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, September 30, 2013

Molly's Family

Author: Nancy Garden
Illustrator: Sharon Wooding
Grade Level: K-3rd

Buy it here!

Summary: Molly's kindergarten class is having an Open School Night, and the students decided they want to decorate for their families. When a student suggests drawing pictures of their own families to decorate the classroom, Molly works extra hard on her drawing. When a classmate tells Molly that she cannot have two mothers, Molly does not want to share her picture during Open School Night. Ms. Marston, Molly's teacher, assures her that she can have two mothers. Molly learns that not every family is the same, and her family is just as special as everyone else's.

Element 1: Self- Love and Knowledge: Molly's Family shows that not all families are the same, and it is okay. Having a different type of family makes them unique and special. Molly always loved her family, but thanks to Ms. Marston, and other classmates who have single parent families, she learns to be proud of them. Molly also deals with negative comments from her classmates, and shows how to overcome differences.

Activity: In my classroom, I would use this book at the beginning of the year to get to know my students. It is important to learn who your students live with; they can be a mother and a family, two mothers or two fathers, grandparents, foster families, and aunts or uncles. Whoever they live with, you want to make sure that your students feel comfortable talking about their families and living situations. You also want to make the families feel comfortable coming to visit in the classroom. When talking about different kinds of families, make sure you express to each student that their family is special in their own way, and no two families are the same!

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