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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Title: A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. 


Title: A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr.

Author: David A. Adler

Illustrated By: Robert Casilla

Grade Level: 3rd 

Additional: Resources

Element Four: Social Movements and Social Change

A picture book of Martin Luther King Jr. is a book for children that show the many struggles in the past history due to segregation laws and injustice. It provides student with important dates and events. This book also teaches children about Dr. King's many accomplishments and the goals he achieved throughout his life before he was assassinated. It provides student with detailed pictures and it teaches them about why there was a date declared in January as the annual federal holiday by the United States Congress to honor the life and ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. This book is a part of other picture book biographies by David A. Adler. What I like most about this book is that it shows children how a social move made a social change; a social change that is a part of our society today.

Representation of Element Four: Social Movement and Social Change
This picture book of Martin Luther King, Jr. introduces student to social movement and social justice. its relates to social movement because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of America's greatest leaders who led the biggest march of all time in Washington to make a social change. Dr. King had dream that one day the nation we live in would not be judge by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character and because of his persistence and protests of social movement, a social change took place. This book also introduces students to the struggles that had to be overcome in order for social change to take place. This book is a great book to implement for Element Four; Social Movement and Social Change because it does not only teach student about the many struggles of the past and history, it also teaches them that today’s society is functional and desegregated because of the social movement by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that took place to create a social change for justice within our society. This is a great way to introduce history of social injustice and social change from the past, into today’s present and future.  

Classroom Activity
An activity that would be great for this book is a match the important date’s activity. For this activity you will need the following dates written on index cards; (1929, 1947, 1953, 1955-1956, 1963, 1964, 1968, and 1983; and a plastic baggie to hold the index cards. You will also need the events that happened on each year occurrence written on a white board. These events are listed on the last page of this book along with the dates. You will also need a whiteboard with markers.

Read and review the book with the students, making sure that they understand the dates and the events that go with the date (year). On the white board make two columns. Write only the events on one side of the column leaving the other side for the dates blank. After doing this, have the students select one index card from the plastic baggie. Ask the students to match the date that they picked to the event on the white board. Once this is completed, have the student write the date they selected next to the correct event with a marker on the white board. After the student does this, have them give a brief explanation of that date and event that took place. You can also ask questions such as, do you think this is an important event?; If so why, or why not?.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Let Them Play

Author: Margot Theis Raven

Illustrator: Chris Ellison

Grade Level:2-4

Let Them Play is based off a a true story that takes place in segregated Charleston, South Carolina in 1955. Margot Theis Raven shares the story of the Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars, an all-black baseball team and their journey to play in the State’s annual Little League Tournament. The Cannon Street All-Stars were the only team in the league that was not composed of all-white players. They were met with hate and prejudice by other teams who refused to play against them in the tournament.  Because no teams would play against them, the Cannon Street All-Stars were the winners in their state by default and earned themselves a spot in the LIttle League World Series. The team ends up not being allowed to play in the games because they had not officially played any games in their states tournament. When the crowd discovers the injustices the team has faced, they begin to chant “Let Them Play.” Unfortunately the crowds efforts are not successful and the team is unable to play. Although the team was unable to play they still left a lasting mark on our history. 

Representation of Element Three: Issues of Social Injustice
This book reveals the discrimination a group of young southern boys had to endure simply because they wanted to play baseball. Students are able to see how not the boys were not only affected by racism locally in segregated South Carolina, but even once they get to the Little League World Series game in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  This book is also a good introduction into Element four: Social Movements and Social Change because the novel ends with a large crowd of people chanting “Let them play.” The crowd is standing together together in an attempt to address the injustices this baseball team had to endure. 

Acitivies in the Classroom
I believe this book would be best used as a read aloud. The teacher could ask students to recall a time that they may have not been able to participate in an activity and ask them to discuss why they think that was. The students should discuss how this made them feel as well as how they think the boys on the Cannon Street All-Stars were feeling as they faced discrimination based off of their skin color. One activity students could do after reading and discussing this book is write letters to the boys of the Cannon Street All-Stars expressing their feelings towards the boys being unable to play in the Little League World Series game. The students could pretend they were one of the boys on the team and create a journal of their emotional ups and downs during their journey towards the Little League World Series Game. Students could share their letters and journals with one another to create further discussion on the injustices displayed in this book. 

Freedom's School

Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrator: James E. Ransome
Grade Level: 1-2


            Freedom's School takes place the day after slaves were freed. Although slaves were free, it may not be "real freedom," if one was not educated. We are introduced to Lizzie, her brother Paul, and her family in efforts of going to school for the very first time. When arriving to  school, Lizzie's impression of it was pretty despite the school building being raw and not decorated.  Soon, children started to fill up the building and Mizz Howard, the teacher, introduced herself. However, at this time, school was not always routine. There were times when Mizz Howard would send students right back home after arriving to school, stating there was nearby danger. Other times, many other students would have to miss school because of the weather or work. School was not always a safe place, and eventually  the school was put on fire. Although the school was burned down, wanting to learn did not, and school was rebuilt with hopes. The new school was named Freedom's School.

Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice
            Freedom's School demonstrates Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice of the 6 Elements of Social Justice by illustrating racism and oppression during the emancipation. Throughout history, slaves were not treated as people, and even after slavery ends, these people were still not treated as whole human beings. We are introduced to Lizzie, her family, and her community in wanting to educate and expand their current knowledge. However, as stated in the story, going to and being in school was not safe. Other times, financial and basic needs would get in the way of education, such as needing to work and helping family at home. There seemed to be a lot of hate as evidenced by the burning of the school building. Despite this tragedy, the whole community is seen rebuilding the school, and this is where we see the strength in this community and its value regarding the importance of education.
            This book introduces injustices that are mentioned in textbooks, but lacks a connection regarding circumstance and feelings during that time. Students of first and second grade may be the best candidates in using this book especially when discussing the topic of emancipation, however this book may be used for all ages. First and second graders may better understand that people from history are real people instead of just events.  By better understanding the circumstances of people at the time, a better connection to the present school system, for example, may occur. By better understanding the circumstances of the past, one can better point out injustices and why. Students can then think of means of how things got better and what injustices still exist.

Activity in Class
            An activity may include comparing and contrasting injustices found in the past, first to themselves and then sharing it with the whole class. Students will be asked if this injustice has been solved. If so, in what way? How has it affected the present? If the problem has not been resolved, how has it affected the present? Will this further affect the future? Students will then be put in small group to further expand their research and experiences. The teacher will determine the level of rigor regarding this activity. If extensive research is done, small groups may be asked to present  and "teach the class" regarding their findings and ideas in a number of ways including the use of paper and pen, arts and crafts, media, etc.

Element 2: A Different Princess. Knight

Title: A Different Princess. Knight Princess
Author: Amy Potter
Illustrated by: Lisa Sheppad
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing
Reading level: 3-8

Amy loves being a princess but at times she gets bored just being a princess. So when she goes to sleep she becomes more than just a princess, with the help of her magical unicorn, Huggy. Tonight she becomes a Knight Princess, equipped with  sword, cape, shield, and helmet. She lives in a beautiful palace but she doesn't live "snug as a bug", in her castle, she goes across the land helping her subjects and having adventures. After saving the prince and helping the farmers Amy leaves her palace and the Kingdom to go off to her next adventure. What kind of princess will she be tomorrow?

Element 2:
A Different Princess: Knight Princess is a great story about a young girl who dreams of being anything she wants to be. Tonight Amy wanted to be a Knight, and give back to her Kingdom. Amy's story challenges the stereo-type that girls can't do the jobs that boys can. In the story Amy wins Knightly competitions, saves the Prince from the fierce dragon, and helps the farmers from being poor so their children can go to school. This book is written in a way where it will make students question gender roles and hopefully encourage a change in the way we view girls in our society.

Follow Up Activity:
The teacher can do many things to reinforce the issue of gender roles in our community. The students can research the many great women in history and create posters to illustrate their importance in history. The students could also create a marketing campaign to promote the strength of women, either by creating a marketing poster or a commercial that will bring about awareness to this issue. A great example is from this Always commercial, take a look:
Hopefully then the students will get encouraged to spread the word about how important it is to treat everyone equally.

If you think you'd like to read A Different Princess. Knight Princess click the link below:

If you want to read more of Amy Potter and the Different Princess. series check it out here:

Thanks for Reading.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Author: Drew Daywalt

Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers 

Grade Level: K-3


This book presents a familiar object with unfamiliar feelings. In the book "The Day the Crayons Quit", each crayon in Duncan's box writes their owner a letter confronting him about their issues. Some crayons complain about over use, under use, lack of attention to the lines, and even a fight between yellow and orange that is effecting the mood of the whole box. More than just an adorable concept, "The Day the Crayons Quit" is hysterical. Any child can relate to the predicament the crayons are in, and learn from the manner in which they address their concerns. Jeffer's illustrations bring the letters to life and add to the hilarity of the book.

Element Three: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice 

Each crayon in this book is expressing their thoughts and feelings of how they've been misused or mistreated by their unknowing owner, Duncan. While realizing that they have special talents and skills they can bring to the table, many crayons feel as though they are being exploited or undervalued and speak up against this injustice. "The Day the Crayons Quit" is a wholesome, innocent vehicle to teach children how injustice occurs all around us, often unintentionally. This book promotes students to be more aware of their actions and how they are treating those around them. It discourages readers from making assumptions or thinking of objects or people in only one light.

Classroom Activity 

The most obvious element of the book is persuasive letter writing. Student can be encouraged to simply write a persuasive letter and learn different elements of the structure of writing a letter. This activity can be taken a step further by allowing children to juxtapose themselves and relate with a person or object around them and write a persuasive letter from a different perspective. For younger children, the activity can encourage students to look at objects around them and come up for different uses other than what is conventional. This teaches children to look at objects with a multimodal approach encouraging creative thinking and resourcefulness.

Even if this book is not connected to a learning activity it is a phenomenal book that would enhance any classroom library. It is a very entertaining book that would capture the interest and attention of any young reader.

The Story of Ruby Bridges

Title: "The Story of Ruby Bridges"

Author: Robert Coles
Illustrations By: George Ford
Purchase: Click to buy!

Teaching Resources:
Teaching Segregation in 3rd Grade

Ruby Bridges Lesson plan:
Scholastic Lesson plans for Ruby Bridges


It's 1960, our nation is in a time of great social change and political upheaval. After a landmark decision by the courts of New Orleans, to much protest by the exclusively white school district, six year old Ruby Bridges, is allowed to attend William Frantz Elementary School, an "all white school", becoming the the first African American child to do so there. The young girl must now enter an environment violently unwelcoming of her, and one that is deeply intrenched with the ideologies that aim to maintain segregation. Despite prejudice, young Ruby faces, along with great resistance, she never backs down from going to school. The story of Ruby Bridges is one of trial and tribulation, protests and a mass exodus from the school by white students, at the hands of their parents. While Ruby attends her first year as the only student in the school, learning to write and read in empty classrooms, after two boys return to school, the rest soon follow. With their return, the beginning of the end for separate schooling at William Frantz Elementary, but not inequality in education.

Element Three: "Issues of Social Injustice"

This is not only an actual account of what many children faced during the desegregation of schools in our nation, it's a story about a shared experience, of preserving, hope and overcoming oppression. This story serves as a great cornerstone to any lesson about racism, embracing diversity and the covering of issues of Social Injustice as it gives the students a story with a character they can connect with, especially those of African American heritage. Looking specifically at Element Three, the critical need for teachers to actively scaffold children in their development of "connections between the historical roots of oppression" so that they gain understanding of "lived experiences and material conditions of not only people through out history". As children learn the history of oppression associated with the specific injustice, they are then able to make connections to "the current state of being and living for people of all oppressed groups today". Here, these goals can rightfully be covered by means of comparing the environment Ruby learned in with that of those children in minorities are in today. Through use of this book, children are exposed to the concept that while legislation can invoke equality, social change and beliefs are much more difficult to change. This can open the class up to a multitude of different discussions and activities depending on the discretion of the teacher. Social injustice has many faces and this book serves well as a means to expose students ages 5-8 years old, to the experience of a child in their age group to which they can directly relate to, thus making the story even more meaningful and relatable. 

Classroom Activity: 

To include this book into a lesson would not serve the students whole-fully. To not only cover the experience of ruby but the history of oppression, the teacher should make it a point to make the lesson inclusive of group work and class discussion. The following is a short lesson plan/activity to engage the students in post reading the book.

  • Read Aloud "The Story of Ruby Bridges"
  • During the reading, pause at teachable moments, prompting the children to connect and reflect on not only what is happening and why it is wrong, but how they believe ruby feels.
  • After the Read Aloud, children will break up into groups and write down times they have felt how ruby felt in school
  • The class will regroup and engage in discussion facilitated by the teacher where they will share what they wrote down.
  • After this activity, the teacher will present either on the board, projector or smart board, a two column part. In the first column's header there should be "1960" and in the second "Today". The teacher will call on the class to give examples from the book of what it was like in school for ruby during the 1960s and for them today. Students will compare both columns with help from the teacher and discuss how things have changed.
  • It is important for the teacher to inform the students that these changes are still happening and how they can be part of the change.

Freedom Summer

Title: Freedom Summer
Author: Deborah Wiles
Illustrator: Jerome Lagarrigue
Ages: 4-8

 Purchase Freedom Summer here!

  Freedom Summer is a story based upon the experiences and observations of author Deborah Wiles as a child growing up in the south during the 60's.  In her book, Wiles introduces Joe and John Henry as two inseparable best friends.  However, there are some things that the two can't do together because John Henry is not allowed; he is a black child growing up in a time where blacks and whites are segregated.  One night, Joe and John hear that a new law has passed permitting whites and blacks to use the same facilities.  Joe and John, who both love to swim, plan to go to the town pool the next morning.  However, when they arrive the boys realize something is wrong; workers are filling the swimming pool with tar.  Joe and John Henry realize that some people would rather close the pool than let blacks in to swim.  Though the two are despondent, the story ends with John Henry courageously entering a store with Joe; something he was never able to do before.

Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice:
  Freedom Summer is a moving story of the effects of segregation and The Civil Rights Act of 1964 on two young boys and their friendship.  What is so great about Freedom Summer is that it gives a realistic interpretation of how the Civil Rights Act effected blacks in America; while segregation was outlawed, this still did not end racism in America.  As we see in Freedom summer, Joe and John Henry rejoice over a new law that allows them to go to the town pool together, not realizing that it takes more than legislation to change what ideas segregation and slavery have deeply embedded into the minds of some Americans.  Freedom Summer is a great introduction to the concepts of slavery, segregation and racism because it illustrates them in a way that is appropriate for young children.  Teachers can use this book to supplement more in-depth lessons on black history, especially segregation and the Civil Rights Act, and the experiences of blacks today.

Educational Activities:
  One possible activity for students includes exploring the effects of racism on how people feel and what opportunities they have.  Students can discuss questions such as: "How would you feel if you were John Henry?"  Teachers can also give students opportunities to research how segregation effected the lives of blacks pre-1964, while also expanding this concept to their own lives, "How would your life be different if you weren't allowed to do certain things because of the color of your skin?"  Lastly, teachers can use this book as a platform for moving onto Elements 5 and 6.  Because the book illustrates that racism and prejudice were not abolished with The Civil Rights Act, teachers can open the discussion of whether racism still exists in today's society.  Students can also do an activity in where they rewrite the story with the narrator as a social activist.  Generating ideas on how Joe could have changed what happened at the pool will help students come up with their own plans for taking social action.



 Title: We Are All Born Free
Author: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Grade level: K-3

If you are interested in purchasing this book click here :


We Are All Born Free is a book written by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We Are All Born Free is a book about how each person should have equal rights and be free. Each page is illustrated according to the message of the book. This book shows our rights as humans, and as citizen of our country. The book is designated for children to understand and be aware of the human rights, and to be socially aware of the things that our world goes through. 

Element 3- Exploring Issues of Social Injustice 

We Are All Born Free is a extraordinary example of element three "Exploring Issues of Social Injustice". In this book, each page represents a message of how we can be free. The illustrations are also another way of showing students of the approaches we might take when our rights are not being respected.  They also send a message of equality and respect for others. During times of segregation or social injustice many people were afraid of making decisions and standing up for themselves.  In this book their message is to assure everyone that it is okay to stand up and say something, it is okay to think differently, and respect the differences of others.  


Activities are a great way to let the students generate their understanding of this topic and let them teach you what they know. For this book I would choose an activity based on first grade level. After doing a read aloud and doing a think pair share activity, I will ask students to talk to a friend about something that they feel it is wrong, but they must come up with a solution. After they talk to a friend they will share with the class. For an independent activity I would have my students write a letter to anyone that they want, giving them an advice of what they should do if they find themselves in a situation where their rights are not being respected or valued. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Coyote Columbus Story

Author:  Thomas King

Illustrator: William Kent Monkman

Grade Level:  Preschool-kindergarten

Buy it here!



Coyote is the ruler of her world, she creates everything from rainbows to television commercials, but what she loves the most is to play ball. Coyote is always trying to find someone to play with her and does not like to loose. In her search for new players Coyote meets a funny looking red-haired man named Columbus and his crew of clowns, but they were not interested in playing ball, all they wanted to do was find a way to become rich. Suddenly, Coyote’s world changes when Columbus captures her human being friends and sells them in Spain to rich people. This is story that invites children to learn about Columbus’s voyages from a native point of view, it is full of colorful illustrations and entertainment.

Element Three : Issues of Social Injustice

       This story introduce from a native perspective, it reveals the real motives behind Columbus's journeys and the oppression that Native Americans suffered as a result. In this story Christopher Columbus is not portrayed as a hero who discovered America, but instead uncovers the atrocities that he committed against Native Americans, a society of friendly and peaceful people. 
       In this story Coyote who is the creator of her world is always looking for someone to play ball with her, when all the sudden she meets Columbus and his crew, who she describes as having bad manners and only wanting to look for gold and things to sell. When Coyote learns of Columbus's intention to sell the human beings in her world she laughed, thinking how silly and insane it will be for someone to sell or buy humans, which actually happened, linking to the history of injustice that Columbus committed against Native Americans. In the book Columbus was eager to become rich and sells Coyote's friends in Spain in order to get candy and a used Mercedes. This describes how greedy Columbus was and how he didn't see Native Americans as equal, but inferior. Instead of being grateful for their good hospitality Columbus and his crew oppresses their people  and takes their lands. In the story we learned how Columbus's voyages changed Native American's lives forever and how he uses force and power to accomplish it.

  1. Children could work in groups of four and retell the story using fun illustrations on a construction paper. Once they are done they could share their story with the class and share their favorite part and least favorite part of the story, they will be able to share their understanding of events, ask questions, and obtain feedback. The projects should be displayed in the classroom once their presentation is done.
  2. In there journals or a piece of paper, they could also draw their favorite and least favorite character of the story and write down 5 reasons for their choice. 
  3. The students could also replay the story and come up with a different ending to the story.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Title:  In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Author:  Bette Bao Lord

Illustrator:  Marc Simont

Grade Level:  4-7

Resource 1

Resource 2

Buy it here!

Ten-year-old Shirley Temple Wong is excited to be moving to America with her family.  However,  because she doesn't speak English, Shirley is ignored and feels far from home when she goes to school.  After she plays stickball, she begins to follow Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers, learning that a minority - someone like her - can make a difference and change people's thinking.

Element 5:  Raising Awareness
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson addresses the pre-Civil Rights Movement in America through the eyes of a young Chinese immigrant.  Little Shirley sees Jackie Robinson break the color barrier in baseball, leading the charge to end segregation in America.  In his story, students can see Jackie set the precedent for Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the entire Civil Rights Movement -- along with the tidal wave of acceptance and equality movements to come.

For our study of this book, after pre-reading activities, I would read each chapter aloud to the class (one per day).  Each chapter would have its own focus.  Each chapter would be followed by an activity relevant to the reading, e.g., a T-chart outlining the similarities between Shirley and Jackie Robinson; an exit ticket sharing a time when they were kind to someone; discussions about when they felt isolated, ignored, or alone; or a share of something from home that represents their culture; reflections about meeting their best friend. The unit would culminate in our connecting the book to the Civil Rights Movement -- and learning how one person can make a difference.

Surviving Divorce: Teens Talk about What Hurts and What Helps

Author: Trudi Strain Trueit

Grade Level:  6

Buy it here!

Often overlooked in children's literature, the subject of coping with divorce is addressed in Surviving Divorce:  Teens Talk about What Hurts and What Helps.  Each chapter begins with a teen's own story and perspective on how he/she coped with the change. A range of issues relating to divorce is covered, from feeling alone to blame to anger. Quizzes, statistics, and honest advice presented in a friendly, eye-catching format are sure to keep students reading and interested throughout.

Element 1:  Self-love and Knowledge
This book addresses the diversity of children not having the stereotypical family and how divorce affects them.  Divorce often makes kids feel embarrassed, as they see their families as being different; angry, as others make fun of them;  sad, as they have lost a parent at home; confused, as they may blame themselves; and alone, as they may not know whom to turn to.

This book can be used a resource for the unit on Families.  Our literature selections will include short stories, poetry, and non-fiction, and we will spend 1-2 days on various family structures.  This will allow the children to see themselves in the literature and connect. For this particular book, we would begin with an interactive pre-quiz, testing their knowledge of divorce facts (e.g., How many adults are divorced in the U.S?, What state has the highest divorce rate?).  Then, after discussing the answers, I will show them the book's interesting layout and each group would read one teen's story from the book. They would report back to the whole class on their story, focusing on how that teen felt, how he/she coped, and what they might say to the person if they met.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Share and Take Turns

Title: Share and Take Turns

Author: Cheri J. Meiners
Title: Share and Take Turns

Author: Cheri J. Meiners

Illustrated by: Meredith Johnson 

Grade Level: Pre-K - 2nd Grade

Purchase: Share and Take Turns

Additional: Resources

Element Two: Respect for Others

Share and take turns is a book for children that shows a variety of different ways for students to share and respect one another. The author dedicates this book to her dad and mom for teaching her about sharing and to Vic, Rob, and Erik for helping her practice. Cheri J. Meiners,M. Ed also acknowledges, Judy Galbraith, Mariaeka Heilen, Margie Lisovskis, and Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D.   This book is a part of the powerful Learning to Get Along series.  This book teaches children about different essential social skills such as empathy, respect, cooperation, and kindness. It also displays appropriate behavior and proper mannerism that will indeed help themselves and others. In the book it shows and states how children can and should play, share (or not to share) and respect one another while they are playing. It also shows children dividing, trading and helping others to understand the importance of sharing and respecting one another. What I like most about this book is that it shows children of different diversities who are sharing and respecting one another while waiting their turns. 

Representation of Element Two: Respect for Others
Share and take turns introduces children to different ways of playing and sharing while respecting the other children during the process. It also introduces diversity among the children. This book is great book to implement for Element Two; Respect for others because it does not only show the children playing and sharing, it also shows how they are waiting patiently and respecting one another while they wait their turns. This is a great way to introduce diversity along with sharing and respecting. 

Classroom Activity
An activity that would be great for this book is a ways to share activity. For this activity you will need pictures of toys and small items cut from magazines and catalogs, a bag to hold the pictures, and whiteboard with magnets.

Read and review the book with the students, making sure that they understand the different ways of sharing that are being shown in the book. After doing this, have the children take a toy from the bag. Ask the students some questions such as; How can you share this?; Who can you share the toy with?; and Is this something you would like to share?. Once this is complete, write the words divide, use together, trade, and take turns on the whiteboard. Have the child explain how they can share the toy. After the child does this, have them place the picture of the toy under the appropriate term on the board.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Whoever You Are

Title: Whoever You Are
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Leslie Staub
Grade level: preschool to grade 2

Paperback: $3.99
Hardcover: $5.56

 This picture book shows examples of different types of children from all around the world. It continues to explain that no matter who you are or where you are from there are children from all around the world just like you. “Whoever You Are”, shows readers that skin color, ways of education, difference of location, the way you speak, the way you live or matter what everyone is the same. It shows that everyone from around the world is the same because they have the same heart. Everyone can feel pain, everyone cries, everyone has the same smile, and everyone laughs because love and joy are the same.

SJE Element 2: Respect for Others:
This book represent element 2 in many ways. It can show a child that no matter where you are from or how you look everyone around them feels the same way. It shows children that if you feel hurt by someone teasing them then if they tease someone else it will hurt that person the same way. The book can demonstrate to children the respect that is needed among one another and shows deconstruction of stereotypes about other student’s identities. This book also gives great colorful pictures, which will intrigue the students.

As an activity I would first read this book to the class.  Then I would ask them questions on what they got from this book and tell me what they like about it. I would also tell the students to look around the room at all their classmates and they tell them that everyone may look different but everyone is the same in the inside. I would present them with two colored eggs. One will be a white egg and the other will be a brown egg. I would crack each egg in front of them, then show them that the eggs represents them and even though the eggs look different on the outside but when I cracked them they are just alike in the inside. 

Extra help:
I found this awesome RIF guide for educators made for this book.  It shows you different ways you can teach this book to different grades. Check it out the link is right below: