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, September 25, 2014

Element 2: Respect for Others

Title: The Crayon Box that Talked

Author: Shane DeRolf

Illustrator: Michael Letzig

Grade level: P - 2

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A young girl in a toy store overhears a crayon box that does not like each other because of their colors. She buys this crayon box, takes it home, and begins drawing a picture with every color for all the crayons to see. When she walks away from her finished picture, she overhears the crayon box again. This time they have all good things to say about each other, realizing that each one is different, but they come together to make a beautiful picture.            

The Crayon Box that Talked represents Element 2, Respect for Others, because it teaches students the importance of individuality and acceptance of others. Despite the fact that each student is different, they are all individually beautiful. The ending of the book sends a strong message: "We are a box of crayons, Each one of us unique. But when we get together… The picture is complete." Despite their differences in color, they are all important to the big picture. As the picture is drawn, we can see how each color has a use (blue as the sky/green as the grass)  and how colors touch and change to make new colors. This brings awareness to the students to see the differences in each other, but still see that each one of us is equally important. Everyone is different, but we can still get along.


As a class we will first discuss how each crayon felt when each of the colors responded with "I don't like Red" and "no one here likes Orange." Each student will then be given their own box of crayons, with one of each color, and they will make a picture like the girl did in the book.                                                       

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