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.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Giraffes Can't Dance

Giraffes Can't Dance
Author: Giles Andreae
Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees
Grade Level: Pre-K - Kindergarten
Purchase Here! 

Gerald was a Giraffe who thought he couldn’t dance. When he would try to dance like the other animals, his knees would buckle and he would fall. When the annual Jungle Dance would come around all the other animals would be dancing, the lions would tango and the rhinos would rock ‘n’ roll, but Gerald would just stand and watch until this year. The year Gerald went out and tried to dance like the other animals but they made fun of him. Gerald ran into the forest where he met a cricket who told him he may just dance to a different song. Then, Gerald started dancing to the sounds of the trees and grass, and he found his song. He finally felt confident in dancing! The animals one by one started to enter and saw that Gerald could dance!

Element 1 - Self love and Knowledge:
Giraffes Can’t Dance is a story about a Giraffe who thinks he can’t dance because the way everyone else danced was not the way he could dance. Gerald would get upset and self conscious when he would try to dance the way everyone else was dancing. But once he finds his own song he is able to dance the way he feels comfortable. As well, when Gerald is finally comfortable dancing he is doing it for himself, rather than focusing on what the other animals are thinking. He is literally dancing to the beat of his own song.  He learns to love his dancing and his body just the way it is.

Follow Up:
To go off of the idea of being good at things we’re not I would have the students we’ll talk about the things that we think we’re not good at. In that process we’ll talk about why we think we’re not good at something and reframe it in a positive light. For example a student may not think they are athletic because the can’t run fast, but they may be able to throw a ball really far so they are athletic! With this idea the students will go back to their journals and write about something they think they’re not good at, then the student will reframe it with something they are good at but enjoy doing and how they feel positively about themselves.

More Resources! 
Even More Resources!
Lesson Plans!

No comments:

Post a Comment