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

Is There Really a Human Race?

Is There Really a Human Race

Is There Really a Human Race?
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis
Illustrated by Laura Cornell

This is a wonderful book for children of all ages. This entertaining and humorous book is full of a young boy's thought provoking questions about the human race. The boy questions appear to be referring to the word 'race', solely in terms of an event such as a running race, however it is t the 'human race' and the idea of the controversial significance and identification of races within the human population that is truly being explored. This book is an excellent way to have student begin to of continue to discuss, question, and become more aware of, the beautifully diverse world that surrounds them, as well as the terrible injustice and inequality that exists because of these differences.
*This is book provides a great way to integrate social justice eduction into a classroom curriculum. All five stages of social justice education can explored and implemented using this story as the starting point.

I like this book because of it raises such important and difficult questions and presents them in such a way that children can begin to think about and understand these complex ideas from the more familiar and comfortable perspective of a running race. I also like that end of the book takes away the competitive edge of a 'race' and stresses the significance of the 'journey' and 'the process', rather than focusing only on the 'end result.'

- Children can think about how they have helped, and can help the human race
- Ask students to think about the meaning and definition of race.
- Celebrate the diversity of the human race. Have students study and share their cultures, ethnicities, languages, abilities, etc.
- Develop a system for students to become more aware of and recognize positive behaviors and actions in the class;
Recognize, share, and celebrate the positives.

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