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 22, 2014

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress


Title: Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

Author: Christine Baldacchino

Illustrator: Isabelle Malenfant

Grade Level: Pre-School-2nd

Element 1: Self-Love and Knowledge


Brief Summary: Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress is about a young boy named Morris, who enjoys doing what the average young kid enjoys: painting, puzzles, snacks and school. But what makes Morris so different is his big imagination and his love for a special tangerine dress. The dress reminds him of the things he loves, like tigers, the sun and his mother's hair. The dress makes swishing noises when he walks, crinkle noises when he sits and his favorite dress up shoes click when he walks. Unfortunately his peers don't understand the love he has for this dress and they spend there time teasing, bullying and excluding him all together. They say things like "Boys don't wear dresses", "Pinky Fingers!", "We don't want you to turn us into girls". Eventually all these things get the best of him and he pretends to be sick in order to stay home. The couple days before school, Morris has a dream of being in space, with elephants and tigers and a cool spaceship. With this dream, he decides to march into school, and make it a reality through a painting. Everything changes once his peers curiosity encourages them to join him during playtime. This book shares a story about the courage of being different. Young Morris breaks the gender barrier, finds confidence within himself and opens the doors for self and peer acceptance.

Representation of Self-Love and Knowledge (Element 1): This book accurately represents self-love and knowledge by the journey Morris goes through to find self acceptance and peer approval. The dress, shoes and painted nails clearly bring him happiness, but it seems to be making his peers uncomfortable. In the beginning there may have been stereotypes, but Morris stands true to who he is, leading his peers to discover that what his interests are, do not affect the person he is. This book allows students to see others differences in a positive light, as well as utilize this opportunity to learn and discover more about there own identities.

How I Would Utilize the Book: This book would be a great ice breaker. I plan on enforcing in my classroom self love as well as love for others and this book would be a solid introduction. I would start off the class by reading the story and then having students work in groups to each share three things about themselves. After they have all shared three things, each group will present to the class about one of there peers within there group. This is not only a great ice breaker for the class but it helps students find common interests, as well as discovering differences within each other.

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