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, April 22, 2013

A Kid's Guide to Giving

A Kids Guide to Giving 
Author: Freddi Zeiler
Grade: 5

Summary:  In this kid's guide, Zeiler challenges students to make a difference by contributing to a variety of charitable causes. This book offers advice on selecting a charity and deciding whether to donate money, useful items, or just time in general.
Element 6:  This book is an amazing example of Element 6 because it is a child's guidelines to giving back to the world in various ways.  It relays the message that everyone can make a difference. The book has sidebars that present tips on getting started, checklists for fundraising, positive quotes from teen volunteers, and blurbs on different historical nonprofit successes. This book also provides a  helpful and lengthy annotated directory of well-established charities which are arranged by category (eg: "People," "Animals," and "The Environment").
ActivityFor a fun and productive activity, a teacher could introduce students to the joys of having and caring for a garden. Students can first describe the importance that a garden has to the environment.  Then they can begin making their own garden, or with the necessary permission, take care of the garden in the actual school, or neighborhood park. This specific activity is an overall ongoing, fun project that will lead to many years of growth and development. For the teachers that are willing to be completely committed to making this a multi-year project, students can continue to take part in the maintenance and joy of refurbishing a garden for many years to come.  This will give the students a chance to get involved with their community.

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