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.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Around the World We Go!

Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Christine Tappin
Grade Level: K-2


Around the World We Go is appropriate for grades K-2.  This book captures the many different cultures and countries around the world.  Acceptance, equality, and friendship are three major themes portrayed throughout the book through the use of text and creative illustrations.  Around the World We Go sends a critical message that it does not matter where one comes from.  There are many aspects that we all share that unite us such as greeting one another, singing, playing, and dancing.  This book shows that although cultures and countries around the world may be different from one another, they also have similarities that we should embrace.  This book allows children to become aware of differences in the world and how those differences may not actually be so different.

Element 2:

Around the World We Go represents element 2, Respect for Others, by teaching the reader that the world is a very big place with many different cultures and countries.  With its vivid illustrations of the various cultures, greetings, dress, and languages, children will be able to develop a respect and appreciation for these diverse groups.  Around the World We Go reinforces that although these differences exist, there is so much that we share.  Children will be able to recognize that no matter where one comes from, friendship, song, playing, and dance are universal. This book will foster feelings of empathy and tolerance when children may be confronted with different cultures. 


An activity that can be utilized with Around the World We Go is a read-aloud followed by a Cultural Study.  After reading the book aloud, I would engage in a class discussion on students’ thoughts and feelings on the book and the book’s themes.  I would then instruct my students to participate in a cultural study focusing on different cultures/countries.  Students would work in pairs and would be randomly assigned a culture/country to study.  Students would be given a culture different than their ethnicity in order to promote learning and respect for cultures other than one’s own.  Each pair would be given a corresponding flag to their country and be instructed to color the flag appropriately.  Students would be able to use books provided by the teacher to research a few facts on their specific country.   At the end, students will be able to share their finished projects with the class.  This activity is great in that it will help promote appreciation, respect, and a feeling of empathy towards cultural differences in the world. 

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