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, April 25, 2011

Giant Steps to Change the World

Authors: Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

Illustrator: Sean Qualls

Grade Level: 2-4


More about the authors

Using examples throughout history Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee give children the encouragement that they may need to make changes in their lives as well as the world. This book is very uplifting and inspirational. It asks children to think about what their next step is going to be and it makes you think about what you can do to change the world.

Element 6 Taking Social Action:
Giant Steps to Change the World shows examples of how people have taken social action. It also inspires children to keep stepping toward making changes and not to be discouraged by things around them. It is a great example of how human beings throughout history have fought through difficulties to do amazing things.

Students will make posters about things they can do within their community that can help to improve it. The title of the activity will be Stepping Toward Change. I think that Giant Steps to Change the World will encourage students to come up with ways that they can make crucial changes in their communities. In the poster students will draw pictures to represent their activity that they think can help to change their community. I would make my own poster to give an example of an activity that can help to improve the community. My poster would be about helping an elderly neighbor by doing things like food shopping and taking out the garbage for them. I would draw a picture of myself and my neighbor. In the picture I would be unloading the groceries that I purchased for my neighbor and putting them in the refrigerator. It is important that the students understand that even little tasks can help to change your community. Just in case they need a little more guidance I would supply a list of examples of things that they could possibly do. Our posters will be displayed in the bulletin board outside of our classroom in the hope to encourage other students in the school to make changes. Students will also have to write a one page summary answering the question, What can you do to make a change in your community?

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