Monday, February 16, 2009

Different Just Like Me

Different Just Like Me
by Lori Mitchell

Summary: A young girl named April experiences living in a diverse society. She is looking forward to visiting her grandmother at the end of the week. On each day that passes, April notices something new about the people in her community. Even though all the people she observes are different in their own ways, April always finds a common similarity. She sees deaf children communicating, people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds shopping for food, a blind woman taking an elevator, adults with common interests, a woman with physical disabilities, and notices the variety of stores and landscapes in her environment. The story explores the world we live in and how we all cohabitate peacefully with one another.

Reflection: Before discussing community, I think it's important to begin with awareness about the different types of people who are around them. It can often be overlooked and once noticed, there are a multitude of observations that students can make. This book is a great way to introduce the differences that make us all individuals but create a unified society of peace and cooperation.

How would I use this in a classroom: This book is a wonderful way to introduce the idea of living in a community and creating awareness about the different types of people who exist. This book can be used with younger grades because the illustrations are very vivid and clearly show what the idea of the story is trying to convey. Students can then write their own stories about the communities that they live in and brainstorm about the different types of people they notice around them. It is a great way to show through written language and illustrations about community, diversity and to celebrate cultural and individual differences.

Domains of Social Justice:
1) Self Love and Acceptance: Children learn about their own culture. Children learn about the culture of their own community. Diversity is celebrated and emphasized by simply noticing and appreciating all the different types of people who coexist.
2) Respect for Others: Strengthens intercultural competence. April points out the differences of each individual she meets but is able to find common ground of similarities. Differences should not be the basis of judgment but rather appreciation. April admires the variety of abilities that others have.

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