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 21, 2015

A Bad Case of Stripes

Title: A Bad Case of Stripes
Author: David Shannon
Illustrator: David Shannon
Grade Level: K-1

Camilla Cream loves lima beans but does not eat them because she is afraid people will make fun of her. On her first day of school, while getting dressed she is suddenly covered in stripes. After missing the first day, she returns the next day to all of her classmates making fun of her and making her patterns change. After many doctors and specialists, nobody knew how to cure Camilla and her mysterious disease that got worse and worse. But one day a nice old woman tells Camilla to eat lima beans. Although reluctant to eat them because she knows people would make fun of her, it would still be better than having stripes. Once she eats the beans, she is back to normal and eats lima beans whenever she wants.

Element 1:
This book relates to Element 1 because Camilla Cream wants to fit in and knows people will laugh at her for eating lima beans. By denying her love for lima beans, she turns colors and goes through changes. Once she learns to accept herself and her love for lima beans, then she is turned back to normal. Camilla learns to appreciate what makes her different and is able to finally be herself. By being true to herself in the end, she is learning about self-love.

After discussing this book and the importance of loving what makes a person unique, I would give the students some time to write down in their journal 5 things that they love about themselves and what they think makes them unique. After they write in their journals, the class would come together and students would tell the class what they wrote. This is an activity aimed to not only help students love themselves and what makes them unique but also teaches them to respect their classmates and their differences.

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