Thursday, February 4, 2010

Different Just Like Me by: Lori Mitchell

Summary: The story Different Just Like Me is about a young girl named April who through the course of a week discovers that people, much like flowers, are all different and yet the same because they are all beautiful. The story begins with April anxiously waiting for Friday to arrive so that she can go visit her grandmother. On Monday, on the bus, she notices a boy and a girl talking through signs. Her mother explains they are using sign language. On Tuesday, she went to the market and noticed all of the different people there. "They came in all sizes, shapes and colors. Some of them even spoke different languages." On Wednesday, she rides the elevator to her father's office and she watches a lady, who is accompanied by a dog, feel the little bumps that are underneath each number before pressing her floor. On Thursday, she over hears a customer ordering what she likes to eat at her favorite diner. Friday finally comes and April gets to explore in her grandmother's garden where she realizes that everyone is different and therefore that makes them just like her.

Reflection: I found this book in the library of my first grade classroom. It is a level M and when I first saw the title I did not expect it to touch on the many subjects it mentions. For example, in this book April encounters someone who is deaf, blind, African American, Asian, artistic, etc... I really like this book because it not only can be used to show respect for others, and to draw the comparisons that all human being have, but it can also be used from a self love aspect. Through out the book April reaffirms to herself how all of these different people are like her and most importantly she finds all of these differences beautiful, which in turn makes her beautiful.

In the classroom: I would use this book either as an introduction to a unit on self love or respecting others or as the ending of a respecting other unit. First I would use this book as an introduction to the unit because I think this is a good read aloud story in which a discussion can be centered around. I would read this book and ask, what do you notice about the people in this story? Look closely at the illustrations. In what way do the characters appear different from April and how are they just like her? From that discussion we would enter into the unit of respecting other. I could also end a unit with this book if I were to focus specifically on one difference. For example, if I were to receive a new student in my class who has a hearing impediment then I would like the class to learn more about how to support this new child. So I would create a mini unit on this disability and then end with the book focusing on how being deaf is not the only difference we can encounter out in the world. I would discuss the other differences April experiences and challenge them to be more aware in their environment. By doing this I would be allowing room for discussion on how to treat someone who may seem different.

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