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

Thank You, Sarah

Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Anderson

A memorabl glimpse into the historical development of this country's common culture. It is about the woman who saved Thanksgiving.
I have never read a book like this before. The author caught my attention after reading the first page.

November - American Indian Heritage Month & Thanksgiving. 
February - Black History Month, March - Women's History Month, April - Poetry Month. 
Social Studies: 
Compare and contrast the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Research the history of another holiday, such as Labor Day, Arbor Day, or Flag Day. Trace back your own family a few generations and create a family tree. Which famous American would you like to be related to? Make a fictional family tree that connects that person to you. Make up stories about the generations of family members who connect you.
Writing: Choose meeting times and places, create a reading list, and ask club members to share their own writing. 
Study how the shape of America changed over Sarah Hale's life. Create maps that show the United States in 1788, the year she was born, and 1879, the year she died. How many states were added? Research the geography of the Civil War. Create a map that shows the states which joined the Union and those which joined the Confederacy. 
Study population statistics for the years 1861-1865. Figure out the percentage of the population that was affected by the Civil War. Research how many turkeys are eaten for Thanksgiving every year. How many pounds of potatoes are cooked or how many pumpkin pies are eaten? What is the average number of calories consumed at Thanksgiving dinner? 
Why were grapes considered a cure? Why didn't Sarah or David take antibiotics? What remedies were prescribed in the 1800s? What kind of bacteria can live in raw poultry? 
: Sarah Hale is described as a superhero. Draw a picture of Sarah as an exaggerated comic book superhero. Draw other historical figures in this style.
Social Justice Education:
stereotypes, sexism, fighting for and creating change, slavery, pickets, abolition, union, wars, self-love, taking chances

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