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

The Land of Many Colors

Written by the Klamath County YMCA Family Preschool
Illustrated by Rita Pocock
Grade Level: Preschool- Third Grade


The story starts out by describing three different types of people in the Land of Many Colors: Purple, Blue and Green. Each group has their own color food, toys, houses, and thinks their color is the best. One day the Purple people needed more purple toys and the Blue people needed more blue food. A war breaks out between all the three different colors. Their houses get ruined, their animals hurt, and there isn’t enough food for everyone. Then a little boy covered in dust tells them to STOP. No one can tell if he’s Purple, Blue or Green. They realize that they are all the same inside. They stop fighting and begin to help build a multi-colored land, with different color houses, plants, and food. The Land of Many Colors becomes a “peaceful, loving world.”

Element 2- Respect for Others: 
The Land of Many Colors relates to Element 2 by showing how people of different colors (cultures, beliefs, differences in any way) can come together and make a better world. It illustrates that while everyone might be different, no one is better than the other and, in the end, we’re all the same inside. The book’s message shows a “climate of respect for diversity,” which can easily start the conversation about diversity in elementary school classrooms. In addition, the language and illustrations are easy for preschool aged children to connect to the story and begin to develop a sense of respect for others.

As part of a preschool or kindergarten classroom, I would read the story to the children as a read aloud. Then I’d ask them to draw themselves as their favorite color, matching the illustrations of the book, and writing, or telling me, what are some of their favorite toys, foods, pets, are. Once everyone is done, I would have them share their “person” with the rest of the class, and finally we’d put all the pictures together in a class mural, to make The Classroom of Many Colors.

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