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

Young People's Stories of Respect


Young People's Stories of Respect by Henry & Melissa Billings



Grade Level: 1-2-3-4-5

SummaryStories of Respect is part of a collection of books that focus on character. This particular book contains four mini stories that explore respect within different cultural contexts. Stories from this book examine: the importance of people vs. the outside appearance in Syria, appreciating friendship and talents of others in Mexico, respect of nature symbolizing the hierarchy of people (from England), and valuing age and wisdom in Japan.

Reflections: This book is beautifully illustrated and relates a very importance message concerning character that is appropriate for all age groups. Each story takes on a different format (poetry, realistic fiction, fable, short story moment) that integrates smoothly into other subject areas. Each mini story contains a finishing paragraph on that connects the moral of the story to character development. Each story has the possibility of being explored from surface level to a deep, meaningful understanding.

How Would I Use the Book: This book can be used in a multitude of ways across the following content areas: theme, reading and writing. Topic areas for each would include: character development, cultural appreciation, study of cultures and tradition, read aloud, independent reading, shared reading, book club partners, most reading strategies in the TC workshop, social issues, reinforce behavior management, explore new geners, series study, family, friendship, etc.

Domains of Social Justice: 1.) Self-Love and Acceptance: Children learn about different cultures, an appreciation for self-identity, friends, family and how to develop their own unique character. 2.) Respect for Others: Children learn how differences makes others unique and why it is important to treat others with respect. Children also learn to develop a strong community within their classroom and school. 3.) Exploring Issues of Social Justice: Students will understand how the treatment of others (hate, discrimination, judgment, love, etc.) affects the world at large. 4.) Social Movements and Social Change: Students will explore current situations occurring within the world and why these injustices are occurring today. 5.) Taking Social Action: Students will create raise awareness of the respect of others, its importance, and how as a community we can promote change for good. Students could speak with other classes and create public service announcements.

Resources:

Buy the book: www.Amazon.com

The full collection of Young People’s Stories: (Stories of…fairness, cooperation, hard work, patience, courage, kindness, peacefulness, sharing and truthfulness)

http://aesop.creighton.edu/jcupub/fables3/catalog/series/Young%20People's%20Stories.html

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