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.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Food: the new gold

Title: Food: the new gold                                                        
Author: Kathlyn Gay
Publisher: Twenty-first century books
Grade level: Grade 4 and up

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Summary:  Over 900 million people on Earth, or one in eight, suffer from starvation. Although, there is enough food produced worldwide, about 13 % of the planet's population have no access to it. Every year hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. For those affected by hunger food is becoming "the new gold".
Political, economic and environmental problems all impact the situation with food which in turn affects climate, business, health and well-being of billions of people. Through explicit research and critical analysis Kathlyn Gay explores what causes hunger and how it can be overcome.

Element 5: Raising awareness
This book relates to the element five of social justice because its author raises awareness of such interrelated problems as hunger, poverty, obesity, food safety, malnutrition, illnesses, greenhouse effect, climate change, water contamination and many more. 
Using this book in a classroom may help students develop an understanding of the environment as a system of interdependent components affected by the nature and human activity. The interdisciplinary approach of the book will facilitate the acquirement of knowledge and skills to think critically about interactions of people and the environment, and enable students to make informed decisions as responsible world citizens in the 21st century.
The photographs support the text with visual images and provide better understanding of the issues discussed in the book. Moreover, Food: the new gold contains helpful references to the various media resources and can be used to conduct further research.

Growing a garden on the school ground could be one of the meaningful activities for the students to do to learn about plants and nutrition. It will also offer opportunities for physical activity and cooperative learning. To fully appreciate the importance of food students may conduct a research and deliver the produce of a school garden to the community members in need. 


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