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

I See the Rhythm



"I See The Rhythm" is a very rich book with beautiful illustrations on the history of African American music. It goes into great detail how music has evolved over the past 500 years; from early 1500's to present day. Additionally, NYC's legendary Savoy Ballroom, the Apollo Theater, and the Cotton Club are given special focus.


This is a Wonderful book that provides the history of African American music alongside with information and dates of what has transpired historically. Igus makes it easy to connect history to each musical era.

Activity in Social Studies:

Students can work with maps of Africa and the U.S. and show how blacks originated in Africa and migrated to the U.S. They can then begin to connect the different musical eras that have evolved:
Slave Songs, Blues, Ragtime, Jazz, Swing, BeBop, Gospel, R&B, Rock-n-Roll, Funk, and Rap/Hip Hop.

Social Justice Education:

Students will learn self-love and acceptance as they learn about their own culture; respect for others as they learn about other cultures; exploring issues of social justice as racism, sexism, and classism are confronted; social movements and social change show how people have struggled for social change; and taking social action- students will understand how music has worked towards a non-violent social change.

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