Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ruby the Copycat

Title: Ruby the Copycat
Author/Illustrator: Peggy Rathmann
Summary: Kindergarten-Grade 2. It seems that something other than coincidence is at work when diminutive Ruby, a newcomer to Miss Hart's class, is entranced by schoolmate Angela's attention-getting red bow and returns from lunch with an identical bow atop her head. Ruby's maddening habit becomes increasingly apparent as she happily endures a rainbow of wet paint in imitation of Angela's hand-painted outfit, proudly plagiarizes Angela's poetry and tries pink press-on nails after admiring Miss Hart's manicure. Finally, challenged to display a talent all her own, Ruby admits that she likes to hop and masterfully bounces around her desk. To her surprise, she impresses her classmates and wins Angela's friendship at last. Rathmann's expressively illustrated, quirky and individualistic first book encourages readers to have confidence and not to take skills, however unimpressive they may seem, for granted.
Reflection: This was one of my favorite books as a child. I loved the colorful light pictures that the illustrator used. I was able to relate to Ruby who is a new student to this school. Her insecurity and her desire to want to fit into this school made her copy the beautiful and sweet, Angela. I would think to myself, "Oh no, Ruby, don't copy Angela anymore!" This book allows you to feel a number of different emotions, and realize, "Hey, it's good to be yourself!"
How Would I Use the Book: This book can be used to build community in the classroom. One activity can be to wrap a box so the inside of the box is hidden from the outside view. Draw question marks on the cover of the box and place a mirror inside the box. Explain to the class at the meeting area that everyone will see something different when they look into the box. One by one, I will have the students look into the box. After every child finishes looking, I will ask the students to create what they saw on a white sheet of paper - self portrait. Also, I will ask the students to write a few interesting facts about what they saw in the box. We will meet back at the rug as a whole group, and discuss how we are all different and unique. Mention taht even though we are all special individuals, we need to work together as a team in our classroom. Make a class book with everyone's self portrait.
Domains of Social Justice
1. Self Love and Acceptance: Students will learn to love and appreciate who they are as individuals. They will understand that trying to be like someone else is not the best way to approach things.
2. Respect for Others: Students will learn to appreciate each other's uniqueness and support their classmates. One will learn how to manage personal space, but at the same time learn to be close as friends.
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: This boko is all about loving yourself and accepting people for who they are.
4. Social Movements and Social Change: Students will learn to accept one another and get along. Students build a strong and loving community where they all appreciate and learn from each other.
5. Taking Social Action: Students can share what they learned with their community and families. They can make a book and have it published. The book can be made for each grade in the school so students can enjoy and learn.

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