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.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Element Six :Taking Social Action

The Berenstain Bears: NO GIRLS ALLOWED 

Author&Illustrator: Stan & Jan Berenstain

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Summary: In this book, Sister Bear was a tiny cub who always tagged along with her older brother and his friends. They found Sister Bear to be a nuisance because she was better at them in baseball, could run faster than them, and always beat them in their marble game. One day Brother Bear and his friends decided to build a clubhouse and hide from Sister Bear so they didn't have to hang around her anymore. They build a clubhouse far away and put a huge sign on it in red letters saying NO GIRLS ALLOWED. When Sister Bear saw this, she became very upset and left out. Mama Bear told her to make her own clubhouse instead of being upset. Sister Bear then created a club house with some other cub sisters and made a sign that said Bear Country Girl Club and had a opening clubhouse day where they baked food. The boys from the other clubhouse started to smell the food and wanted to join in on the girls club, so the girls let them in. After this the boys changed their sign to Bear Country Boys club-GIRLS WELCOME.

Element Six(Taking Social Action): This story represents element six because  in the story the character is taking social action. Element six is where the teacher provides opportunities to take social action on issues that affect students and world around them. The topic should also be about issues that students can relate to and feel strongly about. In this story it is about taking social action when it comes to bullying. In the story, Sister Bear is being bullied and left out by the boys. She takes social action by creating a clubhouse where everyone is welcome and this in turn shows the boys that there clubhouse should be welcoming and that they should stop bullying Sister Bear just because she is a girl. 

Activity: I would first have a class discussion about what bullying is with the students and what kinds of bullying have they seen in our school. I would then have students brainstorm ideas of how to stop bullying in our school. I would write all of them on the board. I would then have students create posters in groups to stop bullying. On the posters it could have ways to prevent bullying, what to do if you are bullied, stories of students being bullied etc. I would then have the students hang these posters all around the school. This is taking a social action to stop bullying in our school and the students will be helping to create this change. 

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