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, November 26, 2013

Making the Moose Out of Life
Author: Nicholas Oldland
Grade: 1st-3rd
Buy it here!

Summary:  This book teaches children about living life to the fullest, or in the Moose's case, taking life by the antlers/horns.  This moose feels like he is missing out on something in life, as he constantly sits back and watches his friend have fun.  He deciders to go on a adventure, where he learns to fend for himself.  He sets out for a trip on the sailboat, where he gets caught in a storm, and ends up on a deserted island.   Instead of being fearful, he makes the best of his situation, building a shelter, getting food, even making a new  tortoise friend!  Eventually, the tortoise and the Moose are saved by a ship cursing by.  They aboard the ship and partake in all the ship activities, and indulge in the buffet.  The ship soon returns them home where the Moose is reunited with his old friends, but he isn't the same old moose anymore.  He doesn't sit on the sidelines anymore, instead he partakes in all the fun activities.  This book is great because it teaches children to step outside their comfort zone and to not be afraid to try new things.

Element 5:  Making the Moose Out Of Life is great for children.  It raises awareness and encourages students to make the most out of life.  They shouldn't be shy, curl up in a ball and cry, rather this book will teach children to make the most out of all situations.  No matter what challenge or situation the moose met, he faced them without fear.  Children will learn to do the same, encouraging them to take chances and live their life to the fullest.

Activity: One activity is for children to think and write about a time where they had to take a chance, and face their fear of something with courage.  They will brainstorm, write, peer edit, revise, and share their stories with other classmates.  They also will create a drawing that goes along with their story.

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