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 3, 2010


Title: Respect
Author: Kimberley Jane Pryor
Age group: 4-8
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Summary: This is an explanatory text about how to respect others. It is part of a larger series about teaching values to children. This book can be used on it's own or in conjunction with the other books in the series. This book gives many examples that children will be able to relate to their own lives. Some of the concepts covered include politeness, being considerate, respecting our elders, respecting property, accepting differences, and respecting others' points of view.

Element Two: Treating others with respect is an important part of all of our daily lives. In a classroom setting it is especially important that children learn not just about respecting others but also about being polite, considerate and tolerant. This book is an excellent way to introduce these ideas to young students.

Activity: I would use this book in a read-aloud during the first week of school, in order to assist the students in formulating their own set of class rules. In a democratic classroom it is important to allow students to create their own class rules to follow, and this book can help give them ideas about what kinds of rules they should have. While reading I would ask students to come up with their own examples of how they treat others with respect in their daily lives, and how they are shown respect in return. There is a glossary at the end that gives definitions for various terms used throughout the book.

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