Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Elmer: Appreciating differences

Most you have been in school for several weeks now.  As unique personalities emerge, it can be hard appreciate the individual differences.  I don't think we have this all figured out as adults!  Children don't have the perspective and practice that comes with years of experience of learning to live, work, and play with others.

Elmer has always been one of my favorite books to read with my students around this time of year.  If you have read Helen Lester's Tacky books, Elmer has similar irregularities.  He is not like the other elephants.  He is a rainbow-colored elephant!  

Una noche Elmer no podía dormir porque se puso a pensar, y el pensamiento que estaba pensando era que estaba harto de ser diferente.  <<¿Quién ha oído nunca hablar de un elefante de colores?>> pensó.  <<Por eso todos se ríen cuando me ven.>>

Y por la mañana temprano, cuando casi nadie estaba todavía despierto del todo, Elmer se fue sin que los demás se dieran cuenta.

The story goes on to explain how Elmer tries to make himself like the other elephants so that he can blend in.  When he rejoins the other elephants, everyone seems so serious and quiet and boring.  He finally can't stand it any longer and, when he returns to being himself again, the rest of the elephants are so grateful.

The illustrations and language is this book are so beautiful and so accessible to even PK and Kindergartners. I know many schools are doing programs like "Rachel's Challenge" and other anti-bullying programs.  This book would be a perfect book in Spanish for sparking great conversations about differences.  

This is another book about bullying in Spanish and English in case you missed it in my De regreso a la escuela series. 

Does your school do anything special to help train students to appreciate one another's differences?  I would love to hear your ideas!

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