Teaching Difference at a Young Age: A Book List

Recently, a friend asked me for a list of books to share with her son’s first grade teacher that celebrate difference.  Her son has special needs and many of the students in his class do not pay attention to him.  

This is a tough situation and it sparks a necessary conversation the teacher needs to bring up in the classroom community. Creating a classroom community where everyone feels safe and welcome is vital in helping students learn.  Creating a classroom community is something that needs to be established the first week of school and maintained throughout the school year.

Below is the list of picture books I recommended to help address topics about accepting difference and valuing people with special needs.  Looking After Louis specifically addresses Autism, whereas the other books address difference with out blatantly saying anything about being kind to people with special needs as with Todd Parr’s It’s Okay to be Different.

ImageSpaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy

ImageAccept & Value Each Person by Cheri J. Meiners

ImageKindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Magery Cuylrt

 ImageLooking After Louis by Lesley Ely

ImageThe Bully Blockers by Celeste Shally

ImageWhoever You Are by Mem Fox

ImageDon’t Laugh at Me by Steven Seskin

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