Tuesday, September 15, 2009
One of my all time favorite children books is Big Al. It’s a picture book about a big fish that is considered ugly and scary (since he is so large), and he does not have a lot of friends. The other fish judge him based on his appearance. However, one day a bunch of fish get caught in a net, and Big Al comes to their rescue. The other fish finally realize how kind Big Al is and they become friends. My dad read the book to me all the time when I was a child. I have always enjoyed it because I really liked the story. I thought it was captivating, and teaches an important lesson. Children need to understand from a very young age that it is not acceptable to judge someone based on appearances. The book also goes into detail about how Big Al attempts to change how he looks so others will like him. This concept upsets me because that type of thing really happens. Kids and even adults try to change how they look so they can be more “acceptable.” Kids may have to buy the “right” clothes or have the “cool” hair cut. Some adults are so wrapped up in plastic surgery and unhealthy diets just so they can look “good”. Both of these ideas-changing yourself just to appeal to others is disgusting. Everyone should be happy with whom they are, and people shouldn’t judge people without even knowing them. Unfortunately there are standards in society that most people feel they must reach. So, I would utilize the book Big Al in a first grade class, for example, to teach a moral lesson. Often morality is not a part of lessons in school but I think it should be. Students need to understand right from wrong, and learn values and morals. I would read this book to my class and then have them discuss it. We would talk about how Big Al was treated and why he felt like he had to be someone he was not. Also, I would ask my students if they have ever felt like they don’t “fit in”, or need to act a certain way or wear something just so they could be considered “cool”. We will further the discussion by bringing up certain ideas on how we can stop making quick judgments, and how exciting it is for everyone to be unique.
to buy on Amazon: Amazon.com