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, February 19, 2013

No English

Author: Jacqueline Jules
Illustrator: Amy Huntington
Grade Level: K-5

No English is about a student, Blanca, who is new to Mrs. Bertram’s 2nd grade class. Blanca is from Argentina and speaks Spanish. During class Blanca spends her time drawing pictures and one student, Diane, finds this unfair and tattles on her. When Blanca goes to her English class, Mrs. Bertram asks the students to think about how Blanca must feel being in a classroom where she doesn’t understand the language. The students discuss ways to make Blanca feel welcomed and do some research on Argentina. After the lesson Diane decides to befriend Blanca and finds a way to communicate with her through drawing pictures. Blanca and Diane teach each other about where they are from by drawing pictures of their families and homes. At the end of the book, Blanca is playing with the 2nd grade girls and is teaching them Spanish jump rope rhymes.

Element 2:
This book relates to Element 2: Respect for Others because it shows us how to welcome and respect diversity in the classroom. Since Blanca speaks a different language than the rest of the class, it is important for the students to understand where she comes from and how she must feel. The book also encourages students to think about the ways in which they can connect with a student of a different background. Diane is able to communicate with Blanca through pictures and learn about her life.

Drawings helped Diane and Blanca communicate and learn about each other's backgrounds. After reading the book, students will be asked to draw a picture that represents where they are from. This could be a picture of their family, home, or country. The students would label the drawing and explain to the class what it represents. This will provide an opportunity for students to learn about different cultures and respect where individuals come from.

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