All September Picks

For Elementary Readers

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You / ¡Solo pregunta! Sé Diferente, Sé Valiente, Sé Tú

As kids with different disabilities create a garden together, they share that it's okay to be different and that it’s okay to ask about those differences.

Apply in the Classroom

Ask students what they think makes a garden beautiful. Talk together about the many different plants, trees, flowers, and food that can grow in a garden. Get them thinking and talking about what kinds of things they would want to grow in their own gardens. Have students share what makes their garden one of a kind and talk about how everyone’s garden is different. Then ask students to think and talk about what makes each one of us unique.

Have students draw a large plant, flower, or tree and fill in the leaves with writing or drawings of their favorite things (including favorite books!) or other things they want to share about themselves. Provide art supplies or try an online drawing tool for this activity. When students have completed and saved their work, compile all their drawings into a beautiful collage of your garden of readers. Share it with students. Ask them to talk about their work and encourage students to ask questions of each other about all their differences.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

This book asks lots of questions! Think about some of these questions (Are you really good at something? How do you use your senses? What do you like to talk about?). How do you feel about being asked questions about yourself?

How are you different from the kids in the book? How are you different from other kids you know?

What do you think the world would be like if everyone was the same?

How can you learn more about other people? How do you feel about asking people questions about their differences? Who can you ask for help to understand things that you have questions about?

If you met any of the children in this book, what other questions would you ask?