Inclusion Lesson in Delightful Picture Book
Would You Like It If Everyone Was the Same?
Jonah Winter's Welcome to Bobville is a very timely picture book to introduce young children to the idea that being inclusive is a great idea. The world in which we live is very diverse and the scenes that young children are seeing in the media in our current society are not lessons in inclusivity. Picture books for young children are very useful tools to teach lessons, and Welcome to Bobville is a welcome addition to books that teach the concept of being inclusive.
Would you like it if everyone in your town had the same name, wore the same clothes, and even liked the same movies? In the town of Bobville, everyone is named Bob. They all wear the same black and white suits. They all eat the same food. They even have the same hobbies. They agree on everything. This would be very boring in the real world.
One resident of Bobville decides to mix things up and change his name to Bruce. This does not go over well in the town of Bobville. Bruce is kicked out of Bobville. He dared to be different and learned a lesson that some people are not willing to be inclusive in their world. Bruce goes out into the world and discovers that others are wearing very colorful clothes. What a difference from the same black and white clothes that everyone is wearing in Bobville! This new world is very exciting. Everyone is free to be who they are. How much better is a world where all are welcome and included?
Bob Staake's illustrations are charming and young readers will be engaged in all of the details that are included in the illustrations.
Welcome to Bobville was published by Penguin/RandomHouse Children's Books and is recommended for ages 3-7. It has an ISBN of 9780593122723
Bring All the Bobs Into Your Classroom For Lessons in Being Inclusive
Young children are often in a very diverse classroom in today's schools. Teachers have a responsibility to teach the lesson of being inclusive in our society today. Picture books are a go-to tool to teach a variety of lessons in an early childhood classroom. Jonah Winter's Welcome to Bobville is a great choice to introduce young children to the idea of being inclusive in their school and in all of their favorite activities.
*Read Welcome to Bobville in your story time session. Call attention to all of the "Bobs". The all look alike, they are dressed the same, and they eat the same foods. Engage children in a discussion of how this town is different from the town that they live in.
*Look at the clothes that each student is wearing. No one is wearing the same outfit. What would happen if everyone wore the same clothes? Engage the children in a discussion about someone that they may have encountered that dresses differently in their town. Bring in photos of people who dress differently from the average American.
*Everyone in Bobville eats the same food. What would happen in the students' town if everyone ate the same food. Engage the students in a discussion of the diversity of food found in a grocery store. Bring in a selection of food from other countries-fruits or vegetables- for children to have a tasting party. Food can be diverse.
*What happened to the character who changed his name to Bruce? Engage the children in a discussion of rejecting someone who is different from themselves.
*What did Bruce discover about the new people that he met?
*Take a poll of the class of all the different names of the students. Are there any students who do have the same name? Do the students know anyone who has the same name as theirs?
*Call attention to all of the Bobs who are doing the same activities. All of the Bobs in Bobville have the same hobbies. Take a class poll of the kinds of activities theat each student participates in. How many kinds of hobbies are different?
*Gather an assortment of small objects for students to sort by differences. This creates a math leasson in sorting and can be incorporated into the idea of diversity and inclusivity.
© 2020 Cindy Hewitt