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 17, 2011


Title: Pink!
Author: Lynne Rickards
Illustrator: Margaret Chamberlain
Grade: K-1
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Element 1: Self-Love and knowledge

Patrick the penguin woke up one day to find that he had turned pink. Patrick was worried about what his friends would say when they saw him. Patrick's school mates teased him for being different. Patrick was upset and decided to swim to Africa where there is pink flamingos; he wanted to find animals that were pink like him. Once Patrick was with the flamingos, he realized how different penguins and flamingos are. He decided that he needed to travel back home to be with the other penguins. Patrick realized that it's okay to be different than everyone else. He realized he just needs to be himself.

Element One: Self-love and Knowledge:
Pink! represents the element of self love and knowledge. Patrick has a big change occur to him that makes him different than everyone else. After running away, Patrick realizes it's okay to not be the same as everyone. Once he accepts that he is different and still loves himself, he realizes everyone else accepts him to. This is definitely a coming of age story.

How I would use this:
I would use this book to teach children about self acceptance and self love. I think that this is such an important lesson for individuals to learn especially at a young age. For one to love and be kind to other people, they must first love and take care of themselves. Children need to be taught that it is alright to be different and to be proud of these differences. You can also use the book to teach about prejudices. Prior to reading the book aloud I would paint my face pink for the anticipatory set. After reading the book I will have the students draw a picture of what makes them special. They will then compose a list of their best qualities. This will teach them to find the good things about themselves and they can always refer back to this project to feel proud of themselves.

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