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 12, 2013

Talia and the RUDE Vegetables

Title: Talia and the RUDE Vegetables
Author: Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrator: Francesca Assirelli
Grade Level: PreK - 2nd grade

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Summary: A young Jewish girl named Talia is visiting her grandmother in the country for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.   Her grandmother has asked her to go out to the garden to get some ROOT vegetables for a stew.   Talia misunderstands and thinks her grandmother has requested RUDE vegetables.  Talia does her best to find the rudest looking root vegetables.  The ones that don't look rude she collects and brings to the Rabbi as a donation.  Upon returning to the house, Talia's grandmother clarifies her request for root vegetables, and the two begin cooking to celebrate a sweet new year.

Element 1, Self-love and Knowledge: This book creates an opportunity for Jewish students to share some of their cultural traditions with their classmates, offering them a sense of pride in their religion and their heritage.  Students will see that Jewish holidays are celebrated just like any holiday:  with family and special meals and good deeds.

Activity:  Radishes are a root vegetable that are quick and easy to grow indoors.  Students can plant the seeds themselves and three weeks later pull out their own radishes.  Once "harvested", the students can compare and contrast their vegetables with measurements, color and weight, charting the differences and perhaps even deciding which ones look the most rude (other rare words used are:  ornery, garish and peculiar).  Samples of other root vegetables such as carrots, onions and parsnips, can be brought into class as well.

Radishes can be baked into Radish Chips by using a quick and easy recipe.

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