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, February 11, 2013

In My Family/ En Mi Familia

    • Title: In My Family/ En Mi Familia
    • Author: Carmen Lomas Garza
    • Illustrator: Carmen Lomas Garza
    • Translator: Francisco Alarcon
    • You can purchase the book here and here.
    • Find more information about reading, bilingualism and the book, In My family/En Mi Familia here!
    • Element: Element One Self Love and Knowledge
    • In My Family/ En Mi Familia is a book that contains the author's, Carmen Garza, memories of childhood. Throughout the book Garza gives many memories about family, friends and Mexican traditions. Many of the traditions include:
          • Cleaning Nopalitos
          • Making Empanadas
          • Birthday Barbecue
          • Dying Easter Eggs
          • Earache Treatment
          • Healer
          • Story of the Weeping Woman
          • Virgin of Guadalupe
          • Blessing on the Wedding Day
  All of the traditions and memories allow the reader to get a better sense of the Mexican culture. At the end of the book there are many questions listed that Garza answered. These questions not only allow us to know more about the author but also what inspired her to write a book about her family and the Mexican traditions.
    •  This book fits element one. Element one is about knowing where you came from and who you are. This book does a great job at describing Garza's family, traditions, and the Mexican culture. After reading the book, the reader learns about Garza herself and all of the important aspects in her life (grandmother, friends, traditions, food etc.)
    • Montclair State has taught me that it is important to incorporate every child's culture into the curriculum and classroom. I believe this book allows me, as a future educator, to incorporate the Mexican culture. If there were any ESL students and their first language is Spanish, this book would be great for them to read during reading time. They would be able to read the book in Spanish and visually correspond the two languages together. I also would try to incorporate different cultures and foods into the social studies curriculum and have the students describe the similarities and differences from the Mexican culture and compare it to their own culture. This would allow them to see the differences and similarities between the two cultures and that there are similarities between cultures even if they are from two different sides of the world.

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