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 23, 2012

10 things I can do to help my world

Author/Illustrator: Melanie Walsh

Grade Level: Pre-K - First

Buy it here:

            10 things I can do to help my world is a book that provides  young children with ten easy tasks they can do to improve the world.  The book is beautifully illustrated with pop up folds and flaps which make it a more engaging read.  For example, things suggested are sorting your waste and turning off the water while brushing your teeth.  All the activities listed are attainable for all children, and will empower them by showing that they can make a difference too, despite their young age.

Element 6 Taking Social Action:
             10 things I can do to help my world is an excellent representation of Element 6 because the easy and attainable tasks show young children how they too can contribute to earth’s improvement.  The simple tasks given are explained, and children will learn how the actions they are taking better the earth.  It is an empowering book for any age group, especially the younger ones.

             In the classroom, you can easily complete any of the simple activities the books lists to improve the earth.  First, I would have a read-aloud with the story, and then discuss the activities it suggests.  Then I would ask my students “what can we do in our classroom together to better our earth?”  Say they select “plant seeds, and help them grow”; I would have each child plant a few seeds in a small pot.  Each child would water his or her plant, and monitor the growth.  After the seeds sprout, the children can take them home, and hopefully continue to tend to their plant.  The child will actually see the difference he or she is making by observing their plant grow.  It is an exciting and simple activity for all young children to participate in.

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