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, March 27, 2012

Ray Charles Find Another Way - Element 4

Ray Charles Find Another Way - Element 4 

Title: Ray Charles Find Another Way
Author: Susan Sloate
Grades : 2-6
Element 4: Social Movements and Social Change
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Ray Charles is the main character of the biography titled “Ray Charles Find Another Way” by Susan Sloate. Ray Charles is mostly known as a world-renowned singer, composer, arranger, and instrumentalist who also played the piano, saxophone, clarinet, and organ. Charles is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However this book introduces Ray Charles as a civil right leader. Ray used his music to assist in the Civil rights movement. When he was informed by his Promoter that some his audiences were segregated Ray refused to perform. Ray thought it was wrong to force his African American fans were to sit in the balcony while his white fans occupied the best seats in the house. Ray was one of the first performers black or white to challenge Jim Crow and other unfair laws. This book shows Ray was a fighter even as a child. At the age of 7 years old Ray turned blind from a disease that attacks children. Ray believed that “There always another way to do something if you look for it.” Since Ray was blind it was not safe for him from taking parts in Marches instead Ray contributed to the civil rights movement finically. Ray also refused to at any venues that were segregated. In 1979, Ray was welcomed back to his home state of Georgia by the governor and received a formal apology from the governor for the segregation laws.  

Element Four: Social Movements and Social Change

The book “Ray Charles, Find Another Way” is a easy read with awesome picture that guide the reader through Ray’s life while he dealt with issue of racism. This book shows us that we should not let our disabilities limit us from living our life to the fullest. I am amazed that Ray Charles who was blind could see that segregation was wrong and should be addressed. Ray Charles experienced inequality and decided to take action by boycotting and venues that promoted social injustice. This books could serve as a inspiration to common people, disabled people, poor people and anyone that is crippled by anything, that they too can stand up for their rights and fight for equality


After Reading Ray Charles “Find Another Way”, I would have student research other people with disabilities that are famous. Once the students are done pick a person, I would have them do a short biography of the person and present it to the class.” Also the book has a glossary students could define key terms in the book and use them in sentences.

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