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, November 30, 2010

Molly's Family

Title: Molly’s Family

Author: Nancy Garden

Grade Level: K-2; Ages: 5-9

Summary: “Molly’s family” written by Nancy Garden is about a little girl Molly who is in kindergarten and she is 5 years old. Her school is having an open school night where everyone’s family is invited. Molly gets teased by her classmates for drawing a picture of a mom and mama Lu. She doesn’t know how to explain to her classmates about her family. At first she is angry and hurt, but with the support of her teacher and her loving parents--Mommy (her birth mother) and Mama Lu (her adoptive mother)--she comes to accept her family. Next day when she returns to school with her drawing she shows that she is not embarrassed to have a different family and in fact everyone’s family is unique and different than others.

SJE: This book relates to our Social Justice Element #1, “Self-love awareness” because it talks about accepting one’s family even though it is different from others. I was drawn to this book because it relates to our modern society of having two same sex partners living together raising a child. Molly’s family was unique because she had two moms and no dad. The book can lead to class discussion by recognizing the character's changes and how she deals with her problems with the help of her parents and teacher. There are many questions that can be raised during reading this book. Some of them will include, “how did Molly feel when she couldn’t explain to her friends about her family? This book also represents the way of a child’s mind work and how she thinks and questions her family about being different than others. She accepts her family as they are and makes her classmates realizes that it is “OK” to have a different family because we are not alike.

Activity: As a future mentor I would read this book to my kindergarten to second grade students. I believe that the mystery of “who am I” question begins in kindergarten and that’s when they should start learning about accepting their backgrounds, culture and most important families. Basically it relates to our first element of Social Justice Education and that is self-love awareness. This book will introduce them of having different families in same classroom students. Even though it is about accepting your family, this book will also teach them about having different kinds of families, such as parents (mom and dad), single parent (either mom or dad), no parent and rising by grandparents or aunts or uncles. So in a way students will not be embarrassed of having different families and they will learn to accept each other with love. This book will be a resource to the classroom and used as an introduction to themselves in a classroom setting. The students will be able to share their families and also draw pictures. We will post the pictures outside of the classroom, so that everyone else can see how families are different from each other and it is wonderful to know about someone else’s family.



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