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.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daddy's Roommate

Title: Daddy's Roommate
Author: Michael Willhoite
Illustrated by: Michael Willhoite
Reading level: Ages 4-8 / Grades K-3
Publisher: Alyson Publications

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Summary: Daddy's Roommate is a book about a little boy whose parents recently got a divorce. He lives at both of his parent's houses, and goes back and forth between the two. His father has a roommate named "Frank," and Frank and his father are a gay couple. Throughout the story, we see Frank and his Dad doing almost everything together, for example, eating, shaving, and sleeping. The little boy also explains how Frank is just like his Daddy; he reads to him, tells him jokes, and chases nightmares away. This book has an important message that "Being gay is just one more kind of love, and love is the best kind of happiness." I found this message to be very powerful because it teaches young children that it should not matter who we love, it is being able to experience love that matters.

Element #3: I found this book to represent Element 3 because the overall topic is about a homosexual relationship and how it has impacted a young boy's life. This story gives students a chance to learn about the different types of family structures, and about homosexual relationships. This is a great example of how we are all different from one another, and it is important to recognize those differences in the classroom. This gives students an opportunity to relate if they usually find it hard to relate to the standard story characters. Daddy's Roommate introduces a diverse family structure. Gay relationships has been a topic that was overlooked and frowned upon for many years in our society. We have taken small steps recently to help create change and allow for homosexuals to be able to live as fearless and equal individuals. Students will learn that there is nothing wrong with being gay, it is just "one more kind of love."

Follow-Up Activity:
For a follow-up activity I would have the students create their own picture book of what their family unit's are like and the activities that they all do together. We can share and discuss them in our classroom. They could be displayed on a bulletin board or around the room and students will have the opportunity to walk around and observe their classmate's drawings.

This lesson is also creative and is what inspired me to think of this.

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