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.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Be Kind

Image result for be kind book

Title: Be Kind
Author: Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrator: Jen Hill
Grade level: K-3

Summary: Be Kind shines light on the different acts of kindness that can be expressed. The book starts off with a young girl named Tanisha spilling grape juice on herself during lunch. Her classmate does several different things to try to make her feel better, but they do not work. The book goes on to discuss what it means to be kind and the difficulties that may arise when faced with certain situations. It gives different examples such as helping, paying attention, listening, and being friendly. The author discusses hardships with kindness by talking about patience and sticking up for others. By the end of the book the author circles back to making Tanisha feel better about her grape juice accident and how all small acts of kindness can translate into something bigger.

Element 5, Raising Awareness: Element 5 allows for educators to express ways in which we can shed awareness on a particular injustice. Be Kind encompasses this element. This book exemplifies the various ways kindness can be expressed and how everyone may not always be receptive towards your kindness. This book raises awareness of the different ways we express kindness, and the hardships one may face when confronted with a difficult situation.

Follow-Up Activity: Read Be Kind to your students. Read the book a second time and tell your students to give you a thumbs up when they hear an act of kindness they would do. As you are reading have a scribe jot down the various acts down on an anchor chart.  Once you are finished reading, have students go back to their desks to create a "Kindness Guidebook". Their books will have instances from the story and ideas of their own to express their ideas of kindness.

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