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, September 8, 2008

New York is English, Chattanooga is Creek

New York Is English, Chattanooga is Creek

New York is English, Chattanooga is Creek
By: Chris Raschka

New York Is English, Chattanooga Is Creek is a great book that takes you to the pplanning of a party and the the actual party itself. You begin the book with an introduction to New York who is an English Duke and to his friends, Chattanooga, Minneapolis and a few others. The author continues to introduce you to many other city names and their origin. His illustrations support the origins of the names. When they are all together you see how diverse the names and the faces that go with the names are.
This book made me laugh so much. This book was such a creative message to readers on the diversity of this nation. Raschka does such a great job at saying that we are all from different backgrounds, but one nation. I like how it is simple and colorful and straight to the point. The illustrations are powerful in showing us how we all look different and how we can ultimately come together.
A few activities that I ould do with this book are...
-Have students tell each other were their name comes from and place their name and definition and/or orgin on paper and decorate to hang around the room. The students can share their "All about my name" project with the class.
-Have students choose a name in their town or choose a different city/town name within the country (that wasn't hilighted in the book) and research its orgins.
-We can come u with our own version of the book and present it to the school.
Social Justice Education
1. Self-love and Acceptance: the students will have a chance to get to know many of the names that they are familiar with and learn that these names could come from where their families are from.
2. Respect for Others: learning about the diversity of the nation and discussing how diverse we are ass a class helps them to see that we are all mixed and that in order to continue to make our nation what it is, we need to respect and appreciate the amny differences that we have.
3.Exploring Issues of Social Justice: this book doesn't really touch upon issues of social justice, but we can turn it into something like that. For example (and this can be an activity) we can analyze the illustrations. New York is drawn as a pasty white man, which comes off as a slap in the face to New Yorkers.
4. Social Movements and Social Change: this is not confronted in this book.
5. Taking Social Action: again discussing how and why the illustrations are the way they are can lead to how we can change the way people stereotype.

Curricular Units:
-Social Studies: geography
-Math: Origins and their dates

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