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.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants!

Author: Diane deGroat
Grade Level: P-3

Summary: Gilbert’s class is working on poems about spring time. This inspired their teacher to take the class on a picnic. When they got to the picnic area they saw trees have been cut down and there was garbage everywhere. The class decided to clean up the area and continue with their picnic. Their teacher explained how great it was to clean up the area and asks the children to start projects that would help the environment for Earth Day. Gilbert was having trouble thinking of an idea until he sat under his favorite tree and a great idea came to him. He decided to plant a tree at their picnic area to replace the one that had been chopped down, he also explained the benefits trees provide for the environment.

Element 5: This book pertains to element 5 because it raises awareness about pollution and will teach children ways to take care of the environment. They will be more aware of why littering is bad for the environment and notice how it can ruin outdoor activities such as picnics. This could inspire students to clean up around their school and community. Not only would they become more aware about the issue of pollution but they would make their families and community members aware as well.

Activity: I would read this book to my students in the beginning of the school year. The first part of the activity would be to discuss ideas to help the environment. Then each student would make their own list of ways to help the environment and we can implement these ideas into our classroom as well as sharing them with student’s families and communities. The second part of the activity would be to plant our own class tree. By conducting this activity at the beginning of the school year the children will be able to watch their tree grow as the year continues. There can also be a new student monitor every month to measure the tree and record how much it has grown.

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