Differences: Opening Doors to Social Studies with Children's Literature


Curriculum Developer: Jenn Poulson

Grade Level Focus: First/second grade

 

Book Title: Tacky the Penguin

Author: Helen Lester

Publisher and Date: Houghton Mifflin Company 1988

Summary: Tacky, the penguin, lived with five other penguins. The other penguins did all of the things proper penguins should. Tacky did everything different. One day, hunters came. All the penguins, but Tacky, hid. Tacky confused the hunters by his different behavior. Finally the hunters ran away. Even though Tacky was different, the others were glad to have him around.

Social Studies Relevance: This story helps children recognize similarities and differences among people. They begin to understand that it's okay to be different, and they appreciate diversity as a positive aspect of life.

 

Book Title: Be Good to Eddie Lee

Author: Virginia Fleming

Publisher and Date: Philomel Books 1993

Summary: Christy and JimBud go to the woods to find frog eggs. They tell Eddie Lee, a neighbor child with Down's Syndrome, to leave them alone and stay home. Eddie follows them into the woods. When the children are unable to find frog eggs, it is Eddie Lee who leads them to a hidden pond filled with lilies and frog eggs. Christy enjoys the natural beauty of the area with Eddie, and tries to help JimBud ëbe good to Eddie Lee.'

Social Studies Relevance: This story helps children see diversity as a positive aspect of human relations. They begin to understand how they can each enrich the lives of others, despite, or because of, their talents and weaknesses.

 

Relationship of books to the Utah Social Studies State Core:

Show that every individual has dignity and worth and is unique.

Identify talents of self and others and discuss how they can be developed.

Show ways in which the talents of others have influenced the community.

Identify aspirations for using their own talents.

 

Lesson Plans:

What Makes Us Different?

My Likes and Dislikes

Different Family Traditions

Dealing With Differences

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