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

The Streets Are Free

The Streets are Free

The Streets are Free
Story byKurusa
Illustrated by Monika Doppert
Translated by Karen Englander
This is the story of the children of the Venezuelan barrio of San Jose. It is the story of their protest to get a place to play.
This book can be used in all elementary grades- the only difference would be the complexity of the conversations that followed the reading.
Suggested topics for discussion: equity (is it fair that the children have no place to play?); urban development (what does it mean, what effects does it have on space and the community etc); politics and "the system" (how do the students use the system, why does the mayor forget about their project after elections are over?);empowerment- even though they are children they are able to organize and fight for their rights and affect change.
This book can be used specifically to teach reading strategies (empathizing, questioning, empathizing) it can be used as a provocative text to encourage writing and it can also be used as part of social studies units on various topics. PS I just discovered that there is a teachers guide for this book as well (although I cannot vouch for it as I have only seen it online)

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