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, November 27, 2013

Say Something - Jenna Stampone Element 6

Title: Say Something
Author: Peggy Moss
Illustrator: Lea Lyon
Reading Level: 1st/ 2nd Grade


Abby Takes a Stand – Similar book to Say Something!

Summary: A young girl who is the narrator of the book often witnesses bullying in her school but doesn’t do anything about it. She stays silent and acts as a bystander when seeing her peers get bullied. One day, her friends are all absent which leaves her to sit alone at lunch. The bullies then begin to tease and make jokes about how she is all alone at lunch. She gets upset and feels embarrassed because everyone in the cafeteria is just starring at her. She wonders why no one stood up for her but then realizes she hasn’t done that for anyone else. After her experience, the next day, she sits next to a girl who is sitting alone on the bus. She learned to take action and prevent the girl from being made fun and ended up making a new friend.

Element 6: This book ties into Element six because it presents a scenario for students to see opportunities to make a change. It targets the students in the classroom as well as outside which makes it a universal learning topic. The narrator took initiative to sit with a girl who was alone to avoid what had happened to her the day before. Saying something or taking action is what this element is all about. Instead of being a bystander, the story can drive children to get involved and help a situation or quickly get authority involved. This book helps aware students of situations that could happen to them and also showing an alternative for how one can handle the problem. It sends children a powerful message and how to deal with an issue regarding bullying.

Activity: After reading this book to a class, it is vital to have a discussion afterwards because it fosters the students in coming up with more ideas on how other bullying issues can be handled. After the read aloud and discussion, I would allow the students to make groups. (4 to 5 students in each) Each group could make up a skit that shows a bully/ bullies, victim/victims, and a bystander. After they acted out the skit, the audience has to come up with one or two ways the bystander can make a change that makes sense for that skit. 

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