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.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One Hen

TITLE: One Hen
AUTHOR: Katie Smith Milway

One Hen, by Katie Smith Milway, is a book for children ages 9-12. It is a story about a boy from Ghana, Kojo, who turns a small loan into a prosperous farm for his village. The book shows how one small idea can change the lives of many. It is based on a true story of a Ghanaian who started a trust to help thousands of people begin small businesses. In the story, Kojo's family is struggling to survive. They sell firewood and barely make enough money to buy food. Kojo gets an idea to buy a hen, so that they will have fresh eggs to eat. He then sells the extra eggs for money at the market. With the money he makes from the eggs, Kojo buys more hens and earns enough money to pay for his schooling. After college, Kojo eventually builds up a poultry farm with his earnings, which improves his community greatly. He helps others by loaning them money so that they too can overcome poverty. It is an inspiring story that shows how change can happen, one person at a time.

This book is an excellent story to teach the fourth element of Social Justice Education. It represents the theme of social movement and social change. One Hen teaches children that change can happen, one person at a time. It shows how everyday people can make big changes in the world. Through reading One Hen, children will learn how people can work together to overcome the issues of social injustice, element three.

As a future teacher, I would use One Hen to teach the importance of social change. I believe that the story will inspire and motivate children to make a difference. This book will encourage children to take action in order to see a change in the world. One Hen can be a useful tool to educate students on how small loans can make big changes. After reading the story, the children can work in small groups and come up with different ideas to raise money. Some examples could be a bake sale or recycling cans. The class can work together to raise money and donate it to a charity organization for people who need loans. This would not only be an educational lesson for the children, but it would also be a rewarding experience for them to help make a change in the world.

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