November is National Adoption Month

Posted by on Nov 10, 2011 in Early Learning, Holiday, Integrating Knowledge and Ideas, Non-Fiction | 0 comments

 I like that we celebrate adoption in the same month that we celebrate Thanksgiving. For preschoolers and kindergartners, Thanksgiving doesn’t have much to do with Pilgrims and Native American Indians. Honestly, it doesn’t even have much to do with giving thanks for all we have (kids in the single-digit club live in the moment and aren’t prone to introspection.)  Nope, for little ones, Thanksgiving is all about a big, lovely meal and family. So let’s celebrate families, in all their wonderful shapes, sizes, and forms, with some of my favorite books about adoption.

Want well-written non-fiction? Get Shelley Rotner’s books. Her latest is called I’m Adopted and it is wonderful. Co-written with Sheila M. Kelly, this book is full of Rotner’s gorgeous photos showing all kinds of kids and families. The book is simply written but not watered down. One of my friends who adopted her son two years ago said the book is “so respectful, and heartfelt”. I’m trying to incorporate more informational books into my storytimes, and I’m Adopted will be perfect for my family-themed read-aloud time.

Todd Parr has been a storytime favorite for years. Who can resist his bright, bold art? I love the straightforward, positive tone of Parr’s books. In We Belong Together, Parr writes, “You needed a home… and I had one to share.” Gets me every time. The cartoon-y people and animals make the book relate-able for every child, and I like that Parr shows all kinds of family combinations.With the big art and short text, I can read this book to the youngest preschoolers as well as my older school-aged students.

For a more lyrical, snuggle-in-together book, try Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale by written by Karen Henry Clark and Patrice Barton. It’s about a baby girl born in China, and a mother and father far away, and the journey that brings their family together. Soft and sweet, this may be just the right book for some of your students who were part of an international adoption.

After you share a book about adoption with your students, let them talk about their own family stories, and when they were babies. Use your digital camera to take photos of your students, and paste the face of each student on a baby die-cut shape (they will fall down giggling seeing their faces on baby bodies!) Have students write or dictate the story of their birth, or the day they came home to their families, and attach the “baby picture”. Celebrate each and every student, because it’s November, and we are thankful for them!

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