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, February 14, 2012

Children Just Like Me (A unique celebration of children around the world)

Title: Children Just Like Me (A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World)
Author: Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley
Grade Level: Ages 7-15
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc., NY, NY

Summary: Through colorful photographs and children's own interviews, readers embark on a journey from New York to the Amazon Basin to learn about the day-to-day events, hobbies, aspirations, and values of children across more than 30 different countries. Children Just Like Me walks young readers through the days in the lives of children just like them. Children Just Like Me raises awareness of the similarities and beautiful differences amongst young children around the world; thereby helping young readers to embrace cultural differences that surpass the color of skin or clothing one wears.

Element #2- Respect For Others: Children Just Like Me tells the remarkable stories of children around the world from over 30 different countries through photographs and children's own interviews. A brief biography of the child along with easy-to-read descriptions about the child's favorite foods, family life, community, etc. are provided on each page. Each interviewee's personal taste and touch are revealed through their names written in their own handwritings and candid photos. This book teaches young readers about the cultures, values, and daily lives of other children in the world so that readers can discover that beyond the barriers of language, customs, skin colors, there are children in the world who are so relatable to themselves. Children Just Like Me stirs the desire to embrace and respect those who may, on the surface, seem so different from us.

Follow-Up Activity: As a follow-up, teachers can encourage each student to design a poster about him/herself, including photographs and descriptions about their schools, families, hobbies, dreams, daily lives, etc. The posters can be put together to form a giant class version of Children Just Like Me. Parents can be invited to the classroom for a day of festivities where students present the book and bring in different artifacts that represent their cultures.

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