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.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Mixed-Up Chameleon

Title: The Mixed-Up Chameleon
Author: Eric Carle
Illustrator: Eric Carle
Grade-Level: Kindergarten-2nd Grade

Purchase this book here.

Find more of Carle's books here.

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This book begins by describing the boring life of a little chameleon.  Although he was able to change his color and use his long sticky tongue to catch flies, the chameleon wanted something more!  One day the chameleon visited the zoo and saw so many beautiful animals; he wished that he could be just as beautiful as all of the animals that he saw while at the zoo. To the chameleon's surprise, his wish came true! The chameleon soon learns that being someone else is not as amazing as he thought it would be.  This book follows the chameleon's journey to self-identity through his hilarious transformations into being everything but himself.

Element 1: Self-Love and Knowledge:

The Mixed-Up Chameleon is a great resource to use to teach children to love themselves for who they are.  This book illustrates the journey to self-acceptance through using a humorous approach.  All students will be able to identify with the chameleon as he figures out who he is and why he is best being himself.

Follow-Up Activity:

Following a read-aloud of this book, students will be asked to complete a short writing task.  Students will be asked to write about something that makes them special that they would not be able to do if they were not who they are! Students will then draw a picture of what makes them special.

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