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, February 20, 2012

Just As Good - Element 3

Just as Good

Title: Just as Good

Author: Chris Crowe

Illustrator: Mike Benny

Grade Level: 2nd - 6th

SJE: Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice
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About Author Chris Crowe

There are plenty of books that depict Jackie Robinson journey as the 1st African-American baseball player. However, Just as Good by Chris Crowe is the 1st book about Larry Doby. Doby was the 2nd African American to play in the MLB, the 1st to play in the American league, and the first African-American player to hit a home run in the World Series. This story is told by Homer a young African-American who was banned form a Little League baseball team because he was African-American. Homer was told that besides Jackie Robinson Negro ball players were worth “spit.”It was not until  Doby helped the Cleveland Indians win their 1st world series in 1948 which reinforced to Homer that African-American people are just as good in baseball and everything else as Caucasian people are.  

Representation of Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice:

It represents Element Three because this book explores how the diversity in baseball has impacted African-Americans. This book talks about how Larry Doby and Homer are treated because of the color of their skin. For example, Homer was banned from his Little League Team and Dody was treated badly by fans due to the color of his skin. This book could be used to spark a student interest in some causes of Racism and the impact that it has had on many different races. This book serves as a moving story of how racial stereotypes and social injustices are being broken down every day and can be broken down by anyone.

Book Activity :
I would read Just as Good to the the students. Next, I would discuss some of the events in Larry Doby life that may have shaped him to become a hero. I would pout an emphasis that he was not perfect, but that he possessed many positive qualities that helped him to be strong in the face of adversity. For example, I would ask question such as What makes a Hero?, How does a Hero act?, What does a leader do?  etc... I would then divide students into groups of four or five and have them discuss within their group what qualities they think helped Larry Doby the most. Have them present their ideas to the class one group at a time.


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