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.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paths to Peace

Book Title
"Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World"

Author: Jane Breskin Zalben

Recommended Grade Level: 4 - 6th Grade

In this book, sixteen different short biographies are written about "peacemakers" throughout the world: people who as Jane Zalben puts it "made the world a better place". Covering both well known figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and lesser known characters like Wangari Maathai, this book is great to spark discussion on social justice education among upper elementary school students. With interesting artwork and quotes accompanying each biography, Zalben covers a variety of ethnic groups and backgrounds sure to inspire intrinsic learning and foster reflective reading.

Social Justice Education:
Zalben's Paths to Peace provides great examples of iconic and everyday individuals who rose to the challenge of social change. For instance, Cesar Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association after a growing concern with the unequal and unsafe treatment of Mexican-American laborers. In order to "create change" Chavez organizes his fellow Mexican-Americans in a boycott of grapes and lettuce for five years. Together, Chavez and his followers win themselves new labor laws thus improving the conditions of Mexican farm workers.

Suggestible Links:

Purchasing the book - - $18.99
Amazon - $12.29
Powell's Books -$18.99

Lesson Plans & Activities -

1. Make a Peace Calendar
3. Assign a book report on other Noble Prize winners

To see what other activities TeachPeaceNow suggested, please visit the following link.

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