Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Forever Young

Forever Young
By: Bob Dylan
Illustrated By: Paul Rogers

Bob Dylan’s notorious song is brought to life in this colorful illustration representing the past. Dylan’s lyrics convey a nurturing and sentimental narrative intended for future generations. The narrative encourages children to lead a self-righteous life through the empowerment of positive ideals and attitudes. Although, the lyrics foster a distinct attribute, the true character of the story encompasses whimsical illustrations.
The subliminal message of racism is present through the creation of influential figures and protests. The illustrator provides pictures of predominate historical figures like Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy. Students will learn about the historical figures that shaped the civil rights movement in American history. The narrative creates a strong foundation for introducing topics like the civil rights movement, peaceful protests, Rosa Parks, little rock nine, and even moral behavior.
This book would be recommended in a first through third grade classroom. More or less depth can be added to a specific topic that is appropriate to all grade levels. The incorporation of music is also a helpful tool. Students will enjoy locating and identifying historical figures along side famous musicians, like Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

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