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.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Blacker the Berry

The Blacker the Berry

Author: Joyce Carol Thomas

Illustrated by: Floyd Cooper

Grade Levels: Preschool - Third Grade

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Additional Resources for teachers in the classroom.

The Blacker the Berry is an amazing book filled with poems that embrace all the various skin colors within the African American race. Each poem glorifies each skin tone and included what little boy's and girl's parents and grandparents expressed about how special it is to be that specific skin color, hair color, and hair type.

Element 1:
The Blacker the Berry fits the topic being addressed in element one, self love and knowledge in many ways. The book describes differences in skin color and explains how beautiful and special each one is in its own way. It allows students to understand that although we are all different and we may feel left out because of our differences we are all beautiful and wonderful in our own special way and we were made to look a certain way for a reason.

After reading this book the teacher can explain that even within a specific race there are so many differences with each and every person.The teacher can then have students go around and name something that is different about them and something that they share with another student in the classroom. The class can then collaboratively make a poster describing all the similarities and differences found amongst them along with pictures they draw of each other.

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