Allow students with disabilities to take a wide range of classes at the high school level. Psychology? Modern Dance? German? The catalog of possible options should be open to all.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.

Blog

DAY 12: Children’s Literature

Posted on December 12, 2011 in News

So I started 12 Days with shameless self promotion so I guess I will end the same way- LOL!

My final recommendation is children’s literature. Books intended for kids work well not only for children but as heartfelt messages for adults. For instance, one of my most treasured gifts is a copy of The Giving Tree presented to me by my administrator, Patrick Schwarz. He gave it to me as I left my first teaching job to attend graduate school in 1994. I now read it to my children and think about my years in the classroom. So consider books for more than just the little ones on your list.

And…speaking of Patrick Schwarz, my first recommendation is a children’s book we wrote together—Pedro’s Whale.

Paula Kluth

This book is illustrated by Justin Canha and tells the story of a little guy who really needs his little whale toy to be successful in school. It is intended to help teachers and students see the benefits and possibilities of incorporating fascinations into the classroom.

While we are on the topic of fascinations, how about a book for the train-lover in your life? The other book I wrote for kids is called A is for “All Aboard” and is a colorful ride through the alphabet. My dad worked on the Green Bay & Western Railroad so I have a special spot in my heart for this book (check the inside cover to see a 1974 photo of me and my dad and my sister standing in front of a GBW train).

Paula Kluth A is for All Aboard

The last two pages of the book contain about a dozen ideas for using the text to teach words, concepts, reading, and writing.

Ok, enough about me! Now to some other favorites. I adore Todd Parr books and the one I am recommending here is his book about diversity: It’s OK to Be Different. Love its simple message and great illustrations.

Ellen Senisi’s book, All Kinds of Friends, Even Green is another great book with an important message. In the story, a teacher gives an assignment to write about a friend. Seven-year-old Moses (who uses a wheelchair) considers classmates, neighbors, parents, and teachers before finally deciding on Zaki, his teenage neighbor’s iguana, because she is different yet determined, like him. For instance, Zaki has missing toes, yet has learned to compensate by using her strong front legs to keep up with Hashi, her companion iguana. Great gift for the classroom.

Finally, I have to recommend Where’s Chimpy? by Berniece Rabe. This sweet little book is out of print (I think) but you can get it on Amazon (and other places) through second-hand vendors. The book is about a little girl who cannot find her lost toy monkey. The story is told through a fun photo essay and the featured character has Down syndrome. Down syndrome is not mentioned in the story and the story is not at all about disability or difference. This cute little gal just so happens to be the “star” of this cute little mystery.

Leave a Comment