Sunday, March 11, 2007

Don't Laugh at Me!

This book, "Don't Laugh at Me", by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin, with illustrations by Glin Dibley, is really a book form of the song "Don't Laugh at Me!" by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame). It is an excellent resource for teaching an anti-bullying curriculum, as well as for the opposite of bullying, community building. It's hard to find in print (none of the book stores down here had it, but there was talk of the Barnes and Noble on 82nd...right...), but it IS still in print, and apparently comes with a recorded version of the song, which I think is really helpful for students who maybe can't read the words on their own.
My main concern with this book, however, is the fact that 'the chorus' says, "In G-d's eyes we're all the same", which is a really nice sentiment, but isn't great for community building if some students in your class don't believe in G-d or might get upset because they believe in another G-d or a different version OF G-d. I would try to find a more neutral way of expressing it - I was playing around with "in real life, we're all the same".

I believe this book hits the following levels of Social Justice Education:
1) Self-Love & Acceptance: it's okay to be different
2) Respect for Others: The basis of not bullying
3) Exploring issues of Social Justice: Why people get bullied, even though it's not okay OR their fault
4 & 5) dependin on how you use it: if you use it to discuss how a person's skin color has been a source of discrimination for hundreds of years, you could work this book in. If your students want to create a school-wide anti-bullying campaign, this would help.

Links: (a page with the actual song playing behind it!)

links reviewing the book:

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