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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Mouth Is A Volcano

Title: My Mouth Is A Volcano 

Author: Julia Cook

Illustrator: Carrie Hartman

Grade Level: K-3

Buy it here!


Summary: My Mouth Is A Volcano was written to teach children about how to respect the voices of others and how not to "erupt" when a thought comes into your head. The book is about a boy named Louis, who does not know how to control himself when other people are talking. He always seems to interrupt his friends, family, and even teachers when they are talking. To Louis this is when he "erupts", just like a volcano would. Louis eventually learns his lesson, when he is interrupted on two separate occasions by his classmates. When the roles were reversed you could only imagine how Louis felt when he was interrupted. He talked to his mother about what had happened at school that day and she suggested that maybe his two classmates also had volcanoes in their mouths like him. Louis' mother also gave him advice to help him when he felt his "volcano" was about to erupt. The language and the child's perspective of the book is a great read for students to truly understand not only respect of others when they are talking, but also listening and communication skills. 

Element 2: Respect for Others: My Mouth Is A Volcano is a great book to demonstrate how to respect others when they are talking. Element two is where students develop a respect for diversity. This is a chance for students to learn about being respectful to family members, friends, and teachers. From the illustrations in the book, it is clear to see that not everyone is the same, which shows children the diversity that there can be in a classroom. My Mouth Is A Volcano is a great book to use in the beginning of the year for kindergartners to third graders to show the importance of respecting the voices of others when they are speaking. 

Activity: After a read aloud of the book, I would want to do a writing activity with my students. I would like to know what they do when they feel like blurting out or interrupting a conversation. I would ask them to answer the question "What would do if you feel like erupting?"  For older students, to be engaged I would ask them the same question and in addition I would also ask them "How do you think Louis felt when he was interrupted?" For all students I would like them to make volcanoes. This could also tie into a science lesson. 

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