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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Same, Same But Different

Element 1: Self-love and knowledge- children learn about their culture

Chosen book: Same, Same But Different

Illustrated and Written: by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Buy it here:


Summary: Elliot land Kalish are pen pals who live in different parts of the world. While they think they are so different from one another, they realize that they are actually very much the same. Elliot lives in America and Kalish lives in India. Each character is able to express their traditions and lifestyles to one another by providing information about where they live in the world.

Element 1: This particular book would be used to apply Element 1 in a classroom because it allows individuals to express their own knowledge on where they come from in the world while speaking about their own culture. While learning about different cultures, although we may find unique differences, we are still able to find similarities amongst one another. This particular book would be used to express Element 1 because it allows students to enhance their knowledge of their own culture, which will result in their own self-love/image. Culture and diversity would be main topics to speak about on behalf of this book.

Activity: A follow-up activity to do with a classroom after reading this book would be to assign each student to a pen pal via This website offers a free service to educators to design a particular project for their class. By doing so, one would be able to access any international classroom to collaborate with online. Once two teachers are able to exchange information and cooperate on a learning activity, they will be able to organize a project together. Additionally, all parents would sign permission slips allowing their child to participate in the project. The intention of having a pen pal would be to be able to express themselves and about their culture to someone in another part of the world. Students would be able to have an experience similar to the one Elliot and Kalish had in the book they had read in class. I would then ask each of the students to draw a picture about something they had learned about their pen pal’s culture in comparison to their own.    

No comments:

Post a Comment