaden their knowledge of different families.
Learning about values of diversity and respect of others that are different type of families including extended family, blended family, immigrant, adopted, divorce families. This will help the elementary school age children to strongly identify with their family that connects to the relationship with others in community and making connection with the world. They will understand that family matters at early age, and it is important to learn about their family curriculum in elementary. It is important for them to see every kind of family, and seeing their lives reflected through reading and in school. It helps the student to see where they come from and to respect their family value. It helps to respect difference among community and world. They will understand that diverse family are big part of the world and help enrich the world.

As an example, this book will dispel harmful stereotypes and prejudice through this reading especially because the book talks about a gay and lesbian family. Student will learn through context, and to know the word “lesbian” means to clarify their understanding instead hearing those word outside of the classroom. 

Classroom -Activity
This book can be used to approach the traditional family tree project for younger and older children. Younger children can do a project that involves drawing a creative family tree to draw and label everyone living in their house. They can add pictures or drawings and label who they are as a family member.
Teacher will provide glossaries regarding the family member and the relationship. For example, adopt, mother and father, single parent, extended family including grandparent, uncle, aunts, sibling, gay, lesbian and foster parent. Students will make a visual connection through drawing a family tree and able to recognize their relationship and what it is called. They are exposed to variety of glossaries relating to family member. 
The second activity is for students to do a writing activity that they can write a poem about their family religion, origin of country, language, main dish, holiday, a adjective to describe their family as a whole. At the end, student can add their favorite picture on the bottom.
For example, My family believes in ...
                     My family is from ...
                     My family speaks...
                     My family enjoy eating ...
                     My family celebrates... (a day of)
                      My family is ... (adjective) because ... (reason)
Buy it
Lucy's Family Tree Lesson Plan 
Family tree-Genealogy 

No comments:

Post a Comment