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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Big Hair, Don't Care

Author: Crystal Swain-Bates
Illustrator: Megan Bair
Ages 3-6, but also for all Early Childhood and Elementary Levels based on complimentary activities.

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Lola is an African American girl who embraces her big hair. She acknowledges that her hair is bigger than the hair of others around her and she expresses it happily and unapologetically. She shows all of the different styles she can wear it in and how beautifully she stands out during her days and daily activities.

Element One: Self-Love and Knowledge
This children picture book is all about Lola's self confidence and how she loves and embraces her big hair despite the other kids staring or not seeing past her. It expresses to children that you can love and be proud of what makes you unique. Lola knows she has big hair and she don't care because it makes her different and will not conform to what may make others comfortable, but rather to whatever makes her happy.

Students can create a piece of work: writing, drawing, video, dance, song, poem, story, collage, etc. on something that they love about themselves and how they embrace or will embrace that feature or characteristic of themselves: can be physical, emotional, a health condition, their race, their language, their belief, etc. The creative pieces can be done alone or with partners or groups. The instructor will also participate and start off the activity by showing them some different ways they have embraced a feature about them: for example if the instructor wishes to embrace their hair, just as Lola did, they can write a poem, do a runway walk where they are flipping and fluffing their hair, and create a drawing of themselves focusing on their hair, just to show a variety of how to present the feature that each student chooses to embrace.

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