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, October 9, 2011

The Sneetches

Title: The Sneetches

Author: Dr. Seuss

Illustrator: Dr. Seuss

Grade Level- Kindergarten – 2nd Grade

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Summary- There are two different types of Sneetches in the story The Sneetches. There are Star-Bellied Sneetches and Plain-Bellied Sneetches. The Star-Bellied Sneetches were viewed as the better kind of Sneetch and refused to associate with any Plain-Bellied Sneetches. Then a man came to the Sneetches with a machine that would allow the Plain-Bellied Sneetches to get a star on their bellies. When the original Star-Bellied Sneetches saw this they went to the man to go through a machine to remove their stars. After all of the craziness of adding and removing stars, no one could tell who was originally a Star-Bellied Sneetch or a Plain-Bellied Sneetch. Then the Sneetches realized that it does not matter what you look like and no Sneetch was better than another. This would teach children that there are always going to be different types of people but it doesn’t mean one is better than the other, especially because of the way someone looks.

Element 2: Respect for Others-This book shows how societies focus on the way that someone looks. It shows a group of people that are disrespected because the way the look. Once everyone switched up the way they looked they realized that it didn’t even matter anymore. The children can see in the illustration how upset the Plain-Bellied Sneetches were when they weren’t allowed to play with the Star-Bellied Sneetches. The different types of Sneetches show diversity which is something the student’s would see in their classroom. The segregation of the two types of Sneetches would show the children what it means to discriminate against a group of people and how it makes those people feel. From the story, the children would learn that it doesn’t matter how someone looks because they are all people, or in this case, Sneetches.

Activity- The activity I would do with the students after reading this book would show the differences and similarities in people. I would ask the students to think of ways that they are different from their peers to point out their diversity in a healthy way. To do this I would give each of them a picture of a Sneetch. Each student would make their Sneetch just like them. Then, there would be a picture of one big Sneetch that would represent our whole class. The children would have to share things that all of them have in common such as being a student or their age. Then everyone could add their Sneetch to the board that has the class Sneetch on it. This would show that they are all unique people but they also have many things in common.

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