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, September 9, 2008

Hey, Little Ant

Hey, Little Ant- Mark Coccarelli

Hey, Little Ant
Hey, Little Ant
By Hannah and Hoose

Link to where you can purchase book:

Summary: PreSchool-Grade 2-Based on a song, this occasionally stilted narrative has a message: respect all creatures and their right to live. A bespectacled ant, loaded down with two shopping bags, is confronted by a human youngster intent on stepping on him. Before the boy can carry out his threat, the ant begs him to reconsider. Each double-page spread is devoted to one character expressing his opinion in the life vs. death debate. The brightly colored, full-page cartoon illustrations, rendered in pen, ink, and watercolor, capably convey the obvious differences and the surprising similarities of the two main characters. The boy is urged to look at things from the ant's point of view before deciding on his course of action. The tale's conclusion is open-ended as readers are asked, "What do you think that kid should do?" The accompanying picture shows a huge sneaker posed above the tiny ant. The music and verses appear on the last page of this tepid tale that could lead to discussions concerning bullies and/or the protection of other species.

Reflection: This is a really good story that shows how to look at things from a different perspective. It shows how a giant person and little ant have more in common then from looks on the outside. The book is also open ended and it allows the children reading the book to take part in the story and decide based off what they have learned in the story weather of not the boy should crush the ant


Domain of Social Justice Education:2.) Respect for Others- Strengthens intercultural competence. The boy looks at life from a different perspective. Sees that the ant’s life is very similar to his own.
3.) Exploring Issues of Social Justice- Racism, Classism, Sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression are confronted. The boy looks at things from a different perspective. He used to make judgments based off appearance. He thought because the ant was tiny and small he wasn’t like the boy at all.

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