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

Wake Up, World!

Wake Up, World! A Day in the Life of Children Around the World

Wake up, World! A Day in the Life of children Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer, is a captivating book that takes readers through the daily routines of eight children from eight different countries. The readers will observe Paige in England, Natali in the USA, Cindinha in Brazil, Anusibuno in Ghana, Shakeel in India, Alexis in Australia, Linh in Vietnam, and Sasha in Russia wake up in the morning, prepare food, go to school, participate in class activities, interact with their peers, play games, help their families, and get ready for bed. The vivid colored photographs illustrate the different countries climate, customs, and traditions. The readers can visualize the different environments and lifestyles, as well as, the similarities in their overall values.
I was drawn to this intriguing book by its bold font title. Once I opened the book I was fascinated with the photographs and there captions explaining what the child is doing and why. I enjoyed reading about the children’s daily routines and experiences. From this book children will gain an awareness of the different places, culture, community, and lifestyles and how similar these various places may be to their lives. In addition, students will gain an appreciation of their environment.
I would incorporate this book in my classroom to develop student’s awareness about the different places and customs, as well as enhance their knowledge and positive attitudes towards diversity. After reading this book, I would have the students turn and talk with a partner and discuss the similarities and differences between the daily routines of the children in the book and to their own daily lives. To promote critical thinking and problem solving skills I would encourage my students to ask open ended questions about the book. For instance, in the book one of the children named Linh from Vietnam explains that children have to share the school day because there are not enough schools or teachers. A student might ask; what would Linh do if her family was told that she could not attend the already overcrowded school anymore? Following this question, I would have the students talk briefly with their partner and think of possible solutions for Linh’s possible schooling situation. Encouraging student’s inquisitiveness will develop their empathy for the children in the book and others, and encourage them to think of solutions to solve problems.
A lesson that would develop the students social action attitudes is by motivating them to work in small groups and research one of the countries from the book. The research project would encourage students to identify different issues that include social justice and social changes. The students will address these issues in their presentation and think of solutions to prevent the unjust situations from occurring in that country.
I feel that this book can guide the students in the direction of addressing the five social justice education stages, because students will develop an awareness of different cultures, as well as their own, and explore the issues of racism and oppression in other countries. The research project will initiate the discussion about various struggles regarding people’s race, class, or sex. The students are encouraged to explore these issues and develop the essential tools that will influence social change.

Curriculum unit: Social Studies-geography
The link attached gives you the chance to read the book

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