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.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sad Isn't Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss

Title: Sad Isn't Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss
Element: 5
Author: Michaelene Mundy
Illustrations: R.W. Alley
Synopsis: Loaded with positive, life-affirming advice for coping with loss as a child, this guide tells children what they need to know after a loss--that the world is still safe; life is good; and hurting hearts do mend. Written by a school counselor, this book helps comfort children facing of the worst and hardest kind of reality.

Element 5 Raising Awareness: This book related to element five's description because it is raising awareness about the grieving process in a way for younger students to understand it. It lets them know that it is okay to be sad and to cry and that things will get better. It raises awareness that they are not the only ones that have these strong emotions and that they can receive help and compassion from their peers and others.

Follow-up activities: Some activities you can do with your class to go along with this book are: to have a class discussion and allow children, who are willing to, talk about any loss they have experienced, no matter how big or small. They can get together with a partner and talk about their losses and how it made them feel. They can write in a journal comparing their feelings to the ones the book mentions and if they feel the book helped them understand better. They can bring in a picture of their loved one, whether a family member, friend or pet, and make a poster that celebrates their life with facts and their favorite memory about them.

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